I’ve had occasion to go to a supermarket (well, one supermarket and a Wal-Mart Super Center, but I bought groceries there) twice in recent days, and both times I’ve been annoyed with some of their policies.
In the first instance, I was tired, aching, sick, and cranky. I wanted to get HOME and to BED, so I headed for the 10 Or Less lane. I quickly counted my items, saw I had 12, and put back two of them. (Potato chips are bad for you, anyway.) Then I got stuck in line behind a couple. She paid for two of the items, but the gentleman rang through about 17 or so items. My first thought was to blame the public schools for his inability to count, then I thought it might be nice if the registers in such express lanes simply stopped ringing after 10 items.
In the second case, a cashier steered me towards the self checkout lane. Now, I have no real issues with such things, but it’s my belief that if a business asks me to do the kind of work that they usually pay people for, they ought to compensate me in some way — say, a small discount. After all, I’m doing the work of a cashier and bagger; why shouldn’t I expect to be compensated for my efforts?
More and more stores are moving towards the self-checkout model (Home Depot comes to mind), and I think it’s an abysmal idea. It’s simple cost-shifting; they’re decreasing their labor costs by asking their customers to pick up the slack, without a hint of a quid pro quo.
In both cases, it’s a matter of ignoring the good customers. And in both cases, I’d like to think it will backfire on the stores.
But I doubt it.