Earlier today, I almost started a new job as a cashier at Wal-Mart. At the last minute, stubborn pride won out and refused.
The Supercenter I occasionally visit (a combination of geographic convenience and personal economic factors) is doing some remodeling. As a part of the reworking, they decided to institute self-service cashier stations. At the same time, they also did away with the express lanes.
I’m not a big shopper. I recall maybe half a dozen times I’ve bought more than 20 items at that store, and been ineligible to use those express lanes. I also don’t enjoy waiting in lines, so I’ve appreciated being able to get out quickly.
Now, though, they’ve apparently decided to do away with those lanes. If I’m in a hurry, I can cash myself out.
I don’t like self-service cashier stations. If I’m going to spare the company the expense of paying someone to ring me out, then they ought to be willing to share some of those savings with me, since I’m doing the work they previously paid someone to do. A discount per item, or a percentage off the total, would be appropriate, I think.
But apparently not. “We pass the savings on to you” is, it seems, a thing of the past — along with their former policy of opening new registers whenever there were three or more people in line.
I understand that despite their high profits, it’s all from volume — the profit margins of Wal-Mart are razor-thin. But sooner or later, the non-financial costs of those low prices will be too high.
Update: I apparently didn’t make it clear. My objection is purely philosophical, not practical. I firmy believe that if I’m going to do the work of a cashier, I am entitled to some compensation for my labors. I have used them a few times, and found them extremely simple to use, but aesthetically irritating and “dumbed down” to the point of being insulting. It offends me sorely to both be taken that much for granted AND condescended to so severely without some form of compensation. A discount — even a token one — would go a long way towards ameliorating the offense.