Check the self checkout

I’ve never been a fan of self-checkout lanes. My feeling is that if you want my money, the least you can do is pay someone to ring up my order.


Those feelings were reinforced on a recent trip to a local supermarket, which had just overhauled its entire POS system, including the self-checkout lanes.


I have used the self-checkout lane in a pinch and it was late and I was eager to get out of there—my usual mode when in the supermarket, I admit. I was only there because I needed dog food. Rather than face the wrath of a hungry Jack (my dog), I headed to the self-checkout lane with the few things I had. How bad could it be?


There was a young kid stationed to watch six checkout lanes. He clearly had not been trained on the new system and was not eager to move from his post, where he was texting on his phone. When I got his attention, he couldn’t help with my problem and had to get a manager. A 20-minute ordeal.


Technology is a wonderful thing and it needs to be upgraded on a regular basis for a supermarket to remain competitive. But supermarkets need to train their employees when they upgrade their systems so that they can be as proficient at checking out customers as they are at texting.


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