I refuse to use them. If anyone ever asks "Why not?", I respond, "I'll use them when you give me a 5% discount."
I used to use them occasionally, but I've stopped. They are slower than a human checker, especially if I have produce or anything that requires me to look up codes.

It doesn't save me any time. It doesn't save me any money. It puts people out of work. Fuck self-checkout machines.
I refuse to use them too. Every one of those self check stands represents an unemployed worker.
I use them all the time. Fuck talking to somebody. Self-checkout machines and pay-at-the-pump services have reduced my unwanted human contact to almost tolerable levels.

You can have my self-checkout terminal when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. (They're always that way, it's a circulation thing.)
Meh. Time is money. I use them when it's faster than waiting in line at a checker. I'm not so allergic to moving my hands that it's worth my time to stand in line and wait for someone else to scan stuff. I feel like people who prefer to stand in line are the same people who stand still when you get on an escalator - your legs still work, people.

Regarding the jobs issue, we are actually approaching a full employment society again (yes, using the ugly "full employment" definition of 5-6%, so I'm open for that debate), with the US at 6.7% and Seattle at 5.1%. This means there's a better use for each of those employees than standing and doing repetitive things with their arms.

Now, there's the other question of whether it's a better use of my time to do this or to pay a lower wage worker to do it for me. And I'd agree with you if that was really the question. But we're really comparing me doing it to a low wage worker doing it while I stand around and watch them. There's no efficiency in that, and it's the same waste of my time either way (more so since there's usually a line).
Self-checkout is the best! Where else can you get organic produce for the price of conventional merely by memorizing a few numbers?
I'm with #6. PLUS, Self check outs are great when I'm feeling anti social and want to avoid conversation with the human.
I never looked at it that way. Never again --I'll wait in line so that someone who needs the job can keep their job! Thanks.
@6: Your theft is immoral and illegal.
The time you spend in line involves an opportunity cost, and self-checkout machines do help reduce that. You don't get a discount for checking yourself out because your benefit is *not waiting in line for very long*.
The true "scam of scams" are grocery store reward cards.
What I resent is being forced to use the self-scan machines because the store has only one or two staffed check-outs during busy hours, and their lines are a mile long (Safeway!)
@12 Unless your Safeway is special, this has been their model pretty much forever. Mine doesn't have self check-out machines and lines are routinely down the isles. They understaff to save money, surely knowing it drives some of us to other stores. I'm sure it's a business decision, and one that won't change because they add some machines.
Every online article steals a job from a newspaper/mail deliver who would've been paid to deliver the physical article...etc etc.

As for supermarket machines, they're great if you only have a handful of items.
And I'm the odd duck that LIKES self-checkout. Usually the wait is shorter and I like being in control of checking out. If an aisle with a checker is open then I'll use it. Otherwise, I do the self checkout.
I use self-checkout at the grocery store because I rarely go in for more than 1 or 2 things and standing in line behind people who have full carts, a load of coupons, and paying by writing a check is not how I want to spend my time. No one respects the 10 items or less sign either. And banal conversation with a over-worked, exhausted, and sometimes angry checker is torture.
I find them faster 99% of the time, and it takes away the fake small talk one has to go through or politely reject each time. I am almost always in a hurry, so I will always go to whichever store has self checkout.
My God. Schmucky Mudede is right about something.

Stopped clocks indeed.
Self-check registers really have very little impact on total work hours; but they do allow that time to be shifted. Instead of the old days where during peak hours most grocery store workers were needed to staff check-out stations, they can now concentrate on other tasks such as stocking, helping customers find items, working specialty counters, checking inventories, etc., etc. during their shifts, which in turn gives them greater flexibility in that they can work more regular hours instead of having to do much of this work during off-hours or overnight when there are fewer customers, because - guess what? Most grocery workers don't really like working graveyard shifts when much of the "behind the scenes" work of unloading, stocking, facing, prep & inventory was traditionally done.

And while the technology is far from fool-proof (my biggest complaint is the tendency for self-registers to constantly call out "cashier has been notified to assist you" when I neither need, want, nor have requested assistance), I would much rather zip through a self-check with my 5 - 10 items than stand in line while every third person ahead of me tells the checker about their day in minute detail, or engages them in a pop-quiz about the stated prices of half the items in their cart.
I would feel more guilty about using self checkout lanes if the few remaining human checkout lanes were staffed with a reasonable level of competence. Even accounting for time looking up produce codes, I ring myself up faster than 8 out of 10 human cashiers I deal with. Plus using the self checkout means never getting stuck behind the old woman who doesn't realize that paying with a check simply isn't acceptable any more.
A bit more on this: Safeway will never hire enough employees to not have lines during rush periods. That would mean those employees stand around bored during non-rush hours, or they somehow hire workers for 3hr a day (good luck with that). You'll get that at high-end groceries, but the grocery business is fairly lean and you won't see that at Safeway style stores.

So how do we avoid a line during rush periods? They could add those machines, and I'll leave it to you suckers to stand in the human checker line.

Here's a fun thing some of my friends and I do on-occasion: When you go to a social event, everybody throws all their rewards cards into a bowl and mixes them up real good. Then, everybody pulls out cards at-random, basically replacing whatever cards you threw in with different cards for the same chains (there's always a slight possibility of getting one of yours back, but if you get a lot of people to throw in, the odds go down accordingly). Even if you pay by card, it still mucks up their metrics, because the contact information attached to the reward card won't match that of the credit/debit card.
The only time I use them is if I know, from previous visits, that a store's clerks have a lower chance than I of successfully navigating the check out process. Some clerks are SO brain dead or so passive-aggressively taking it out on the customer that they have a thankless, low paying (NY has no $15 min wage yet!) job that they make a check out drag on minutes longer than it has to.

In that case -- nope, self service wins.

BTW -- I ALWAYS use self check out at Home Depot. They've proven themselves per the above.
In California you can't buy booze at the self-checkout. So if a store that has them is displacing humans from whom I can buy beer, then it makes the line to buy beer all the longer. This is truly criminal.
I'll use them if I have a few items or if I want to avoid the scripted "any big plans for the weekend?" It seems all corporate stores make the cashiers ask semi personal questions, like they actually care. I need to come up with a witty response.
I hope you'll be asking PCC about theirs. I hate them, the buggy software, the "prove you're not ripping us off" weight check, the not enough time to get the item into your bag before the crappy software throws yet another prompt in your face. Give people decent jobs for decent money.
I've seen it where almost every register is open, and there are lines for every checker and for the self-checkout. The self-checkout moves faster because it is 6 in one.

We're moving to a problem of overcrowding. As more places are built, more people have to buy groceries, and more people have to wait in line. You could open more stores, or redesign the layout of the store so that there is more room for checkout but less for product, I guess.
Are you kidding me, I love those machines. They're 10 times faster than having a checker do it (usually due to the fact that they come in banks of 4, yet the lines for each type are generally equally... thus a self checkout line moves 4x faster than a regular line).
I also view the self-checkout lane as a super-express lane. If it's open and I only have one or two items and particularly if I don't need a bag then it's a better use of everyone's time to speed through and run my card. Otherwise yes, I get in the teller lane and wait my turn there.
I like them. I have never understood the American attitude that someone else should pack groceries for you. Britain doesn't have bag packers (except when the scouts do it and expect a tip as fundraising, which is OK with me).
I was resistant to the self-checkout lanes when the Broadway/Pike QFC first introduced them a decade + ago, but I realized vary quickly how much faster it is to go through the self-scanner than to wait in line. Even with the occasional (and I mean occasional) "cashier has been notified to assist you" mishaps. Obviously I can't speak to the # of positions held at that QFC, but there are a lot of the same people working there on the floor as when the store first opened.

I also worked for a time at a grocery store that doesn't use self-checkout. whenever I go back in there and see someone who used to work the register doing something different, they are SO HAPPY to be anything other than checking out groceries. So I think COMTE's post @19 is pertinent.
Self-checkout appeals to my DIY sensibilities.
@28 You know there have been a huge number of new grocery stores opening in Seattle over the past few years, right? That's actually a benefit of density - the more people you stack in an area, the more demand for services, the more services that open up near you. You still end up with the same number of customers for each business, but now those businesses are closer together to the point that you have much more choice of where to shop.
I intentionally do not use them. I like to communicate with someone while buying items. Being told by a machine to place items in the bag and do all the work is not what I went to Home Depot for.

If you can't have a conversation or a joke with the teller, no matter how small of a conversation then there is no human experience. We need more not less human face to face experiences so that we relearn to have interactions and conversations. The only reason excessive small talk happens is because we don't know how to truly communicate anymore or we are afraid to and just pretend we just don't have the time so we don't have to talk about it.

I find the self serve system usually runs into problems anyway and someone comes up and does all the checking out for me while i stand there. Defeating the reason for installing the whole infrastructure.

I know some people like them but in the long run they are passively being told to do work for the company saving them money.

I say slow down and enjoy an experience of interacting with people while shopping.

Self checkout machines are actually avoidance machines.
"I'm writing a story, I've already decided what my conclusions are, and now I want to talk to people who will confirm my preconceptions."

And they wonder why journalism is dying.
If I have 3 or 4 things I will beep them myself and GTFO. Most people at my local Fred Meyer tend to treat them that way too, and I pick them whenever the Freddy's super-low-item counter is staffed by the weirdo cashiers I don't like.
Comedian Bill Burr, one of my favorites, talks about these a lot on his podcast. Here's a little clip from his 2010 stand-up special.…. It's only a minute and a half, and hilarious! Definitely worth a view.
Self-checkout is almost always faster. Not only that, but unless you're a total idiot, how hard is it to check alphabetically for produce? My time is worth more than what you may refer to as the hassle of scanning and bagging my own groceries. Besides, if I'm bringing my own bags, I'd rather load them properly and at a level I can manage toting them back home.
Old people hate the self check machines because they refuse to attempt to figure out how they work, and also feel they need to be "served" every where they go and enjoy having a low wage peon, who is forced to kiss their ass and do what they say, do things for them.

Meanwhile people who do not mind expending a tiny amount of effort (Mudede claiming that bagging and carrying one's own groceries as too much work that is beneath him explains his unwillingness to do any research for his blogging), will continue to laugh at people waiting in long lines, wasting precious, precious time.
@35: Some people just go to stores to buy things though, and do not require a conversation or "human experience" with the checker. I would personally rather use that time to talk with someone who actually likes me and is not just waiting for me to leave. And they do just want you to leave.
Where else can you get organic produce for the price of conventional merely by memorizing a few numbers?

-- Just subtract a nine in front of your organic produce number. Also, if you're buying bulk herbs and using the store's small plastic bags, some look the same from a distance (basil, thyme, oregano, sage leaves; or paprika and chile powder and cayenne).
I always get stuck in a huge line behind @35.
@19 has stated everything I cared to state and I thank COMTE for that favor.
Uh, I view the road to Pseudotopia to be made nearly entirely of freeing humans from doing rote work for hours every day or nearly. Much better to have five hundred humans check themselves out than to make one human do that for eight hours at a time---what does that do to a brain, I'm sure there's an 'Idiotismus of retail life'.

Supporting the people put out of work is an orthogonal issue...let's have as much unemployment as we can manage and put everyone so on Relief.
Self-checkout is great when paired with handheld scanners, like the east coast supermarket Stop and Shop does. You get bags and a scanner when you enter (…) , scan and bag everything in your cart as you go, and then just pay at the self-checkout counter when you're ready to leave. It was great. Are there any other stores with that kind of system?

Self-checkout when you have to scan and bag your groceries at the checkout counter runs the gamut from pointless to awful, depending on implementation.
@34 There are already 5 supermarkets, a farmer's market, a co-op, and a generous handful of corner stores within walking distance (by which I mean under 3/4 of a mile) of my domicile, thank you. Yet there are still lines out the wazoo.

I'm quite aware that, with density comes more stores. But, I think we've hit a peak density.
@47 Seriously? We're barely more dense than Phoenix. We have a long, long way to go to even match SF let alone NYC. We'll never come close to Manhattan. Hell, something like 60% of our land area is single family homes. What's this peak density you're talking about.
@5 - I urge you to reconsider your POV that people using human-cashier lines also stand on escalators: I assure you that we do not. Escala-standers need to GTFO of my way.

I'll use the robots --as others suggest above-- when I get a 5-10% discount.
I like self check out. Why? Because I can pack my own damn grocery bags. I live outside of Seattle where they haven't banned plastic bags. If I don't tell the checkers soon enough that I want paper (because I've forgotten my reusable) they throw the barely used plastic bag away. They usually put 3-5 things in one paper bag instead of filling it. I'm only 30, I think I can manage to carry a full bag. If I forget to tell them I want paper they put ONE thing in the plastic bag. ONE! If I bring any of this up I get angry looks and/or annoyed sighs.
@49 Keep holding your breath for that - I'm sure they'll give in any day. Until then I'll wave while I pass you while walking up my escalator. I mean while not standing in line and while checking out faster.
I'm not sure which is scarier, that something by Mudede was actually worth reading, or that I am in agreement with SB @18.
@42 and @52 - heh
Mudede considers self-check-out a "job." Clearly, our Charlie boy has lost memory of this elusive concept. I suppose he would also prefer to drive to Oregon or Massachusetts in order to escape the life-draining drudgery of pumping gasoline into the car, all by his pathetic, whining self.

What a schmuck.
Note to Charles. Rather than threaten us with another of your pedantic screeds, here's the lowdown on the tyranny of self checkout: It's optional. End of story.
Here is a question: where are you most likely to find abandoned change from the coin dispenser - self-checkout, or a staffed checkout aisle?
The difference is, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's know how to bag groceries. I will never use a human checker at Safeway because they take no care whatsoever in bagging the groceries. The last straw for me was having a bag of apples placed on top of a loaf of bread by a Safeway checker.

Plus, I don't understand why so many people think that getting rid of the checkout machines would result in supermarkets hiring more people. Those days are long gone.
My issue with a self-checkout lane is that I would rather wait in line than have my purchasing be artificially slowed down by having to individually scan each item and place it in my bag, hoping that the machine doesn't decide to screw up that time, before I can scan the next item. They are too slow because they're worried about theft, and they often don't work well with using my bag. Add on top that if you have a child or two, it becomes even more of a hassle, relative to having someone else handle it.

This is why at my local Safeway we get frequent announcements about "no waiting at self-checkout!" because everyone is in line for the one checker.

Full employment is 3 percent, not 6.7. Moreover, many people have permanently left the job market due to the McJobs created by the new economy.
Well, did the pictured QFC's self-checkout at least have bags with handles ?
or they somehow hire workers for 3hr a day (good luck with that)

Your naivete in what's going on in the U.S. labor market is charming. Of course there are companies that only hire people to work a few hours per day. They also call in more workers than they need and send home anyone who showed up "late" ("late" meaning after everyone who was actually needed, even if the person showed up 20 minutes early) and require workers to be available on-call, 24/7 or risk getting fired (meaning that those workers can't have children or second jobs). This is basically SOP for Amazon warehouse workers.
My local Safeway is not what you'd call a tier 1 location. They don't have self checkout, but they are still incredibly understaffed. It's a dark day when I actually have to shop there.
So, Charles ...

How do you feel about self-checkout machines at the library?
@57: I know, right?
I extend that lack of care to the grunts at distribution warehouses. My fellow stock-dawgs and I are grimly used to seeing a pallet of merchandise come off a truck with cast-iron skillets piled on top of a box of potato chips. It's attention to detail and general fuck-giving is all. We try to do our jobs properly, at least where I work; we are HIGH QUALITY COLLEGE-EDUCATED grunts.
Self checkout machines are one more marker along the race to the bottom. I never use them. I prefer humans have jobs.
Up your dosage, Charles; you seem to be developing a resistance to your meds.
They are nice when you want to buy condoms and lube and don't want to look anyone in the eye.
no, you're a ludite :). Machines will automate everything. Why stop the inevitable?
@66: Do you still book airline flights with a travel agent? Go to a bank teller rather than use an ATM? How is this any different if you "prefer humans have jobs."
I agree that they suck, buuut self-checkout for condoms, for using an EBT card...
If they have an audio button, YOU CAN MUTE IT!
@60 I'll entertain 3%. Do you have a link? I like this NYT article that says we should aim at 4% instead of the 5.5% the Congressional Budget Office considers full employment.

@62 My point wasn't that it's impossible to hire people for 3 hrs - I've been a temp worker myself back in high school and college. My point is that these are mildly skilled workers not easily replaced by the crew at LaborReady. If nothing else looking up veggie codes - or even knowing the difference between veggies if you're the average American - is something that takes time to develop. On top of this Safeway is a union shop, so if we're specifically looking at them you'll need to be offering something approaching a living wage - something not easy to do if you only need them for 3 hrs.
@57 I use my own bags, one of them an insulated one for frozen stuff. I got tired of human checkers not using the correct bag for the type of grocery (frozen/dry). I'd have to completely re-arrange the goods after checkout. I'm not too lazy to bag my own groceries, and apparently I'm the only one that can do it right, so it's self-check for me. I'll get my human interaction in more legitimate, non-commercial forms.
I like the self-check. It's the only way to prevent someone from throwing my produce down the ramp toward the bagger who then chucks it into my bag under the heaviest non-food item I purchased (my usual experience at Safeway or QFC).
God, I remember when self-service gas first appeared. All the old men sat around and said exactly the same shit. People even listened to them.

Fucking Oregon even jumped the shark and banned self service. Apparently for the same reasons as fluoride in water? Fuck if I know what's up with Oregon. I'm just glad I don't have to put up with a whole state with no self-service gas. Except when I have to drive through Oregon. Shit.
I second whoever mentioned the general incompetence of today's average checkout clerk. When they bag your stuff, they underfill my reusable bags and end up putting a bunch of stuff in plastic sacks that wouldn't be necessary if they knew cloth bags can bear a lot of weight. And even though there seems to be a maximum of two items per bag rule they follow (presumably to guarantee the prevention of overloading by wildly underloading), somehow the dishsoap still ends up in the same sack as the lettuce.

That said, I still use human checkers when I have a lot of stuff. But for a few items, or even a handbasket full, self checkout all the way.
@68 "They are nice when you want to buy condoms and lube and don't want to look anyone in the eye."

You kids today!

When I buy condoms and lube I carry them over my head and announce it to the whole store.
so let me get this straight: Most you are bitching about the crappy service in the checkout line(shitty baggers, etc), yet you the SAME people who want to give these retards $15 AN HOUR!

progressive idiots.
Many grocery stores use them as an excuse to understaff the traditional, full-service checkout lines. Then the long checkout lines push people to the self-checkout.

This is the main reason I stopped going to Safeway and started going to Fred Meyer's for groceries. At Freddies, there are always enough open full-service checkout lanes so that none of the lines get longer than one or two people. Sure, they have a self-checkout, but it is not mandatory, you can still get through quickly at the traditional lane.

I will use self-checkout when there is no line and I am only purchasing one or two things, when I can just breeze through. At that point, it's worth doing the work myself to avoid waiting in even a short line.
@9, stores like Trader Joe's are marking and charging for items that are not organic. TJ's has its own captive certifying company. Peter Laufer got interested and wrote a book after buying a can of organic black beans from Bolivia and a bag of organic walnuts labeled "Product of Kazakhstan." TJ's isn't laid back; it's part of a massive German conglomerate and has zero interest in transparency.…
When they reach the simplicity and speed of ATMs and self-pump gas, I'll use them. They're still way too slow and clunky and there's too much attention/babysitting required of the software. Any labor savings will never be passed onto the consumer though. In all aspects of daily life, we're being trained to be robots ourselves, to be more efficient profit-producers. I still use cash whenever possible, because cashless payments allow the means to insert a third-party fee/profit into the transaction where it otherwise wouldn't exist... not to mention the privacy issues with your data being sold and traded. If cash is ever gone for good, that third-party control of the card will be leveraged to the hilt, so be careful what you wish for.

The post-WWII unemployment rate was 3.5 percent. That's what you get when labor is in such high demand, employers actually have to give a shit. Government prefers 5.5 because having at least 2 percent of workers desperate to take any job suits employers just fine.
1 in 10 Americans work in the grocery industry???

True, assuming there are only 25.5 million Americans.

Or 9 million Americans if we're just talking about checkout clerks.

Anyhow, when the clerk checks out your groceries, there are 2 (or 3) people standing there for as long as it takes. [Tech note: And that's not even counting the substantial measure of idle hands required to cover stochastic demand.]

When you self-check, there's just you - and you're always there anyway when you check out. And yes, you DO get paid, in the forms of lower grocery prices in a high-volume, extremely low-margin price-competitive business. Pretty soon now you'll be getting something like $30/hour for your troubles.
It's interesting to see that the outdated "Balatro" occupation is actually alive and well at The Stranger.

Maintaining a job just for a job, or being cynical of checkouts (as if they're out to MAKE YOU WORK!!) is one of the most vacuous thoughts ever.

What's next?
Are you going to bitch about the lack of milkmen delivering dairy to your door?
Are you going to claim that having milk stocked in STORES away from your stoop is a VILE conspiracy of grocers to FORCE you to do the work of transporting the chilled lactose products to your home?

And IF THE IDEA that taking a product out of your cart (where you put it to begin with), passing it over a scanner then putting it in a bag, IS WORK to you... well then FUCK YOU.
Are you SERIOUSLY so separated from ACTUAL WORK that you think operating a SIMPLE CONVENIENCE MACHINE is "WORK"?

Was your upbringing so SHELTERED that you can't handle the (about) three extra steps, that you're now EXPECTING another human do it FOR YOU?
That's a FUCKED UP sense of self-entitlement you've got there.

To me, it's no surprise that Trader Joe's, Red Apple, and Whole Foods wouldn't have them. They're stores that cater to a specific crowd.
A crowd that no one should be proud of being a part of.
Those stores are NOT stores that are sustainable as food centers for ALL of the public.
Their products tend to be exactly the same as those available elsewhere, with the exception that they don't sport the air of self-righteous moral superiority.
But then, I'm also not a food snob or a nutritional hypochondriac fearing food monsters, so separated from the source to join whatever non-GMO, gluten-free, sugar-free, anti-HFCS, non-paraben, free-trade, free-range, anti-vax, herbal supplement, non-pvc, healing crystal, akai, hemp, kimchi, wheatgrass, magnets, "superfruit", "superberry", chia, morality-vegan, probiotic, raw-paleo-atkins bullshit fad diet that privileged yoga-yuppies are fixating on for the next week.

I LIKE self checkouts.
They're QUICK.
And the machines don't get distracted by coworkers or what I'm purchasing.
When I check out, it's FAR faster than when a bored-and-doesn't-care attendant does it.
Half of the time, the attendant is away from their post socializing, and needs to be flagged down. I've seen about a dozen stores with bells (or the occasional nasty-ass squeaky dog-toy) is sitting at the register to be used to summon the clerk.
Half the time when a attendant checks me out, I STILL end up bagging my groceries (and I'm fine with that I'll usually opt out of a bag anyways).

So fuck this glorification of checkout clerks.
Hell, fuck the defensiveness/white-knighting of anyone whose job is replaceable/automatable.
If your job is so unskilled or simple that a relatively simple machine can replace you, then your job SHOULD be automated.
There are always other jobs not requiring skill or education that can be done.
Be happy the mind-numbing job existed for as long as it did.
Time marches on and progress WILL NOT and SHOULD NOT be halted.

"Where is the satisfaction in working not even for nothing?"
What? Did you slack off during the grammar school english "don't use double-negatives" lesson?

"Working to give a business your money?"
Here we go.... Here's the crux of the self-checkout hate.
It's the "big business EVIL!" fallacy. The fear of coordinated business models.
You do understand that fear is nearly ALWAYS based out of ignorance of the topic at hand, right?

Or is it another issue at the center of this rediculous annoyance against convenience?
"The machines have to go. All of them. And humans must return to checkout stations."

Seriously, do you hear yourself? That sounds like...
The cotton gin has to go! All of them. And 'humans' must return to the plantations!
...Pick your OWN DAMN COTTON you indolent sluggard!

Hm... or maybe it's a combination of the two... ignorance based fear of companies, combined with an entitled expectation that you be waited on hand and foot by other people, to do a job that you COULD and SHOULD do yourself.. FOR yourself.

It's a fool who demands society halts progress just because some people fear change and wish to stay in one dead-end position.

Or... rather... it's a fool who writes self-important slogs for The Stranger.
I always assumed the check out people aren't intelligent enough to bother talking too. If they were, they'd have better jobs.
A cashier putting a package of raw chicken in the same bag with fresh produce was the last straw for me. Self-checkout all the way.
A cashier putting a package of raw chicken in the same bag with fresh produce was the last straw for me. Self-checkout all the way from now on.
This is like arguing that washing machines take away low-paying laundry jobs.
But you can ring in a 20$ steak as Russet Potatoes and save big money!
i like the machines they don't rip me off like people do, either through stupidity or just being a jackass and overcharging on purpose.
"I'm writing a long piece about this..."

But WHY? Have you completely run out of things to write about? Enough with the "get off my lawn" schtick, it's getting old.

I use them constantly because they do, in fact, save me time, and I'm happy to trade what barely constitutes labor to me in exchange for the minutes I would otherwise spend trapped behind the troglodyte at the front of the line trying to use a personal check or grind the poor clerk on an expired coupon or who thinks they're owed a leisurely conversation in addition to their bag full of Mallomars and off-brand cigarettes. I have noticed that Fast People (and I'm not referring to the able, merely to the quick-witted), tend to prefer the self-checkout counters. I've only inquired to a few friends about their preference on this, but I do notice that my Fast friends always give the same answer: they do it to avoid the agony of dealing with a Slow Person, whether that's the person ahead of them or the clerk. Better to do it yourself, even without a discount.
You know who doesn’t have self checkouts and hands down has the nicest, smartest staff in Seattle?


The beauty of no unions.
I only use them when I've smoked too much for human interaction.
You pay yourself for all that hard work by buying all organic and charging yourself for regular.

Drop the 9. Just drop it.
@9 - nonsense - that's the cost of doing business...c'mon now. The store is using a less effective system to save money - clearly they've made a cost of doing business decision that the labor cost savings offset the losses from coding errors.

I confess, I've used them in the past, until it really sank in that those were robots to replace people. I don't use them any longer.
I mostly go to the Red Apple, as it is just a few blocks from our house and directly across the street from the light rail station. It doesn't have self-checkouts, so it's not an issue for me. Although, according to our dear Two Replies, it is some sort of boutiquey store that I should be ashamed to go to.

When i go down the hill to the QFC I often use the self-checkout, mostly because it's sort of fun.
I'm disappointed that no one has backed up the perspective of -B- on this. Such a raging disrespect of human beings in the comments here. I think being a cashier still takes a lot of acuity, endurance and social skills and is done admirably by 99% of the people I have encountered in this job.

To smile while standing on concrete for eight hours, to remember hundreds of codes, and to remain alert and functional in the face of the disdain and complete lack of respect shown in this thread-- I doubt many of you "fast" super smart people would last a day in such a job. The self checkout robots are the last step in severing human connectivity, compassion and a sense of community where you shop.
Here in KS there's a chain called Dillons (owned by Kroger) and they renovated a shabby downtown store here in Lawrence and tried to re-brand it as a smaller, local neighborhood store - but it's really just another chain. They hired a ton of young, minimum wage workers and trained them how to be extraordinarily chipper (read:annoying) and extra helpful (read:annoying). Along with this neighborhood "upgrade" came 6 self-check out systems. Surprisingly, there are always at least 4-6 cashiers working AND the self-checkout stands seem to be fairly busy.

Same with many of the other commenters here - I tend to use both. I like the self-service for a variety of reasons: feeling anti-social, too high for eye contact, just buying tampons and a bag of chips, quicker, etc. I'm not opposed to working with the cashiers, but I hate the small talk as much as they do, and more often than not my groceries aren't bagged for shit. Time and place for both, and surprisingly enough the self-service machines rarely give me any hassle (at this store).
@98 too funny. you're telling people that use a machine to scan their own groceries and bag them that they couldn't handle using a machine to scan other peoples groceries and then bag them. lolololol
You ever go to that Safeway on upper Queen Anne Ave? Now there's the best argument around for self-checkout. They don't offer that option there, and it's a fucking nightmare to make a simple bottle of wine purchase.
@66: Do you still book airline flights with a travel agent? Go to a bank teller rather than use an ATM? How is this any different if you "prefer humans have jobs."

One has to draw a line some where.

I've been shopping at the same QFC on Broadway for over 20 years. It is part of my community. I KNOW the tellers. The one that are left. They used to be good union jobs. People could actually raise families on those jobs. Kroger busted those unions and used auto-checkout to accelerate that process.

I mean fuck it. Why don't I use free interns? Or outsource all my employees to Pakistan? Why don't I just "crowd-source" my copy writing? God I could save a ton of money in my business.

I do use human tellers for anything more complicated than withdrawals. And until there were no more travel agents I DID use them.

I don't buy books from Amazon nor have I ever set foot in a WalMart, either.

You draw a line somewhere.

Are you feeling morally insecure or something? Why the fuck do you care what my principles are?

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