I haven’t embraced the self-checkout yet. I’ve never been what the marketing gurus call, “an early adapter”. After schlepping around a store for an hour, I don’t relish the thought of having to scan and pack all of my purchases. Also, I feel like the end result of all this self-checking-out is going to be the loss of tens of thousands of American jobs. I realize that my resistance to the self-checkout isn’t going to stop the inevitable; there’s just not much of a future in the cashier profession in this country.

More to the point, I’m starting to think that some stores are actually trying to nudge us non-adapters toward the self-checkout lanes. As a case in point, go to a Sam’s Club on a Sunday and, if you don’t self-checkout, you’ll find yourself in a single-file line 20 carts deep that runs through the snack and deserts aisle all the way back to books and magazine sections.

I found myself at the end of one of these hellish queues just this past Sunday. There were only 3 lanes open for people who didn’t use the self-checkout. Surely, I thought, as I took my place at the end of the line…surely, they’ll call in reinforcements, maybe open and extra lane or two.

They did not.

Forty-five minutes. That was the length of time I waited in line for the opportunity to pay for the items in my over-stuffed shopping cart. Could I have gotten out of line and gone to self-checkout? THAT’S NOT THE POINT! Or maybe it…is? Are the Sam’s and Costco’s of America TRYING to make it so inconvenient to check out on a busy shopping day? Is the endgame here that even the tardiest of us late-adapters will be forced to scan our own stuff? If so, are the remaining cashiers aware of this? The cashiers, to their credit, were efficient and friendly. But you could tell even they knew these lines were way, way…way too long.

I’m not throwing in the towel yet, even if that’s what Walton family is hoping for. Instead, I’m going to start shopping at less convenient times. Thanks to my wonky hours, I can do my Big Box shopping at 11 am on a Tuesday. You can help in this effort. If everybody picked out a non-peak-shopping time we could really spread things out. If it makes you feel any better, you can tell yourself you’re doing it to protect all those precarious American cashier jobs. You and I will both know the truth. We are opposed to “progress” and don’t want thing to ever change for any reason.

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