Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Drones

The other day I was at the grocery store with my daughter. She was mentioning how she noticed that this particular grocery store has self-checkouts like so many other department stores in the city are installing. She could tell from my response of "Ya, they do" that I wasn't delighted about it. So she asked me why.

I explained that the self-checkout system takes jobs away from people. We live in a society where everything is not just becoming automated, but in so doing is becoming dependent upon technology, which I don't think is such a good thing. I would rather employ a person to do that job and have human interaction at the checkout than have a drone robot do it and in so doing turning ourselves into drones as well.

Technology can serve us as a convenience. But when it comes to taking jobs away from humans, I am so not into it. What also bothers me is that if I step into the 10 items or less checkout someone often lets me know that the self-checkout has less of a line and that I can go there if I like. I always decline and let them know that I would rather employ a real person than a machine. They look at me, stunned.

I think that the offer is also an implication that the public needs to be "trained" to just go for what is supposedly faster and more convenient. I am not a drone that needs to be trained. I will not simply do what I am told to do. I will do what I know in my heart is the right thing to do and make sure that the store knows that I am insisting that a person be employed. If there comes a time when a person is not employed to do this job, no matter how long I have to wait in line, I will not be shopping there anymore.

Go ahead, be a rebel.

Blessed Be

Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

Gail said...

I prefer a real person to the self-checkouts too. I don't know how many times I've used these machines, but it seems that every time I do, a real person has to come over to swipe their card to get the thing to go back a step or something, because I wasn't fast enough or hadn't put my purchases in the bag. I find it an exercise in frustration and a challenge at the same time - Will I get through the process quickly enough this time without any errors or hearing the machine asking me more than once to scan my card? These self-checkouts seem to be a test of a person's dexterity and level of technological expertise and ability to learn a new task in a short amount of time. If more and more of these machines are installed, those of us who are technologically challenged or who have a fear of such technology will have to employ personal shoppers to shop for them. I can see the elderly especially, no longer being able to enjoy an opportunity to get out of the house, to be among other people as they pick up one or two items at the store. Sometimes, a trip to the store may be the only reason a person goes out. I sincerely hope I'm not around to see the day when no human cashiers greet you at the checkout.