OPINION: My sad admission about self-serve checkouts

THIS is not something I should be admitting but I've always been honest with you, so here goes.

I actually love, I mean really love...love, love, love...doing my own check-out at the supermarket.

I know ... sad.

I am aware it is mean of me to be taking away jobs from young ones, I hate myself for it. But there is something stupidly empowering about running your groceries through the check-out by yourself.

I enjoy everything about it.

The little "bleep" noise it makes when I put the barcode against the gadget, the speed of it ... I even like weighing my own fruit and vegies and I love watching closely to see how much everything costs.

It goes without saying I should have been a check-out chick from the moment I left school.

Maybe the novelty of it all will wear off after a while, but for now I am savouring the happy little kick I get out of doing my own check-out thing.

I do recall misty but fond memories of a time when you not only had a check-out person to assist you in the supermarket, you also had another standing by to pack your groceries.

Two people on the one check-out.

Hard to believe.

It makes you ponder on all the other myriad stuff we have to do by ourselves now.

It seems like a life time ago that someone actually filled your car up with petrol for you.

You won't know what that was like unless you are of a decent age, but they were happy days when a man (it was almost always a man) came out of the service station shop, gave you a cheery greeting, filled up your tank and then cleaned your windscreen.

You might think I'm talking about some fantasy land of aeons ago, but the man actually cleaned your windscreen as a matter of course without being asked to.

He often asked if you'd like your oil checked too, and - this might be really difficult to comprehend - he even offered to check the air in your tyres.

I do not jest.

If you think about it, we are being asked to do so much ourselves now - and unlike the grocery check-out, most of it is not fun.

I remember a time when you actually had someone in a bank hand over your money during a withdrawal transaction, and spoke to you and sometimes smiled. I kid you not.

I am old enough to remember when there was a person in the elevator in department stores and places of business to press the button for you.

This one is hard to get your head around if you are youthful and experienced in pressing elevator buttons but in the dark old days we needed someone to attend to this taxing chore.

Even harder to comprehend is that we once had a person waiting for us in the loo to hand us paper towels.

Not everywhere. Just posh places.

If you find yourself exhausted at the end of each day it is probably because of all the extra work involved in normal routine living.

Now we are obliged to fetch and pour our own water in some cafes, put tickets in machines to park the car, pay all our bills without the assistance of a person, check ourselves in at machines at airports, let ourselves into hotel rooms...oh, the hardship of all ... I need a lie down.



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