Human interaction

In the supermarket today, I was standing at one end of the tills and all the machine tills were closeby, closest to where I was – very few people availing themselves.

Instead, the human manned or womanned tills were bursting – long, long lines of people willing to wait half an hour if necessary for a short time with the lady.

Now that has to say something to the banks and the supermarkets and McDonald’s – people prefer human interaction. My mate is fine going to that machine and punching in things and paying, I’m not, I want a human being taking my order, I don’t care what mistakes they make.

And further proof, if needed, was one particular lady who is very friendly to customers – her line was stretching right back to the shelves, others of a more grumpy disposition not so much. There’s a definite message the chains are ignoring.

In fact, I would go so far as to say I’d go to a supermarket with cashiers rather than machines any time – the last vestiges of the corner store mentality perhaps.


This Project Fear thing is a way for supermarkets to swindle customers.

ASDA were running the smoked salmon for £2.50 late last year, then went to £3.00, then £3.50 and yesterday was £3.99 for exactly the same product.

Sheer greed. I’ll not buy that any more. So I bought the salmon steak. If they keep that up, then I’m going elsewhere – we have two other major choices in our area.

22 comments for “Human interaction

  1. ivan
    February 22, 2019 at 23:47

    There is another factor at work regarding the auto tills – it takes much longer to put a full shop through them and one is very likely to make mistakes and that takes even longer to correct. Go through one once and you will never do it again.

    • February 23, 2019 at 01:05

      Yes, I did. As you say, never again … and that was with a store lady doing it for me.

  2. dearieme
    February 23, 2019 at 00:35

    I’m tall, have a bad back, and need reading glasses. Auto-tills are a torture.

    My wife likes the Waitrose system whereby she takes a scanner with her and scans each thing in as she loads the trolley. Then she pays by credit card at a dedicated point where a device downloads the data from the scanner, and pushes the trolley straight out to the car.

    Tesco locally have adopted this system too. I’ll be interested to learn whether the Tesco customers are honest enough for the system to work well without a huge cost for trolley checks.

    • February 23, 2019 at 01:04

      These are newfangled systems I know not yet of. Interesting.

      • dearieme
        February 23, 2019 at 18:59

        “New fangled” in that our local Waitrose has been doing it for more than I decade.

  3. February 23, 2019 at 02:14

    I prefer human cashiers at supermarkets.
    That said, were I to visit a fast food joint (extremely rare), I’d prefer an automated kiosk over the innumerate mouthbreathers employed there.

  4. Mark Matis
    February 23, 2019 at 02:43

    Not sure what’s going on with your self-checkout over there, but here in east central Florida they seem to work fine. We do, of course, have some people who cannot comprehend how they work, and those folks tend to go cashier. Others of us do it ourselves, and there is one cashier in the area to help out if something simply will not scan properly. Is there any chance your self-scanners are made by the same people who make the vote counting machines for the hives???

    • FrankH
      February 23, 2019 at 06:05

      Self checkouts work fine, we’ve just got some Luddites. 🙂

      I use a self checkout whenever I have half a dozen or so items provided they all have bar codes. If I have a trolley full or stuff that needs weighing I’ll take it to a proper till.

      As for shopping at Asda, I tried that once when I realised I was doing almost all of my shopping in Tesco and thought I was getting into a rut. At the checkout there was one person being served and one person waiting in front of me. In Tesco that would have been about 5 minutes, in Asda it took half an hour. I think they choose to employ the thickest, slowest people they can find. I haven’t been back.

      • Mark Matis
        February 23, 2019 at 16:07

        Our Wally World self-checkouts have scanners that can weigh produce. You tell it what type you’ve got and then plop the item on the scanner. It weighs and prices and off you go. There is at least one Wally employee in the self-checkout area to keep an eye on cheaters and to take a scanner out of service if it isn’t working correctly, and they seem to stay on top of that fairly well. Same for Lowe’s and Home Despot.

  5. February 23, 2019 at 06:28

    We do, of course, have some people who cannot comprehend how they work, and those folks tend to go cashier.

    Then colo[u]r me non-comp on these things, it’s a wonder I can tie my own shoelaces, let alone run a few websites.

    The other aspect, dear guys, is that we might have a better class of cashier oop norf where I iz? Nice, non-city folk who call you ‘Luvly’ as your name and want to know how the pain is down your left diode? 🙂

  6. February 23, 2019 at 07:27

    I prefer a check-out chick. Or chap. We have both. I range across several large stores widely apart depending on where I happen to be and in need of other non-supermarket items.

    I do not mind a queue. I have all the time in the world. I carry a Rosary and can quite happily stand and wait and knock off two or threee decades as I wait. Herslf up there does not mind either.

    Self-check-out is not my bag. You cannot give a cheery encouraging remark or two to a machine, as one can to a youngster earning a crust.

    • February 23, 2019 at 09:07

      I do not mind a queue. I have all the time in the world.

      My view too – and those gals like a bit of a natter as well.

  7. Andy5759
    February 23, 2019 at 11:53

    I have two rules of thumb regarding shopping. Always use cash, never use self checkouts. Imagine life without either cash or human interaction, we would all have to go contactless.

    • February 23, 2019 at 12:26

      Yep, never use contactless. Main reason is They are pressuring us to.

  8. Penseivat
    February 23, 2019 at 12:44

    I regularly use the automated checkouts. One section is for those who use the portable zappers, where you put the goods straight into your bag and then download the info from the zapper into the checkout machine. The other one I use for a few purchases and self scan them at the till.
    The staff at the store apparently look forward to me shopping there as they consider the sight and sound of this dippy senior citizen talking back to the machine highly entertaining. My comment to a lady shopper that the machine uses a woman’s voice to stop men shoppers arguing with it, and her amused reply, led to a coffee, and further coffee meetings. For two lonely, widowed, shoppers who missed interesting conversations with interesting people, this innocent pastime has cheered us both up no end.
    So try the auto tills, and talk back to them. You never know what will happen.

    • February 23, 2019 at 13:41

      That’s more bizarre than anything I could dream up. 🙂

      • Mark Matis
        February 23, 2019 at 16:03

        Oh come on now! Surely you can’t expect us to believe THAT…

        • Penseivat
          February 23, 2019 at 20:19

          We’re going to a ballroom dancing weekend in March. Separate rooms obviously. If you’ve never been lonely following the loss of a loved one, don’t knock it, and just be pleased that a chance comment can lead to a friendship.

          • Mark Matis
            February 23, 2019 at 23:15

            Sorry! My comment was not aimed at you, but instead at JH for pretending that was “more bizarre” than anything he could dream up…

            I mean, have you seen some of his posts here???

          • February 23, 2019 at 23:18

            Damn, wanted Penseivat to take the blame. Curses.

  9. Toodles
    February 23, 2019 at 16:10

    P! Enjoy your coffee and rich conversation!!!!

    • February 23, 2019 at 16:16

      Hello and welcome.

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