Join Waukesha resident Brien Lee and his blog, Sir Fido, as they explore the city and report on the interesting things they find.
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Finally getting to know the new, efficient checkers at my local Pick 'N Save grocery store. They've got nice voices and tell me how much I spend and how much I save. They took a little getting used to, but by my third visit, tonight, I was warming up to them and even enjoying them.
The five electronic self-checkers replaced three traditional lanes about two weeks ago. The three lanes rarely were fully staffed and lines were common, so this could be an improvement, at least for the express lanes.
I did and still do enjoy a quick chat or joke with human checkers, some of whom we've known for years. Within the four or so minutes of each transaction an attempt is made at conversation, but most of the time someone is behind us so we just smile, bag and run.
There's probably a number of reasons for bringing the self-checkers in: keeping up with technology, keeping overhead costs and lines down, etc. What the live checkers see is their jobs in jeopardy. What I see is less camaraderie and an easier way to say goodbye to money. I doubt we'll see our grocery bill come down.
So far the self-checkers seem to be working out though. There's rarely a line to use them and I can buy all kinds of unhealthy junk food without feeling self-conscious about it. Now if we could just get them to call us by name. . .