You might think that title is referring to what extremely ripped, vainglorious, macho types do in front of a mirror, but, no. I’m talking about this somewhat new phenomenon of being able to scan and bag your own groceries, toiletries and apparantly home improvement necessities.
I’ve got a love-hate relationship with the self-checkout. On the one hand, I’m thinking, “Oh, this is just beautiful. Yet another job that used to be done by humans is being eliminated. We’re now one step closer to what history will refer to as The Great Robot Takeover of the Middle 21st Century.”
But on the other hand, I love me some self-checkout! It isn’t so much that I enjoy scanning and bagging my own stuff, it’s that for the most part, people are still timid about using them. So, I can be at my trusty local Kroger during their busiest hour and the traditional lines will be backed up past the gossip rags and impulse-buy racks, but three of the four self-checkout stations are as vacant as a Young Republicans meeting in San Francisco. Or, alternately, a Young Democrats meeting in Crawford. All this to say, I never have to wait in line.
Lately, I’ve been noticing that the general population seems to be slowly but surely getting over their fear of trusting themselves to scan and bag. This gradual shift has led to two things: the first is that I’m now as convinced as ever that our increasing reliance upon and trust in the Robots will ultimately lead to their successful coup when the time is right; the second is that I no longer have what amounts to my own personal checkout lane. Admittedly, that second bit is pretty selfish in light of the first, but what’re ya gonna do?
I propose a simple solution. I think if we spread the word that the self-checkout lanes are unreliable they’ll get a bad reputation. Then people will trend back to the good ol’ days of waiting in line for a pro and I can go back to banking on a no-wait trip to the Krog.