Never serve yourself in a shop writes Andy Mitchell

Self service checkouts
Self service checkouts
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We’ll start the decade with an age old rant which seems to have come around again, not least because a local supermarket has hit the headlines with plans to change the way it deals with payments at self service checkouts.

Now regulars to our Wednesday gatherings will know that I’m no fan of the idea of self service shopping. So it came as no surprise that readers to The Gazette weren’t slow in having their say in the feedback columns this week.

Let’s make it clear before we go any further, you should never serve yourself in a shop.

The reasons for this are somewhat fundamental, in that the whole notion of handing over money for a service or goods is that you shouldn’t be expected to do the job for the supplier. That is factored in to the price you pay for your goods.

The second thing to consider of course is that people’s jobs depend on our need to go out and be served. If you fancy leaping on to a till yourself at the supermarket, that’s fine, but I’m guessing you’d want paying for your trouble and expertise?

Blackpool’s army of checkout operators are extremely skilled in what they do. They know the prices, they know how to do the job, and what’s even better is that in this heady march towards total automation, it’s lovely to see a friendly face for a quick “hello” or “good morning” It’s what makes us human.

When we go to see a show in town, having bought a ticket, we are not expected to get up on the stage and perform the show ourselves.

When we get on a bus, we pay the driver for our ticket, but we’re not expected to drive the bus ourselves... we leave that to the professionals.

Supermarket chains will maintain that there is a choice for the customer, and that’s fair enough...but make sure you make the right choice.

It may be a little late to start considering new year resolutions in the second week of the new decade, but if you are, then I recommend you make a pact with yourself to stop using automatic check outs, save jobs, and remember that you should never serve yourself in a shop.