There has been a great debate over the last several years about how good or how bad self checkout is at Walmart and other stores. One side says it destroys jobs. The other side says it's the greatest thing ever. Here's the thing, there is a big hypocrisy to the debate over self checkout.

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Self Check Out Complaining

One of my co-worker's friends posted on Facebook the other day about hating Walmart because their local store went to all self checkout lanes. Their main complaint was standing in a long line then having to do everything themselves. I get it. As someone who has never worked retail, I am not trained to work a cash register, neither are most of us. But I see why this was considered a convenience for Walmart to start doing.

Yes, Walmart gets to pay less people to do a job. Yes, it makes Walmart's bottom line that much bigger. Yes, it's a great thing for Walmart as a business. That's what Walmart is, a business. Whatever can save them some money, they will do, as any business owner will do.

And, to be a little snarky, they probably got tired of you complaining about the three day old cashier that was having a little trouble getting everyone checked out.

You see, that's where the hypocrisy lies in this debate. The same people that complain that self checkout, and Walmart, is taking away jobs are the same people that will be three deep in a line with a real cashier and start huffing and puffing because it's taking too long. As another co-worker said when we were talking about this in the hallway, "pick your struggle."

I'm not paid to be a cashier so why do I have to check out my own stuff?

So yeah, there's some truth to this statement. But also this is the most overused rebuttal there is. Is it really that disheartening or really that much work to scan your own items and then pay for them? No. Is it more a fear of technology? Yes.

The Jobs Haven't Disappeared, Just Converted to Another Position

Being a cashier is not the only job you can do at Walmart. They have greeters, stockers, cleaning crew, management, because of curbside pickup, they have to hire people to gather what you've ordered online, bag it and load it in your car. Jobs haven't gone away, really, just shifted because of modern commerce.

Think about this as well, where do you see self checkouts, Walmart and grocery stores (I'm not going to get into the freak out by people when Brookshire's added self checkout lanes.) Go to Broadway Square Mall or the Longview Mall. Go to a department store. Go to just about any other type of business and you will see a real cashier. Self checkout is not becoming the norm.

The Convenience

Tyler's Walmarts are pretty high volume stores. There are still real cashiers at all of them, albeit maybe just three or so. But guess where most people are going, to the self checkout lane. Why? Because you don't want to wait in a line with a real cashier because you think it will take too long to checkout.

I love self checkout. I love it because I usually don't have a basket full of stuff when I go shopping. On the rare occasion that I do, I find a real cashier and checkout there. Otherwise, I use self checkout. It's quick and easy.

Bottom Line...

...Walmart will continue to use, and expand, self checkout no matter how much you get on social media and share a meme complaining, or just complaining yourself, about how bad self checkout is. Walmart is a business at the end of the day. Any way they can save a buck or two they will do. Wouldn't you if you owned a business?

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