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Self Checkouts Becoming More Common In Duluth/Superior: Like Them Or Not?

photo: Ken Hayes

Yesterday, I was heading towards the checkouts when I saw long lines of people waiting for a cashier.  Of course there were multiple self checkouts with shorter lines of people.  I still think these things scare a lot of people, worried about trying something new.

There was one woman ahead of me who was fighting with the payment system and getting increasingly frustrated.  I almost offered to help her figure it out, but then realized she was an off duty Walmart employee buying her snack.  So apparently even their own employees struggle with these things.

If these things worked smoothly, I probably wouldn’t have a problem using them.  However, here are the things that go wrong with self checkouts.

“Please place your item in the bagging area, or skip bagging this item”–  I’m sorry I can’t fit a 30 pack of toilet paper in the little plastic bag.  I press skip…

“Unexpected item in the bagging area.” What the hell?  I didn’t put anything there?

“Please place your item in the bagging area”  Oh god not again. I can’t fit this huge thing of cat food in the bag area…

“Please wait while a clerk comes to assist you.”

Then usually I get an annoyed employee who just comes over at types in a code without even saying a word to you.

You better make sure you have the right onions!

Sweet yellow onions were on special one time at the grocery store, so I grabbed a few of them and went through the self checkouts and everything seemed to go fine, until an employee chased me down to make sure they weren’t white onions.  I was already almost in the parking lot.  I felt like a criminal. 


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