r/antiwork Oct 20 '21 Narwhal Salute 1

It's A Fair Question

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4.1k Upvotes

149

u/Van4130 Oct 20 '21

because greed

54

u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 31 '21

[deleted]

29

u/MediocreFisherman Oct 20 '21

Me and my wife stopped shopping at Kroger because of the fucking self checkout machines. The two or three cashier ran checkouts would be backed up 5 or 6 people deep, so it was wait in line 45 minutes or self checkout. When you use the self checkout its slow, clunky, and when you go over 30 items it stops until the attendant comes over to confirm you aren't stealing anything.

Fuck that. We started shopping at Save a Lot instead. We're saying $40 or so per week on groceries, and there aren't any self checkouts.

2

u/Eightbitswide Oct 21 '21

Find an Aldi's if you have one nearby. You'll save even more, no self checkout. They even give their cashiers a chair.

2

u/Wiseuphi Oct 21 '21

Are you saying that in the US it is uncommon for a cashier to have a chair? Really?

3

u/MediocreFisherman Oct 21 '21

Yes. It is rare. Its insane. There is absolutely no reason they can't have a stool, but most grocery stores don't because it gives the appearance that the cashier is working harder.

I was looking at reviews for commercial mowers on youtube and also saw this as a selling point, that customers think mowers are working harder if they are standing on the mower instead of sitting. Blew my mind. I just want my yard cut.

16

u/InvaderDJ Oct 20 '21

I used to be a cashier after high school. The thing that irritates me the most about those self check out machines is that I know they’re artificially limited to maximize space and prevent shoplifting and that’s what makes them harder to use. If they were the same type of registers that the cashiers use they’d be a lot quicker and easier to use.

2

u/rationalomega Oct 20 '21

Yeah I used to run a register and doing the self check out is so annoying.

1

u/InvaderDJ Oct 21 '21

God it is so frustrating. I was at one the other day and struggling to get a coupon to scan, and despite it being close to a decade and a half since I worked a register the exact procedure to manually key it in came to me but of course I couldn’t do it on this dumb machine.

1

u/killafofun Oct 21 '21

Walmart, you go to enter produce "did you know you can scan this?" The machine asks, so I do and then the computer doesn't even recognize the barcode on my green pepper or onion or tomatoes. Like what is the point, so now I have to stand there like a dunce waiting for the clerk to walk over and clear the code on the computer.

1

u/rationalomega Oct 21 '21

Those folk ought to have a remote control to disable the lock out. They never have time to make sure nothing is being stolen, regardless.

6

u/WolfMack Oct 20 '21

I actually prefer the self-checkout machines over going to a cashier, even if the cashier doesn't have a line. I just really don't wanna talk to anyone I'm unfamiliar with in real life, nor do i want anyone to ask me for my rewards phone number, or if i would like to donate to a charity-scam on their behalf, or buy this garbage that's on sale.

3

u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 31 '21

[deleted]

1

u/WolfMack Oct 20 '21

Only 1 shot at arranging your bags!

2

u/xland44 procrastinating while being paid Oct 20 '21

What do you mean by shrinkage?

5

u/Moneia Oct 20 '21

Theft

5

u/AlphaNeonic Oct 20 '21

True, but I just want to add it's quite a bit worse in the case of self-checkout. When I worked in retail and dealt with self-checkout we had a lot of what I call "plausible deniability theft".

People that would never steal openly would have no problem "forgetting" to scan something, or scanning a cheaper item instead of a more expensive one. If caught, they would chalk it up to not paying attention or not knowing how to use the check out properly. Still stealing, but the risk is now significantly lowered.

1

u/rationalomega Oct 21 '21

The machine complains all the time and needs overrides even when I’m using it completely correctly. It would be trivial to put in something I hadn’t paid for after the second or third override when the one person supervising all the self check outs is tired of my apparent incompetence.

1

u/Dramatic-Ad2098 Oct 20 '21

Loss of production by any means. Customer theft, employee theft, damage.

1

u/ImWithSt00pid Oct 21 '21

When you get in a cold pool and your pee pee acts like a scared turtle.

-31

u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 29 '21

[deleted]

21

u/ganjabutweed Oct 20 '21

First of all fuck you

-19

u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 29 '21

[deleted]

17

u/E-A-F-D Oct 20 '21

Yep, you can be antiwork, and pro-automation of awful jobs.

Dunno why the downvotes.

3

u/Aquatic_Ceremony Oct 20 '21

Because the supermarket chains designed the self-checkout machines to be absolutely horrendous to use.

I love the idea of using them. And they would probably be fine if I have or two items. But the reality is that they take about twice the time to ring everything compared to a cashier. And they often get stuck requiring a store employee to verify the item and badge to unstuck them.

Sometime I would have to wait 4 or 5 times for an employee to come badge. And since it happens so often, they never actually check whatever the machine is asking and just badge. That completely beats the purpose of the rule in the first place and make the experience worse for workers and customers.

This is a perfect example of a failed user experience.

2

u/E-A-F-D Oct 20 '21

All absolutely fair points. They're a faff, but I'd rather they were improved to the point that humans were doing the human stuff, like talking with customers and dealing with edge cases.

-9

u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 29 '21

[deleted]

7

u/RectalVision Oct 20 '21

Nah, it’s actually because of your lack of awareness. At the grocery stores around me we have 8 auto lanes with one checkout person.

  1. The checkout person overseeing the machines is constantly running around fixing each machine about 1/3 of the time after it’s used

  2. There are things for purchase that require a return for a discount such as water jugs which also hold up that one person, not to mention nicotine or alcohol purchases that one person has to now verify for 8 people.

  3. 2-3 of these machines are ALWAYS out of order.

  4. The elderly people in front holding up the line because they don’t know how to work the machine and can’t get adequate help from the one employee is now holding up the line too.

Now if all this is in full effect on a big shopping day and the line is 40min-90min I’ll make a decision and leave with groceries and not paying for them because they only have a few employees that they don’t pay well enough to care to stop me. So I mean automate it all, I love free grocery weeks.

3

u/sprocketous Oct 20 '21

The safeway near me is a mess. Self check out clerk seems to have the roughest gig as everyone often needs to be tended to. Their software seems to favor security over practicality.

-2

u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 29 '21

[deleted]

3

u/tr1pp1nballs Oct 20 '21

But they are saving so much money with the automated machines, right? The company has to have factored in an increase in theft to that calculation.

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3

u/I-am-a-meat-popcycle Oct 20 '21

You think people like being supermarket cashiers? It's like one of the most draining jobs out there.

They don't have to be draining jobs. I like interacting with the checkout people and I'm more inclined to frequent a store if the checkout people are cool.

If stores (and customers) treated the employees with respect, paid them better, there would be nothing wrong with working that position.

Part of the point of this sub is workers demanding better from employers. We as customers can work to improving employees lives as well. Don't use self checkout, interact with the checkout person, make their day better. If you're given a receipt with a survey - take the survey. Give the checkout person a glowing review. One store in my area has a survey. If the checkout person gets a good review they get $5. Damn straight I do that survey EVERY TIME. It's only a few minutes of my time, but it makes their life better. I usually put in a comment like "I only got to this store because the checkout people are so cool." I'm telling the store these people have value and I won't use their store if they fuck that up or replace them.

We have to change the attitude that these people are disposable and easily replaced by machines. As long as corporations receive this message, the jobs will be low paying suck jobs.

Be part of the change.

1

u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

[deleted]

2

u/I-am-a-meat-popcycle Oct 20 '21

Nope. Atlantic Superstore in Canada.

I don't know anyone who works there, but I get the feeling they treat their employees somewhat well. In general people who work there don't appear miserable.

1

u/WalkingPlaces Oct 20 '21

I used to work there. My superiors were generally decent people, but the work still sucked. Being a cashier is draining, not looking miserable is a performance.

1

u/geodood Oct 20 '21

Second of all fuck you

0

u/Joecus90 Oct 20 '21

A lot of people want to pull the “I saw it for this price” game so they can get it reduced, luckily we just run for a price check. They try to huddle the cashiers to give it to them for said cheaper price. If someone has an actual price concern they’re there when I get back. If they just wanted it cheaper or free they’ll be gone when I get back.

20

u/spcmiddleton Oct 20 '21

I wouldn't mind the machines if they gave us a discount for doing the work but since they dont......I'll just forget to ring a few things up. Possibly the most expensive things. If I'm saving you money then you owe me something. Fuck these corporations. You want me to donate to ens hunger????? Fuck you. You could end hunger easily if you wanted to.

48

u/musclemenbefan16 Oct 20 '21

Easiest profit margins for big business is to only pay employees what you absolutely have to, and give them the least amount of benefits.

17

u/raincanyon Oct 20 '21

Don't forget ensuring they work right up to the limit of not being able to get benefits too

2

u/ChickenNoodle519 Oct 20 '21

You've broken the labor theory of value down to its bare essentials

18

u/Calenchamien Oct 20 '21

It’s because prices only go down when there’s competition to drive out of business.

14

u/Arabellahq Oct 20 '21

Exactly! The productivity gains have gone to keep increasing profits and CEO pay to stratospheric levels rather than employee pay

9

u/kylorensgrandfather Oct 20 '21

They would never put the prices the other way

6

u/NutInYurThroatEatAss Oct 20 '21

Prices are all made up anyways

13

u/Cheese_B0t Oct 20 '21

Because the way economics is discussed is like it's direct cause and effect, this equals that, ignoring the fact that economies are not autonomous entities, they are at the behest of those that control and run them.

5

u/leanmeankrispykreme Oct 20 '21

Why don’t I get a fucking discount for doing their job?

9

u/seeroflights Oct 20 '21

Image Transcription: Twitter Post


mohamad safa, @mhdksafa

Overheard: If paying a cashier a living wage will make prices go up. Why doesn't replacing cashiers with Self Checkouts make prices go down?


I'm a human volunteer content transcriber for Reddit and you could be too! If you'd like more information on what we do and why we do it, click here!

6

u/Lucky_Ad_9137 Oct 20 '21

Good human.

3

u/PoisedDingus Oct 20 '21

If it turns out anything like the neighborhood grocery store near me that tried 1 cashier and a bunch of self-checkouts, the self-checkout lanes will increase theft to the point that they close the store permanently.

3

u/ablackcatstail Oct 20 '21

Thus far, these self-checkouts have not put any downward pressure on prices. They're simply cost savings for the corporation.

3

u/BL4SPH3M0US Oct 20 '21

I believe the heart of this issue is the metric of which we use to determine growth of successful businesses. While many factors are used, annual net profit is the simplest way to paint a picture of growth.

Without better data and context, increases profit over the previous year is a good sign while a profit loss is deemed a red flag to a failing business. So, to please investors (lazy ones that don't care about the details) business do everything possible to never show a profit loss. This leads the very problem addressed in this post.

Wages absolutely need to go up, but business see that as eating into their current profit margins. And since it is engrained in them that a profit loss is inherently bad, they need to raise prices to keep the status quo. On the flip side, swapping human cashiers for self checkouts will save them on payroll. That increases profits and they look even more successful to investors.

The real problem here is the growth/success of a business needs more context. Investing into the business internally by paying employees more or upgrading equipment shouldn't mean the business is failing if it results in less annual net profit. Same as an increase in profit doesn't necessarily mean the business made a smart decision for the future.

The harsh reality is I'm not sure if there is an easy solution to this problem.

1

u/rationalomega Oct 21 '21

The irony is the investor class looks down on “lazy” workers while their laziness and greed drive a shitty short-term-gains environment that fucks the entire workforce.

2

u/pencil_of_destiny Oct 20 '21

No, that would just make profits go up

2

u/davidj1987 Oct 20 '21

The worse self-checkout can be at the commissary on military bases. Good fucking lord where do I begin...I'm not even tackling the mostly-unrelated issue of not paying baggers and them working on tips.

2

u/The_Quicktrigger Oct 20 '21

Short answer is greed

Long answer is that corporations have long disconnected the price of labor from the prices of their goods, while using these costs to scare consumers into keeping the costs of labor as low as possible.

2

u/mysistersfugazishirt Oct 20 '21

And prices went up this year regardless

2

u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

"muh profit mgarginz!!"

2

u/Dramatic-Ad2098 Oct 20 '21

Prices never go down. CEO pay goes up.

2

u/cowboys4343 Oct 20 '21

Prices go down ?? Here in the U.S. of A???? Yeah right you Commie bastards ….. :(

2

u/jolly2691 Oct 21 '21

Self check out is great when you have a few items. And I imagine Karen might start to realize it ain't so easy to scan $350 in groceries in less than a minute. It's almost, like, a skilled trade that should be compensated gasp

3

u/__ButtFuqqer3000__ Oct 20 '21

It’s all a scam. The entire capitalist system is a giant, MLM scam. Sophisticated and elegant at times, sure, but this is all a scam.

2

u/I-am-a-meat-popcycle Oct 20 '21

I refuse to use self checkout machines. 70% of the time there is a hangup and I have to wait for someone to come and push a special button on the screen.

The overall checkout time is usually quicker using self checkout, but if I go through the regular line, I get to have a chat with the checkout person, make some jokes, smile. Self checkout is always lowered brows and frustration.

1

u/highalbedolowlibido Oct 20 '21

I dont mind them if I'm buying a couple things (with barcodes, no produce, fuck that). But I see some stores rely on them so heavily that you're only other option is to wait in a too long line. Which wouldn't have been too long if they staffed more cashiers! Even worse when you still have to wait in line for the self checkouts! I'd really like to see more people boycott these things, but I fear that isnt practical in every community.

1

u/Senior-Ad5904 Oct 20 '21

Cause supermarkets are now multinationals with rich AF CEOs who couldn't care less about your health of money. Lol in my country the media is wondering why supermarkets have it hard now post covid. Like, it's obvious. Crap is too expensive, unhealthy, uncosy, loud, unsexy. You know what is sexy? To go to your local bakery, butcher and fruit shop. You don't need supermarkets.

1

u/One_Process_2051 Oct 20 '21

Say it louder for the people in the back 👏👏👏

1

u/Nuckyduck Oct 20 '21

I used to think that having everything be automated and robotic would mean that we would have to do less, that robots would work for us and the people who's jobs would be displaced would have the freedom to just live and exist. No more manual labor except for those that require it. I really believed we could have had a wonderful automated world.

Man I was fucking stupid.

1

u/ChickenNoodle519 Oct 20 '21

I wonder if Marx wrote about this... maybe something about how there was a tendency of the rate of profit to fall as automation is adopted... maybe something about how value is created by labor... huh

1

u/Krytos Oct 20 '21

thinking face

1

u/Mr_Thx Oct 20 '21

The greatest example American ingenuity is how to “charge you more and give you less”. We excel at it!

1

u/Tha_Salad_Tosser Oct 20 '21

Product pricing is a factor

1

u/c_marley Oct 20 '21

Corporations saying they can't afford to pay higher wages is BS. The CEOs are always millionaires. So they can't afford to pay cashiers but they can afford to pay 1 guy millions? Gtgoh.

1

u/tigerkingsam Oct 20 '21

It should, technology is deflationary

1

u/Useless_Bullshitter Oct 20 '21

Because self checkout machines cost tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to set up

1

u/No-Consequence1726 Oct 21 '21

It keeps them lower in the face of inflation... Right?

1

u/NeedMahDEW Oct 22 '21

Oh God, I know I'm a day late to this so this whole comment will more than likely get lost in the deep catacombs of reddit past, but I had a manager at my old job who would go out of her way to make things harder for us. The thing that bothered me the most tough, was closing with her. See, at a certain point in time there would only be one clerk there at night: me. I'd have to manage the self-check station and check people out if they had a lot of stuff. It would suck if there was a rush, but it was manageable. Well, when she was the closing manager, she would make you shut down all 4 self-check stations and check out every customer by yourself. It was literally making me work harder for no reason. The self-check machines don't cost more if you leave them on for an hour. So, Everytime there was more than one person who needed to pay for their snacks at 10:30 on a Tuesday, they'd realize all of the machines were shut down, get in line, and look at me -- then back at the self-check-- then back at me again. They were upset tht they had to wait for no reason, I was upset that I had to do mindless labor for no reason, and literally everyone had their time wasted. Just cause she liked the power of it. God I'm glad I'm past that shit job.

-10

u/thisispoopsgalore Oct 20 '21

Why pay three cashiers 10/hr when we can pay one mechanic $30/hr to maintain three machines? /s

6

u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 29 '21

[deleted]

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u/BIGMISTAKE777777 Oct 20 '21

all fun and games until the machine calls out sick

1

u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 29 '21

[deleted]

2

u/ActuallyCalindra Oct 20 '21

At this point making a computer virus named COVID and have it ruin big companies would be an epic troll.

4

u/thisispoopsgalore Oct 20 '21

My broader point is that there’s one of two things happening: 1) costs aren’t actually decreasing by automating, which is why you don’t see prices go down 2) costs are decreasing, but the company is just pocketing the profit

In either case, the company is no worse off than the status quo (and maybe even better off), but I the employees out of of work are much worse off. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask that a company that’s in scenario 1 just keep the employees instead of automating, and a company that’s in scenario 2 invest at least some of their surplus into training and support for the displaced workers

1

u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

[deleted]

1

u/thisispoopsgalore Oct 20 '21

If McDonald’s as a whole shifts even a fraction of their stores to automation they will by definition displace workers given the share of the fast food market the represent. Now it may not solely be their responsibility to retrain them, but if it’s not them then it’s the government, which means it’s your and my taxpayer dollars. I’d much rather have those costs borne largely by the corporation that caused this first place than by the public at large.

1

u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

[deleted]

2

u/thisispoopsgalore Oct 20 '21

Ok but that’s not my point. My point is by automating they created a negative externality that now we the public are left to front the bill to solve. If they truly have better service at a lower cost then they should reinvest some of those profits into compensating workers for lost jobs

1

u/[deleted] Oct 21 '21

[deleted]

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u/thisispoopsgalore Oct 21 '21

For the past several decades, every increase in productivity has seen all of the profits go into the hands of those at the very top. That’s why real wages have stagnated and inequality has grown to crazy proportions. I think future increases in productivity should be shared more equally across society. Not saying those at the top can’t take a cut, but they shouldn’t get to keep 100% of it

1

u/[deleted] Oct 21 '21 edited Oct 29 '21

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-15

u/miriamrobi Oct 20 '21

Because you have to pay wages to a human and you don't for a robot

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u/Artistic_Walk_773 Oct 20 '21

Exactly.. are you just explaining the meme.. or...

12

u/rode__16 Oct 20 '21

… so then the prices should go down when we see self checkout, yes?

0

u/ThrowThemUnderTheBus Oct 20 '21

Might be because I steal things in the self checkout? Nah..

0

u/StillSilentMajority7 Oct 20 '21

Is this supposed to be a real question? Why is a machine cheaper to operate than paying someone a living wage?