Field of Science

Monday morning musings

It's a pretty springy morning, but it doesn't leave TPP in a very upbeat mood.  An article in the Chicago Tribune was about the disappearance of check out lines, and their replacement with self-serve scanning lines.  The whole article made it sound inevitable, but the article never mentioned the loss of cashiers whose jobs are just disappearing. And so who does the scanning, well you do, working for free as a cashier.  People are apparently shopping online for their weekly groceries, and having them all ready for a drive by pick up, or even a delivery.  And the excuse is too busy, no time.
TPP is one of those people who never uses a drive-up lane or window.  Going into the store always seems to take less time.  Maybe if you have a backseat full of kids to herd around, this makes sense.  
And in the same vein. The Phactors live about 20 mins walk from a small urban center and a grocery store is a similar distance in the opposite direction.  A CVS or Walgreens is at either location.  No one ever thinks to walk to either one, although TPP does recognize the lugging a gallon of milk is a load, even with a good shopping bag.  Now that the weather is warmer, walking becomes once again a feasible, and enjoyable what with all the plants coming out of dormancy.  TPP knows that he sees way more things than most people in terms of trees and gardens.  
In fact TPP is going to relocate his kitchen garden to a lawn area that receives more sunlight.  So springy in this case is a reminder of the work that needs to be done part of our gardening exercise program.


William M. Connolley said...

> self-serve scanning lines... who does the scanning, well you do, working for free as a cashier

Our local (upmarket, Waitrose) supermarket offers this option. I always use it. Because (a) there are no queues and (b) you don't need to unpack your carefully packed bag and repack it. So everyone gains. Apart from the cashiers, who lose their mindless soul-destroying jobs.

The Phytophactor said...

The key word is jobs, and the loss thereof. Our closest market has a checkout cashier who always calls TPP "Steve", it isn't my name but somehow he thinks it is and he's always cheerful and helpful, but isn't cut out for very many jobs that might be more complicated or more demanding. And I worry about what will happen to this fellow when he is finally made obsolete.