Now Polly\’s against mechanisation

Nationally, supermarket workforces are shrinking: 300,000 lost from retail in the past year (good reason to boycott self-checkouts).


As Uncle Milt pointed out you can create jobs easily enough by replacing shovels with teaspoons.

16 thoughts on “Now Polly\’s against mechanisation”

  1. So we look forward to Polly selling her washing machine and employing someone to beat her clothes against the rocks in a nearby stream.

  2. View from the Solent

    ‘Nationally, supermarket workforces are shrinking: 300,000 lost from retail in the past year (good reason to boycott self-checkouts).’

    Supermarkets are the only form of retail?

  3. what Roym said

    option a: pretty girl smiles at you and scans your shopping

    option b: wait ten minutes for spotty youth to confirm you’re a middle aged man legally allowed to buy a bottle of wine. Then wait another ten minutes for spotty youth to confirm the “unexpected item in the baggage area” is a f’ing bag!

  4. “the reason to boycott self checkouts is the aggravation the damn things cause.”

    Depends on what you’re buying – cans and boxes are fine, because the barcode scanner works best on those. Anything else, well, it’s mostly a crapshoot.

  5. One of my unfinished projects is to compare the policies of the modern Left with those of Colonel Sibthorp, the ultra-reactionary MP for Lincoln in the 1830s.

  6. Every time I use the self checkout I lie and tell it that I used 9 of my own bags. I will continue doing this until I have accumulated enough fraudulent Nectar points to buy a yaught.

  7. Self checkouts seem very popular in all the places I’ve seen them. Often the queue is longer than for the staffed aisles. We took to ATMs very readily too. I don’t know if it’s uniquely British, but we would really rather not have to interact with people to go about our shopping. I usually walk out if a sales assistant asks if they can help!

  8. agree with Rub – self-checkouts are so much quicker than the manned tills – unless you get behind a clueless chav who cannot locate the barcodes on his shopping or some woman buying flowers.

  9. Polly won’t employ a cook, gardener, butler, footman or chauffeur as these are all demeaning servant-style jobs. Nothing like sitting for 8 hours being ignored, or worse, by members of the public doing a brain dead job and filling your nights stacking shelves, of course.
    My youngest daughter when a teenager was hired out by us to work in ‘The Body Shop’; She was on the shop floor kneeling down collecting stuff from a ground level cupboard, one Saturday morning, when a customer casually used her back as a table for her shopping basket.
    No apology, of course.

  10. Richard.. I’m keeping my options open. But when I decide, I will restrict myself to things I can spell.

    diogenes (et al)… There does come a point when the self checkouts are not quicker, because the the number of items means that the time taken to locate the bar codes (less efficiently than someone who knows where they ate), do the packing (less efficiently than if someone else is doing the other stuff), and wait ofr assistance (more likely where you’re buying more items)… all add up to way too much. As a general rule, I think anyone who takes a trolley through is a moron who is wasting everyones time.. including their own.

  11. ….300,000 lost from retail in the past year….

    There was no tightening of belts causing shops to close, neither was there any internet shopping. It was all due to self scanning check outs.

    I wonder if internet shopping is an allowable technology?

  12. @The Thought Gang #13 – I’m pretty good at locating bar codes, and the last place I ate was in the queue at Sainsburys….

  13. Well Polly’s right- in a way. Ban automation in supermarkets and we get more jobs in supermarkets. Trouble is that as a consequence all supermarket workers will be paid less. I thought the problem with stacking shelves at Tesco was that the pay is too low, I didn’t realise they were regarded as overpayed.!

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