Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Rage Against the Machine

We are living in a world where machines are becoming so advanced that they make us look stupid and sometimes these machines can outwork us, providing more efficient results. I work as a cashier at The Home Depot and in recent years a “self check-out” service has been made available to customers, and when I say “made available” I mean “has been forced upon them”. A common complaint among customers is that these machines are taking someone’s job away. However, little do they know, cashiering is a job in which little skill is required to succeed at it and virtually anyone can do it. Yes, this means even customers can do it. The customers complaining about these self check-out machines have neglected the thought that if they did their own cashiering there would be more opportunities for associates to provide customer service throughout the store, ensure items are stocked and inventory is ordered, and deter theft. It may seem that the consumer does not significantly benefit from cashiers being used in other parts of the store, but let me introduce you “shrink”. “Shrink” is a common word used in the retail world that basically means a store has more or less of an item than is showed in the inventory. “Shrink” normally can be caused by inaccuracy in inventory counts, theft, damages, and markdowns. With more employees working towards no or very low shrink numbers, the consumer will in turn see lower prices on their favorite items. Now if only customers would stop swearing at the machines then maybe this goal would be attainable.

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