Apparently whining brings out the comments...but I won't make a habit of it. Instead, I'll grumble.
Today I did some shopping at the local grocery. I used the self-check out kiosk. As I was scanning my twenty bottles of Diet Arizona Green Tea (they were on sale for a dollar a bottle - I cleared the shelf), a lady stopped and told me in no uncertain terms that by using the self-check out kiosk I was depriving people of their jobs.
I didn't pause as I told her that, no, the grocery chain might be depriving people of jobs but, since they didn't ask me if I'd rather they have fewer employees at the store just so I could check my own groceries, I didn't feel responsible. She wanted to argue some about it and made another couple of statements that I mostly ignored and then I asked her if she'd please go bother someone else with her crusade as I wasn't interested.
She made one of those little sniffy sounds and stomped off in her Birkenstocks, net bag in hand to the produce section. Nervy gal.
In fact, since I get charged exactly the same as someone who goes through the line and gets two employees' services - a checker and a bagger - it appears that I'm the one getting ripped off in this equation. As I looked around the store it also appeared that there was a 1:1 ratio of employees and customers at that moment. If they're depriving people of work because I'm using self-check out, they certainly weren't looking too understaffed, considering.
I got home and was sharing the story with my daughter, and she noted that there are the same number of check out aisles as ever in the store it's not like they closed a bunch of them down to make room for the kiosks. This is true, and I don't remember ever being there when they were all in use. My daughter is pretty smart.
Yes, self-service may cost some jobs. I don't know, I don't have the facts. But stores are in the business of serving the customer. If self-service is something customers want (and those kiosks always have people at them, so I guess it is) then it's a smart business move to put them in. I'd guess that keeping the store competitive so they don't have to go out of business and fire all the employees is a good thing. I hope the employees that lost their jobs found new ones at one of the other new, very large grocery stores that have gone up within 5 miles of here.