Friday, October 21, 2016

The Left-Cheek Ass Clown for October, 2016

Halloween is ten days away, the election is 18 days away, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Christmas is not far behind that. Tempus is, as my mother would have said, fugiting ... and it's time to announce

The Left-Cheek Ass Clown for October, 2016

Although it's tempting to turn to the bumper crop of worthy* politicians, entertainers, and other yahoos for the award, this time I'm turning in a whole different direction. Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Readers, the Left-Cheek Ass Clown Award for October, 2016 is presented to

Dr Howard Schneider,
Inventor of the Automated Self-Checkout System

No Photo Available

In 1992, Dr Schneider installed the first supermarket self-checkout system in the Price Chopper Supermarket in New York. Five years later, in 1997, NCR prototyped it's first self-checkout machines, and by 2003, automated checkouts had become widespread not only in supermarkets, but in many other stores as well.

Dr Schneider envisioned his automated checkout system as a way of speeding up supermarket checkouts, eliminating errors caused by cashiers keying prices incorrectly into their cash registers, and - ultimately - allowing supermarkets to save money by eliminating cashiers altogether. The reality, as we now know, is a bit different: as automated self-checkout systems have proliferated, many cashiers have, in fact, been ... uh ... cashiered, but the speedy checkouts have not materialized ... indeed, self-checkout has become an exercise in frustration for many consumers. Among the reasons: errors in price coding, scanners that are either too sensitive or not sensitive enough, scales in the bagging area that misread the weight of items that have been scanned, causing the automated process to stop until store personnel examine the items, receipt printers that quickly run out of tape and require the no-longer-available cashiers to replace them, and cash scanners that accept only pristine bills.

Perhaps it would help if the self-checkouts also dispensed Valium.

For inflicting the curse of self-checkout on hapless consumers, Dr Howard Schneider is designated as our Left-Cheek Ass Clown for October, 2016. Scan this, Doc!

Have a good day. Come back tomorrow for Week 2 of the Cartoon Saturday Halloween Spectacular. More thoughts then.


* And I use the term loosely.


eViL pOp TaRt said...

Thanks for naming the inventor of this wretched system that I try to avoid. Valium is strong medicine.

Mike said...

I never use self-checkout.

"Halloween is ten days away, the election is 18 days away..."
How will we know which day is which? (or witch)

John A Hill said...

I hate those things and refuse to use them.
If they discounted my total bill at the register, maybe. As it is they just take away somebody's job and the corporation pockets the savings.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

I never use them. Too problematic.

allenwoodhaven said...

I like the way you think. Great choice!

I refuse to use them. Next they'll be having us stocking the shelves and unloading the trucks.
I once had a cashier INSIST that it be used and did it for me so quickly I couldn't stop her and it screwed up the change.
I was furious and will never return there.

Big Sky Heidi said...

Those self-checking stations are trouble.