We’ve seen high technology replace jobs at grocery stores with self-checkouts. But now low technology is eating them too.
This is why my sister doesn’t have summer work:
Her local Hannaford supermarket replaced human baggers with these Wal-Martesque bagging turnstiles. What was often a job for students or people with disabilities has now become another duty for cashiers. And frankly, they’re not very good at it.
During my most recent trip to Hannaford, my cashier was particularly slow doing the work for meant for two people. She picked through everything one-by-one to find like items—first the canned goods, then the meats, then the frozen stuff. Each item was individually fished out, scanned, and placed into the plastic bags on the turnstile. While trying to avoid squishing my bread or cracking my eggs (work normally reserved for the bagger), she was taking up my time.
Hannaford might be saving themselves from paying minimum wage workers to share the bagging burden, but they are annoying their customers. What’s worse, shoppers often leave behind goods they’ve paid for because they were hidden somewhere on the turnstile.
For those who were luckier than my sister to get a job at Hannaford, they were probably sent to the parking lot on shopping cart duty—until someone finds a way to do that task automatically too.