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Thread: Little rants that don't deserve their own thread

  1. #10091
    Faster. Than. Ever. Sloth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starla View Post
    Fuck the self checkout. They have too many errors. If the grocery store wants me to ring up my own groceries, they need to trust me to ring up my own groceries, not throw an alarm and stop the transaction when I set my purse down or don't want to bag an item. And DO NOT ask to see my receipt at the exit.
    You might be going to places with old machines, or live in an area with old machines, or maybe it's been a while since you've used them? I remember having to deal with that all the time in the beginning, but I don't find that to be a problem anymore. Maybe it's also different now because I live in an area where you have to pay for bags so the "bag or no bag" thing doesn't come up until you're done ringing everything up and are paying.

    It's no contest for me. Since the addition of the self checkout it's made me hyper sensitive to when a cashier is mentally checked out as they ring me up in a places that don't have the machines (especially when I'm in a hurry!). It's a fairly predictable pattern of: scan 1 item, stare into the distance for 15 seconds, try to scan a 2nd item, miss the barcode 4 times. Stare at it. Try it again. Eventually get it. Grab another item, state their opinion about the product I'm buying, scan it, stare into space another 15 seconds.......

    People think it's cruel to get rid of those jobs. To me, it seems more cruel that we haven't eliminated a job that is not only pointless but also mindless and meaningless. Cashiers seldom strike me as people that are having an amazing time at work. Forcing those folks to find a different line of work could very well be a lot more fulfilling to them in the long run than people speculate. This idea that we should hold on to pointless jobs because we figure people don't have the ingenuity to find another line of work is ridiculous to me. People are adaptable and most industries need unskilled labor somewhere, if you can be a cashier you can be a lot of other things.

    Hm, maybe *I'm* the one with strong opinions about this

    Quote Originally Posted by MoneyJungle View Post
    I like racing people at the self checkout. I'm nigh undefeated. How could they not know we're racing?
    Oh I see. You're one of those people.

    Spoiler:

  2. #10092
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sloth View Post
    It's no contest for me. Since the addition of the self checkout it's made me hyper sensitive to when a cashier is mentally checked out as they ring me up in a places that don't have the machines (especially when I'm in a hurry!). It's a fairly predictable pattern of: scan 1 item, stare into the distance for 15 seconds, try to scan a 2nd item, miss the barcode 4 times. Stare at it. Try it again. Eventually get it. Grab another item, state their opinion about the product I'm buying, scan it, stare into space another 15 seconds.......
    I don't live in California. Normal people work at the grocery store and such in low cost of living areas. In general, you get much better workers in low wage jobs in LCOL areas, but its slim pickins for anything that requires education or advanced skills.

  3. #10093
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    @Sloth, I'm somewhere between you and @starla on this one. Most of the clerks I deal with around here are generally friendly and only incompetent when they're new. It varies a bit from store to store, and probably time of day--if they're working the kid o' clock shift, I give them a ton of slack if they zone out a bit, and for my part I avoid going grocery shopping during those hours so it may have something to do with my difference impression, or it might just be the cashiers where you live are terrible and the ones where I live are mostly nice and take pride in their work.

    My usage of self-checkout has varied, and by far the best place to use it is Wal-Mart, which is the only store I go to with any regularity that fits the Sloth experience. Their self-checkout works fairly well and is substantially faster than cashier checkout, not because their cashiers are slow, but because there are about 10 of 'em. If they had 10 cashiers working--hell if they had four cashiers working--they might be competitive, but since most of their cashiers are only manned on Black Friday... self checkout is the way to go provided you would otherwise qualify to queue in express checkout, aren't buying alcohol or cigarettes, aren't buying heavy or bulky items, and don't have any odd coupons to wrangle. Otherwise you're going to be slowed down, either because you'll need an override, or because you have to game the scale a bit to get all your shit to go through.

    I apply the same rules for self-checkout elsewhere, but I'm more willing to game the scales at Wal-mart than Safeway--but Safeway I frequently trip myself up with manager's specials, clearance sales, and booze--all of which add 3-10 minutes to the transaction.


    During the times I most frequently shop for groceries, the stockers are the cashier.
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  4. #10094
    WOKE Catoptric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sloth View Post
    This reminds me of this one time I crossed paths with someone who had strong opinions about cashiers being replaced by the self-check out machines. Incoming rant about that:

    He was of the thought that it's fucked up people are losing the ability to work because people would rather use self check out machines than stand and wait for a cashier to check them out.

    Though I understand people need to make an income, I've never totally understood this position, particularly since it's worth noting they are only losing their ability to work as cashiers.

    This logic doesn't work that well when you try to scale it up. For instance, that's similar to saying "when we construct buildings we should just have a bunch of guys with shovels dig holes instead of using a big machine to do it in 1/3 of the time. Let's ignore all technological advancements so people can work pointless jobs they hate. God forbid we narrow down jobs to the meaningful ones and find a spot for everyone in that system. Nope. Let's just waste years of people's lives by 'allowing' them to be in un-skilled shitty obsolete jobs."

    Also the self check out system has exposed the unfortunate truth that 99% of cashiers are slower and more easily confused about their job than the average shopper........ something I've suspected since I was a kid, and now see confirmed all too often.

    The thing is that no one is passionate about being a cashier, and they recognize anyone could do their job, so they don't give a fuck, don't stay focused, give you an attitude, etc. They fill up their life with years of memories of being terrible at a pointless job, and that doesn't exactly add to their employability if that company goes under and they need a new job. I think in the long run people will thrive if we funnel them into jobs that actually fucking matter in some way. I mean damn, the people who stock the shelves have a more meaningful job right now than the damn cashiers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sloth View Post
    You might be going to places with old machines, or live in an area with old machines, or maybe it's been a while since you've used them? I remember having to deal with that all the time in the beginning, but I don't find that to be a problem anymore. Maybe it's also different now because I live in an area where you have to pay for bags so the "bag or no bag" thing doesn't come up until you're done ringing everything up and are paying.

    It's no contest for me. Since the addition of the self checkout it's made me hyper sensitive to when a cashier is mentally checked out as they ring me up in a places that don't have the machines (especially when I'm in a hurry!). It's a fairly predictable pattern of: scan 1 item, stare into the distance for 15 seconds, try to scan a 2nd item, miss the barcode 4 times. Stare at it. Try it again. Eventually get it. Grab another item, state their opinion about the product I'm buying, scan it, stare into space another 15 seconds.......

    People think it's cruel to get rid of those jobs. To me, it seems more cruel that we haven't eliminated a job that is not only pointless but also mindless and meaningless. Cashiers seldom strike me as people that are having an amazing time at work. Forcing those folks to find a different line of work could very well be a lot more fulfilling to them in the long run than people speculate. This idea that we should hold on to pointless jobs because we figure people don't have the ingenuity to find another line of work is ridiculous to me. People are adaptable and most industries need unskilled labor somewhere, if you can be a cashier you can be a lot of other things.


    An example might be this robot "omelet" maker.


    For one, it isn't a real omelet and does a crap poor job compared to someone that actually knows how to make an omelet.

    Someone still has to fix it if something goes wrong, and if it needs recalibration, they have to hire someone to come out which will likely cost a great deal and may not actually resolve the issue; perhaps the kinks in a design will get worked out eventually and become more reliable, if it does have this issue?

    If someone had been trained specially to make omelets and the company model required paying them more just to maintain that high standard of pleasing guests, it is possible that this robot would still replace them if the business model no longer requires or can retain those "robot" slave workers to keep on being reliable and showing up for work on time.


    Presumably high turnover affects quality of the workforce and at some point a business will fail because it lets it's guard down and fails to train employees properly, and have become complacent with lowering standards will eventually run into a problem in which the business can no longer correct itself; it's akin to having Nazi Germany became an Idiocracy overnight because they killed off all the intelligentsia, because they weren't serving their purpose and "outlived" their usefulness. They might have thought that by targeting them and discriminating against them that they were doing the country a favor, but unfortunately the government outlived it's a usefulness and the very people that supported that organization no longer wanted anything to do with it.

    Some businesses operate on the principle that it's "self-running" kind of like how people might operate the "self-cleaning" function on an oven to clear out all the detritus. If enough of the inventory is properly accounted for in the system then presumably it will order itself, or it will be able to be caught up easily enough if the Omelet Robot worker is brought in to keep the eggs served; that is until the eggs run out and needs to be addressed, or the customer requires something different on the menu and due to workforce attrition, has decided they no longer want to continue doing business there.

    ************

    For one I do agree that the vast majority of Cashiers are nincompoops but you will actually find many people running registers (depending on the location, etc. . . obviously) that have Masters degrees. They will not get promoted, or if they do they are left at some middling position of "Management/Supervisor" that has no real power, and they are not elevated higher because if they were all the kinks in the armor would be known about the organization.

    Organizations are run with the intent that the people in control of it keep hush-hush on all the little intricacies about how they do "business." Sometimes "business" is intended to serve the interest of the company, and why wouldn't it? If you are an outsider to the "old boys club" you will not be privy to their methods of self-governing and eliminating the "overhead" or keeping their numbers looking competitive with the rest of the market. Some people are promoted purely on the intention that they "look good" on paper. They might be the kinds of people that have never had anyone go to the "higher ups" to complain about how critical they were of them, and likewise these are the kinds of people that might also get reported to a Corporate level; so in prioritizing self-governing the individual stores are operated with the principle that it is impotent and incapable of doing anything other than be robot omelet makers.

    The dangers of the precariat (book)

    The Precariat is more relevant than ever due to increased competition and adjustment to global dominance which is becoming increasingly more competitive with workforces that have significantly higher population counts and potentially greater technical ability. America still dominates in the design of technical ability however we rely on automation and outside resources.

    The biggest company in the world is in Saudi Arabia and has more value than all of our biggest tech in the US, and is called Aramco.

    Per dollar, we are merely a consumer culture with little industry apart from what we can create from it's demand. If we create tariffs on cheap products because Trump believes we have too many imports and not enough exports, he is failing to realize we are a consumer society that operates on small business still. If only the largest of corporations can afford to buy a $30-40k robot to replace a worker that probably costs half of that to work in a year, it might enable for a larger company to profit more but it is not reasonable to expect people to have alternative jobs just like that, when due to inflation people are going into their post-retirement years without any ability to pay off their student loans or even afford to live, and thus took on more than 2 jobs. With the increased disparity in the dollar that makes oil costs seem less expensive because of taxes being used to reduce the cost of gasoline at the pump, which people are actually paying significantly more for.

    A gallon of gas is closer to $15 USD


    People are required to drive to and from their multiple jobs while also possible toll costs, and the poorer the person the more likely they will live away from central populations, thus being dependent on their crap job pay after accounting for all the other costs. They are unlikely to have expendable income, and more likely to only buy what is most cheaply accessible to them, which will likely be those cheap Chinese exports that still have a labor force that can compete with the lower standards expected of them.

    As far as I see it it looks to me like gentrification of society in a centralized hub of a city, with increased diversification in short-lived, fleeting and stifling jobs that they can never escape from in fear that trying to achieve anything better will only reaffirm their servitude to a debt-based system.

    *******

    The reason I mention the 'Precariat' is that many jobs showing currently available are menial jobs with very corrupt businesses, many of which are sham companies in marketing attempting to scoop up that last dollar in the inflated economic bubble. Companies turn to social media like Google reviews or Glassdoor, and it becomes obvious they are part of fake reviews with accounts posting to the same fake companies. People are becoming increasingly dissatisfied and it shows.
    Last edited by Catoptric; 07-11-2019 at 03:37 AM.

  5. #10095
    Faster. Than. Ever. Sloth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starla View Post
    I don't live in California. Normal people work at the grocery store and such in low cost of living areas. In general, you get much better workers in low wage jobs in LCOL areas, but its slim pickins for anything that requires education or advanced skills.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    @Sloth, I'm somewhere between you and @starla on this one. Most of the clerks I deal with around here are generally friendly and only incompetent when they're new. It varies a bit from store to store, and probably time of day--if they're working the kid o' clock shift, I give them a ton of slack if they zone out a bit, and for my part I avoid going grocery shopping during those hours so it may have something to do with my difference impression, or it might just be the cashiers where you live are terrible and the ones where I live are mostly nice and take pride in their work.

    My usage of self-checkout has varied, and by far the best place to use it is Wal-Mart, which is the only store I go to with any regularity that fits the Sloth experience. Their self-checkout works fairly well and is substantially faster than cashier checkout, not because their cashiers are slow, but because there are about 10 of 'em. If they had 10 cashiers working--hell if they had four cashiers working--they might be competitive, but since most of their cashiers are only manned on Black Friday... self checkout is the way to go provided you would otherwise qualify to queue in express checkout, aren't buying alcohol or cigarettes, aren't buying heavy or bulky items, and don't have any odd coupons to wrangle. Otherwise you're going to be slowed down, either because you'll need an override, or because you have to game the scale a bit to get all your shit to go through.

    I apply the same rules for self-checkout elsewhere, but I'm more willing to game the scales at Wal-mart than Safeway--but Safeway I frequently trip myself up with manager's specials, clearance sales, and booze--all of which add 3-10 minutes to the transaction.


    During the times I most frequently shop for groceries, the stockers are the cashier.
    There could be a couple things that influence the disproportionately incompetent cashier perception on my end:

    -The cashiers in my area are inundated with people on a daily basis on levels that would likely make most extroverts cringe. They might be dealing with upwards of 10x the human beings that cashiers in other areas have to deal with on a daily basis.
    -The people doing cashier jobs here might also disproportionately be people who have been forced to either give up on a big dream, or they're still clinging on to their big dream and the only way they don't go insane is by mentally checking out.

    I was exaggerating a bit with 99% of them sucking, it's really more like 75%, to be fair!

    Quote Originally Posted by Catoptric View Post
    An example might be this robot "omelet" maker.

    For one, it isn't a real omelet and does a crap poor job compared to someone that actually knows how to make an omelet.
    Agreed that's a crap "omelet", I've seen videos of those things before they look like they suck. This is an example where the technology is not better than the human, and wouldn't make sense to replace people with it.


    As for the rest of your post, you go through a lot and I don't think I have the energy to go through all of it but there was one thing you said that I'm interested in going into further:

    If only the largest of corporations can afford to buy a $30-40k robot to replace a worker that probably costs half of that to work in a year, it might enable for a larger company to profit more but it is not reasonable to expect people to have alternative jobs just like that, when due to inflation people are going into their post-retirement years without any ability to pay off their student loans or even afford to live, and thus took on more than 2 jobs.
    That's a real problem, but that's also why I don't think that it will happen over night, and hasn't appeared to be happening overnight. I think it will be a slow phase out to ease the people that would be cashiers into doing something else.

    The reality of technology is that at some point there's a trade off between increasing the quality of life on a mass scale vs. being concerned about quality of life on a small scale.

    Take computers for instance. We're sitting here conversing on two devices that were built by machines. If all computers had to be built by hand for the sake of "giving people more jobs" then they would take a lot longer to build and that would greatly reduce the amount of people that can afford them, the average person's quality of life would diminish for the sake of being concerned about increasing some small percentage of job potential which seems shiftable anyway.

  6. #10096
    Senior Member Sinny's Avatar
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    Now moved most the furniture into the house, been assembling things. Woo - furniture!

    The house is about two day from completion, but my motivation seems to have just just depleted. Practically wasted half of today sitting on my arse.. In fairness to me, I've only had about 3 days of not working all day in months.. But I still feel guilty, but my body aches. Ugh.
    When tyranny becomes law
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  7. #10097
    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sloth View Post
    Forcing those folks to find a different line of work could very well be a lot more fulfilling to them in the long run than people speculate. This idea that we should hold on to pointless jobs because we figure people don't have the ingenuity to find another line of work is ridiculous to me. People are adaptable and most industries need unskilled labor somewhere, if you can be a cashier you can be a lot of other things.
    I agree with your general sentiment, but I think you are wrong about how much unskilled labor is needed. And much of that unskilled labor will be (or can be) automated away. Finally, I am not sure one repetitive unskilled job is any more fulfilling than another.

    For example, to take your shopping scenario to the extreme, at some point not only might we not need cashiers, we won't even need retail stores. Just buy everything online and have it delivered. Then not only are the cashiers obsolete, but the stock clerks, janitors, security guards, etc.

    So will all these people become UPS delivery drivers? And if so, is driving around all day carrying packages to doorsteps any more fulfilling than any of the above obsolete jobs? Probably not. Even so, probably only 1 in 10 or so of the bricks and mortar employees would be required.

    And of course, self driving vehicles and/or delivery drones are looming in the not too distant future.

    So I argue there is not really enough unskilled labor demand to provide for available workers, and this trend will steadily worsen. OTOH, I do not think avoiding automation for the sole sake of keeping people employed is desirable. Interesting times...

  8. #10098
    I wanna make a meme but I'm too lazy. This summer I expected a golden brown grilled cheese sandwich with tomatoes soup to dip in, but I got a blackened burnt ass grilled cheese. Don't got that good summer feeling. PTSD for next summer
    abstractionist

  9. #10099
    Quote Originally Posted by Senseye View Post
    I agree with your general sentiment, but I think you are wrong about how much unskilled labor is needed. And much of that unskilled labor will be (or can be) automated away. Finally, I am not sure one repetitive unskilled job is any more fulfilling than another.

    For example, to take your shopping scenario to the extreme, at some point not only might we not need cashiers, we won't even need retail stores. Just buy everything online and have it delivered. Then not only are the cashiers obsolete, but the stock clerks, janitors, security guards, etc.

    So will all these people become UPS delivery drivers? And if so, is driving around all day carrying packages to doorsteps any more fulfilling than any of the above obsolete jobs? Probably not. Even so, probably only 1 in 10 or so of the bricks and mortar employees would be required.

    And of course, self driving vehicles and/or delivery drones are looming in the not too distant future.

    So I argue there is not really enough unskilled labor demand to provide for available workers, and this trend will steadily worsen. OTOH, I do not think avoiding automation for the sole sake of keeping people employed is desirable. Interesting times...
    I'm picturing a robot in a doll factory being turned off because the factory worker it replaced can't afford to buy a doll.
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  10. #10100
    Senior Member Guess Who's Avatar
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    Cashiers in Australia are paid a reasonable wage. I have never noticed cashiers in Australia staring off into space while doing their job.

    Could a cashier staring into space while doing their job be a sign that they have some major problems on their mind? I wonder whether it is not the work that is the issue but the low pay and the challenges that this creates for them in their life.
    Big change is coming

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