Checking Out

When I took my 85-year-old dad to Walmart, we noticed one thing that didn’t please him. There were no more cashiers. (They were apparently turned into the self-checkout police.) No more personal service on checkout. No more interacting with cashiers and baggers.

My dad, Walter Zeanwick.

He wanted to park his shopping cart and leave but I convinced him it was okay. I explained that “stores in Florida now have to add self-checkouts” because of the planned increases to our minimum wage from $8.56 an hour to $15. It requires businesses to economize and cut jobs. So no more blaming the absence of jobs on immigrants. It’s technology that’s the bad boy, “bay bee,” I told him.

“Stores should pay you to do your own scanning and bagging.” he countered.

“But they won’t,” I said.

“Wow,” he bellowed, “This could lead to more mom and pop stores closing. And Lowe’s. Do you think they’ll do it too?”

“Yeah but it could ultimately have no effect on small businesses.”

“But bigger orders. Or like those with alcohol. That could take too long to ring up.” he said. “It could lead to more thieves. Higher prices. And some of those kiosks talk back at ja. Did you know that?”

“I do but did ja know that we could get to a point when there are many more folks than jobs. More demand for those jobs. Then what do we do?”

My dad looked absolutely apoplectic. “That’ll never happen,” he growled.

“Maybe not.”

He parked his shopping cart next to the car, instead of in the cart return, and got in. Then with a smile on his face he said, “So folks can have jobs.”

That’s activism! Thanks, dad, for highlighting my day.

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