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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by D_W_PGH, Jan 9, 2019.
Buggy whips, aisle four.
If you can't be bothered to actually read what I wrote, don't bother speaking to me.
I read and quoted your own words, your quarrel is with yourself, not me.
In a vacuum, yes, I'd rather have a choice. But in my experience, the existence of self-checkout has a bad influence on the employees that are involved in it, or work in that part of the store. 'Ignore the customer' becomes the norm. Picking their nails, chatting amongst themselves. While four feet away it's on the customer to dutifully follow all the commands and rules, just so they can go home with the stuff they came for.
The merchant would rather provide LESS customer service. I'm sure they love spinning this as providing 'options' to the consumer.
Thankfully, theft seems to be such a problem that it's making the decision back for most places - back to cashiers.
AS far as the prior comment about the jobs being terrible, or such a thing was quoted here - that's such an elitist thing to say. My mind-numbing slowing-of-time experience of putting one hinge after another in doors in a cabinet factory showed me early on that I don't have the same perspective as some other people. I wanted desperately to have some stimulation and though "gosh, couldn't this be automated". Several of the people in the department one day were being talked to by a prospective cabinet distributor, and they LOVED it. $8.80 an hour in the late 1990s, sweaty, same thing over and over at high speed. it wasn't the pay that was an issue for me, it was the mind numbing repetition. You have to turn your mind off and pay attention at the same time. Miss alignment a little bit putting a door in the hinger, and it's ruined. Have bad luck at the same time, and there's no stock from a later order available to fix it (by stealing a door temporarily and using the replacement for the later cabinet) and now you've got an entire cabinet that has to be shipped UPS several days after the order it was supposed to out with.
I suggest trying to actually understand what was written. Your life may be easier once you do. Have a good day.
I didn't say anything like that, but since you seem to be responding to me...
I think people find the work that suits them. All kinds of people. All kinds of work.
If anywhere is going back to cashiers it has nothing to do with theft. Anyone stealing anything of value won't be going through the checkout line and risking being caught. They'll walk in, grab the item, wander around for a while, cram it in a backpack or purse when they think nobody is looking, then walk out without talking to or interacting with anyone. This is why retailers like Best Buy force everyone in the store to bug the hell out of every customer. It's not because they care about service, it's so you know someone's watching and you don't steal stuff.
Additionally, the cost of running extra cashiers would very quickly overrun the losses incurred due to theft at the self-checkout. You'd have to assume at least $12,000-15,000 loss per cashier before theft was even a consideration. That may be the case in specific locations with high crime rates but for most stores in the overwhelming majority of areas... not going to happen. It's much better to just cut your losses, control your labor, and keep shrink in check through proper inventory control.
Besides that the amount of money that walks out the door is dwarfed by the amount lost via fraudulent returns and gift/credit card fraud, to the point where it's not even worth concentrating on physical store losses.
I'm sure it was a response to the person that I was previously talking to, who seems to think everyone that's a cashier is stuck doing a job they hate and they have no choice in leaving but also we need more cashiers because reasons.
I'd note that the restrooms are at the back of the store in case you fellers want to have the pissing contest back there.
It may be a case that cashiers make more mistakes and "steal" more than customers would. I am a better checkout person than most I encounter. Around here its difficult to fill those jobs, everyone is looking for help.
No, it came prior to your comments. I'm sure I've seen you say several times that more jobs is better no matter what they are (I agree - let the labor market decide if they like the jobs, it's beyond my pay grade).
They're not always at the back of the store. And Lowe's stores has quite a few with the lavatory in the front of the store. Which I like because you can run back inside after you load your truck or car, and wash your hands.
How do you know?
The typical self checkout thief is just someone who doesn't scan all of their items. Not just the people who walk out the door, but people who get frustrated by something that doesn't scan easily or that they have to self checkout at all, and justify. It's well documented.
I'd imagine that the only reason we see attendants at self checkout is to prevent theft. If you had a fast reset button for anyone who double scanned, you wouldn't need an attendant. Mis-scan something? Just hit reset and do it all over. Having the machines get frozen in situ is designed to make sure someone has to review that you actually double scanned.
The only thing i can't find is an actual number of how much additional theft occurs at each self checkout (or an estimate). I guarantee wal mart and home depot have an exact number.
Was in my local HD this afternoon. 4 self checkouts with two people to help, 7 'people' checkouts but none of them with a person!
One other thought on the cashiers. It's uncommon for us to see stores these days where cashiers are leaning against their counters because there are no customers. If that occurs, they do that for a minute or two and then one or more are assigned to do something else. I think this is an interesting issue because there is some cost to the self checkout kiosks vs. putting an attendant at them or home depot would not have put the attendants back at mine. Those lanes will now be closed if it's not peak time, and in order to get an item past a checker, you have to hide it or walk out with it rather than just electing to not scan it.
Returns are part of doing business for stores. That's something they can elect to do or not do, too. They offer that because it would cost them to not offer it. The difference is that if an item is stolen, it's a pure loss to the store. If an item is returned, a store often stuffs the cost back on the supplier. All the way back in 1996, wal mart (who pioneered the "return it no matter what" idea) was forcing suppliers to take the loss on returned items, and then on top of that, provide wal mart with a credit equal to a percentage of the value that the supplier had returned (i think it was 10% of the sale value). A TV manufacturer, for example, selling a $400 flat screen TV not only loses the sale value of an item sent back through wal mart, but they have to pay walmart $40 in that case for dealing with it.
Because I worked for HD for two years and talked to Home Depot corporate LP about such things. Theft from not scanning at the self checkout is typically limited to the small items in the immediate vicinity. There's more than one reason it's low cost items like batteries and candy near the checkout.
Attendants at self-checkouts aren't really looking for theft. For that matter, NOBODY is really looking for theft. The official HD corporate stance on theft is that you don't intervene, you don't accuse, you notify your management and they will report the incident to LP. If possible you document it but ultimately nothing will happen unless the same person is stupid enough to consistently come to the same store to steal stuff. At this point most shoplifters have figured out that stores don't care because, simply put, having an employee get shot in the face for trying to stop someone from stealing a $50 drill is not economically viable. Do you lose 1,000 $50 drills or do you lose $250,000 per month to increased insurance costs across the company because you let an employee get shot in the face? That is corporate reality.
You suppose right, HD at least does have pretty hard numbers about theft. I personally never had direct access to them (I wasn't LP) but I was told that the checkouts are the area of least concern for theft. It just doesn't happen there to enough of an extent to matter.
It's uncommon to see that because stores no longer allow for dedicated cashiers outside of maybe one or two individuals at any given time. The others you see when it gets busy are floor employees that are cross trained. According to the corporate ideal everyone should be working all of the time, with no downtime, for as little pay as they'll accept. As a result nobody in a place like Walmart or Home Depot has one job. You know why you can't ever find the guy in paint? Because he's in the Garden Center on a forklift. Why isn't the Garden Center guy on the forklift? Because he's covering the register. Short-term poor service is less devastating to the corporate bottom line than higher labor numbers are. Wall Street doesn't care about a bad review. Wall Street cares that you cut labor costs 11% last quarter over the previous year.
You misunderstand what a fraudulent return is. It isn't "I bought this last year and don't have the receipt also I used it a lot and broke it." A fraudulent return is one where the items in question were either purchased online with stolen card information or stolen from another store in the chain, then subsequently returned at another location. A popular vector for such things is using stolen cards to purchase gift cards that are essentially untraceable. Anywhere you go that sells gift cards, look behind the register. There will almost always be a sign somewhere that says "DO NOT ACTIVATE GIFT CARDS OVER THE PHONE" or something to that effect. Very recently retailers have started associating gift card numbers with the credit card number used to purchase it but even that doesn't tell you if a transaction is legit.
I've worked for a couple of companies (HD and Nordstrom) that had "no hassle" return policies. In the long run the losses of such programs are far outweighed by the customer loyalty it brings in. It isn't until you start dealing with people that aren't customers abusing the system through fraudulent means that it becomes a problem.
Glad you're sure. Go rant to someone else.
Hey DW, not trying to fight here, but I really doubt you've seen me say that.
I don't talk much about that kind of thing here, and my comments are rarely embraced. I firmly in the meritocracy camp, where you add value first. Jobs aren't 'given' or 'made available'. It's a bidding war to purchase my time.
I'm sorry your cereal got peed in, but that has nothing to do with me. Feel free to join the others on my rapidly-growing ignore list.