It is now official, there is at least one fewer grocery store in Missoula that won't be without "self" check out stations very soon. My neighborhood grocery store is currently installing "self" check out stations. I knew it was only a matter of time, but I always admired and appreciated that they didn't have them.

I Like Human Interaction In General

Overall I like interacting with most of the checkers that help with my groceries, after all I make my living talking to people. Most of the time it is pretty simple, you just go through the line, pay and it is pretty uneventful. I don't mind if they ask if I like something that I am buying. If I hadn't tried it yet, I will let them know. If it is something that I really like, I will let them know. Most of the time it isn't a big deal. Sometimes, though, it can get weird.

Human Interaction Isn't Always A Good Thing

Then there are the times when it is just uncomfortable. There are times that you don't want people to comment on what you are purchasing for a variety of reasons. There are also the times you have to give your phone number to the checker for your "rewards". It isn't always an issue, but if there are a lot of people around, it may not be convenient. I am not comfortable giving out my number out loud to complete strangers. So, I politely ask to enter my number on the keypad and that can be awkward, too.

Change is Inevitable

Even with the occasional awkward interaction, I liked the checkers. I also understand that technology and change are inevitable. Now I will have the choice if I want to interact with a person or a machine. For the record sometimes the interactions with the machines are just as awkward and uncomfortable as interacting with a checker. Trying to purchase an adult beverage for example. Please enjoy responsibly. As technology rolls along, I have the choice at my local grocer. I can accept that, or I can go to one of the few grocery stores in Missoula that don't have any "self" checkouts, while they last.

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