Day After Employees Vote to Unionize, Target Announces Fleet of Robot Workers

83 replies
  • OFF TOPIC
  • |
Just a day after pharmacy workers from a Brooklyn Target store formed a union, the company announced plans to replace employees with robot workers in the near future.
Ha!

Day After Employees Vote to Unionize, Target Announces Fleet of Robot Workers


Joe Mobley
  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Day After Employees Vote to Unionize, Target Announces Fleet of Robot Workers

    ROTFLMAO...

    We had a large manufacture negotiate with the county where the business didn't have to pay any property tax for something like the next 10 years. The business shut down a couple months later.

    No tax bill.
    Signature
    Hi
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10300299].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author ThomM
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      ROTFLMAO...

      We had a large manufacture negotiate with the county where the business didn't have to pay any property tax for something like the next 10 years. The business shut down a couple months later.

      No tax bill.
      Here in NY there's a program where a business can locate near a state college and be tax free for 10 years. So far the state has invested around 1/2 a billion in advertising and created 80 jobs.
      They finally stopped advertising it.
      Signature

      Life: Nature's way of keeping meat fresh
      Getting old ain't for sissy's
      As you are I was, as I am you will be
      You can't fix stupid, but you can always out smart it.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10300371].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    To be honest I have no idea why big box stores, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, etc... have cashiers in 2015.
    Signature
    Hi
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10300302].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Well, good luck to Target. I won't be shopping there. I never use a self-checkout line. To me, that's just a way of helping a store get rid of jobs and I won't be part of it. For the most part I shop at small local community shops anyway, but sometimes I need things they don't carry - so go to bigger stores. My grocery has self checkout, but I always go to the lane that is opened with a live cashier instead, even if I have to wait in line.

    What a business does is dependent, in the long run, on how their customers act.
    Signature

    Sal
    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10300501].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
      Yes, Target in AU, is similar to Kmart, most likely follows the US model of a warehouse store with little customer assistance.

      Although Kmart is much worse, you have to walk down to the far end of their vast store for a refund, etc. And have an army of autocheckouts usually with one person.

      Although Coles and Safeway are the most annoying, (it may be called Wollies in the US) with the endless tit-for-tat crap around products.

      IF you buy their brand, no prob, but try to buy another brand then it is usually oversized, or too small or there is something else wrong with it, or they tried to hide it?

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10300507].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
        Originally Posted by tagiscom View Post

        Yes, Target in AU, is similar to Kmart, most likely follows the US model of a warehouse store with little customer assistance.
        Target and KMart are completely different entities, both in America and Australia.

        In the US they are separate companies with Target being listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the code TGT, and KMart being a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holding Corporation (SHLD - NYSE code) Woolworth's in the US also has no connection to the Australian company, nor the UK or South African companies of the same name.

        In Australia both Target and KMart are wholly owned subsidiaries of Wesfarmers (WES - ASX listing code) which also owns Coles and Bunnings.

        Both WES and their rivals Woolworth's (WOW - ASX code) have pretty good track records of treating their staff well, so, despite them being heavily unionised, neither have had any troubles.

        My sister in law is the manager of a Woolies store here in Perth and she's told me staff at Woolies get above award wages, flexible working hours, incentives, bonuses as well as staff discounts and a lot of other perks to keep their people happy. Coles and Bunnings offer their staff similar benefits, and their staff are kept happy too.

        Management of both Woolies and Wesfarmers realise their staff are not only their best customers, they are also their best marketing agency as well.

        As far as what Target in America have done, they have just gotten rid of their best customers and their best promoters in one fell swoop. Sounds like an incredibly dumb move to me, but no doubt the executives will reward themselves with huge bonuses and pay rises for committing commercial suicide.

        DISCLAIMER - I own shares in both Woolworth's (WOW.AX) and Wesfarmers (WES.AX).
        Signature
        Arguing with an idiot is like playing chess with a pigeon.
        It'll just knock over all the pieces, poop on the board, and strut about like it's won anyway.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10300566].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      Well, good luck to Target. I won't be shopping there. I never use a self-checkout line. To me, that's just a way of helping a store get rid of jobs and I won't be part of it. For the most part I shop at small local community shops anyway, but sometimes I need things they don't carry - so go to bigger stores. My grocery has self checkout, but I always go to the lane that is opened with a live cashier instead, even if I have to wait in line.

      What a business does is dependent, in the long run, on how their customers act.
      I refuse to go through self checkout as well. If I go through self checkout, I'm supporting the corporations that are pro-profits...and anti-people. I'm taking a political stand, because I support the local workers that are the backbone of the country. We need to stand up for the workers, and fight the industrial complex that is threatening to destroy our humanity by replacing us with machines.

      I'm joking. Really, I'm just too old to learn how to do the self checkout....and I like to joke with the cashier.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301407].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        I refuse to go through self checkout as well. If I go through self checkout, I'm supporting the corporations that are pro-profits...and anti-people. I'm taking a political stand, because I support the local workers that are the backbone of the country. We need to stand up for the workers, and fight the industrial complex that is threatening to destroy our humanity by replacing us with machines.

        I'm joking. Really, I'm just too old to learn how to do the self checkout....and I like to joke with the cashier.
        ha ha ha ... for a minute I thought .... never mind.

        I have failed miserably at self checkout lines and it just an embarrassing experience that required human intervention after all was said and done. lol.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301415].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

          ha ha ha ... for a minute I thought .... never mind.
          Thought that...

          I had a political viewpoint?
          Cared about my fellow humans?
          Had drank the liberal Kool-Aid?
          Was taking a stand?
          Was now engaged in a debate that mattered?
          Was going off the deep end?
          Finally agreed with Sal about something?
          Actually talked like a 1960's hippy?
          Had a deep thought about anything?
          I had cut and pasted a post from someone who is educated?

          No. I just thought the idea was funny.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301464].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Banned
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      My grocery has self checkout, but I always go to the lane that is opened with a live cashier instead, even if I have to wait in line.

      ...but then you're standing in line waiting, waiting, waiting... for the cashier to stop talking to the customer in front of you about their lard & buttermilk biscuit recipe.

      I literally had to stand there waiting in line at the store listening to that crap this week for what seemed like eternity.





      Signature
      Hi
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301581].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author lanfear63
        Originally Posted by yukon View Post

        ...but then you're standing in line waiting, waiting, waiting... for the cashier to stop talking to the customer in front of you about their lard & buttermilk biscuit recipe.

        I literally had to stand there waiting in line at the store listening to that crap this week for what seemed like eternity.





        Elaine on the subway scene, Seinfeld 3x13 - YouTube
        A weeks a long time to wait to get served.
        Signature

        Where ever you go, there you are.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301688].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author yukon
          Banned
          Originally Posted by lanfear63 View Post

          A weeks a long time to wait to get served.
          Exactly!

          Play the Seinfeld video in my last post, that pretty much sums up the experience.

          Bring on the robot cashiers that don't care about chitchat!
          Signature
          Hi
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301935].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I hate self checkout and won't use a store without real people checking my order out. They might think that's a win for them, but I don't see it as a win. Time will tell, but there are probably bigger problems with self checkout than employees being protected by unions ... like one ... it's far easier to simply not ring a few items up with self checkout and is there going to be a real person to make sure that doesn't happen?

    These employees were pharmacists. Anybody really want automation filling prescriptions for them? lol. Not me. Pharmacists also check your records to see if you are taking any conflicting medications that could cause adverse reactions. They also check to see if people are filling certain prescriptions at a high and unusual rate, such as narcotics.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10300752].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author @tjr
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Pharmacists also check your records to see if you are taking any conflicting medications that could cause adverse reactions. They also check to see if people are filling certain prescriptions at a high and unusual rate, such as narcotics.
      Not to be a devil's advocate, but "If This Then That" type coding serves the same purpose. A well written program will make less mistakes than a human counterpart. Crap happens.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10300862].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by @tjr View Post

        Not to be a devil's advocate, but "If This Then That" type coding serves the same purpose. A well written program will make less mistakes than a human counterpart. Crap happens.
        I've never had a pharmacist make a mistake on any of my family's prescriptions and I'm one of those people who will return to do business with a store, based on the level of customer service I get. You don't get customer service from a robot and whether it's well programmed or not, you can't ask a robot questions like you can a pharmacist.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10300866].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author @tjr
          Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

          I've never had a pharmacist make a mistake on any of my family's prescriptions
          I've cut the rest because my original comment wasn't on the overall merit of using a robot in this instance, but to refute the idea that they would be unable to cross check against a patient's other medications for danger or check for unusual usage. Coding can handle that, as well (if not better, and better could reasonably be expected) as a human.

          As for your quoted text: you and your family are one purchasing group in a multi-billion dollar industry. Sample size not valid. I'd be just as wrong to point out how many places and pharmacists have screwed up my little sister's epilipsy medications over the years. Humans can and do make mistakes. They get tired, they fight with their spouses, they skip lunch. There are a lot of things that impair judgement. Computers and robots, when well built, slip up a lot less.

          Again, don't confuse this as me being for Target's decision. I'm neutral. I don't know the economic impact, the situations that led to unionization, the prospects of these employees should they be pushed out. I like to know the angles before speaking these days. Guess I'm finally growing up.

          My point has been, is, and will continue to be about the capability of a robot to put medication in a bottle correctly and make sure that medicine won't harm the patient when fed the same information a pharmacist would get. Properly coded, it can.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10300872].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
            Banned
            Originally Posted by @tjr View Post

            There are a lot of things that impair judgement. Computers and robots, when well built, slip up a lot less.

            ...
            My point has been, is, and will continue to be about the capability of a robot to put medication in a bottle correctly and make sure that medicine won't harm the patient when fed the same information a pharmacist would get. Properly coded, it can.
            Since humans are fallible, I wouldn't trust them to code software that dispenses my medication correctly. lol. Robots don't program themselves.

            But really, the biggest factor in customer retention is excellent customer service... and a bit of software isn't going to cut it for me.

            I know I'm just one opinion, but I imagine a lot of people prefer a company that has a sterling reputation for customer service.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10300936].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
              Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

              Since humans are fallible, I wouldn't trust them to code software that dispenses my medication correctly. lol. Robots don't program themselves.

              But really, the biggest factor in customer retention is excellent customer service... and a bit of software isn't going to cut it for me.

              I know I'm just one opinion, but I imagine a lot of people prefer a company that has a sterling reputation for customer service.
              I'm with you, Suzanne!

              As a matter of fact, I was called and asked to return to a retail store because, according to them, customers were saying that since I left, customer service was horrible and were asking if I was coming back.

              I am a supervisor and head of customer service. That certainly speaks loud and clear that customers prefer pleasant customer service and robotics won't cover it.


              Terra
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10300953].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author Kay King
                I don't think it's a subject for argument. I think it's a given that more and more jobs will be automated. In our family we've had one illness and one critical event that could have resulted in death....from pharmaceutical errors by humans. Wrong medication in one instance - wrong strength in another.

                I watched prescriptions being filled in a busy Walmart pharmacy recently - the people counting pills in the bottles were not pharmacists. There was ONE pharmacist and about 6 assistant and a couple customer service/cashiers. The pharmacist was entering the prescription in the computer - the assistants were counting out the pills....

                Automation could eliminate several of those workers - and in time that's what will happen. It's natural in a society that invented assembly lines in the first place.

                Stores used to hire more on-floor workers to keep track of inventory - now that's totally automated in all but the smallest stores. Self checkouts have been increasingly popular with consumers who don't want to wait in line - and one cashier can cover a whole section.

                Good customer service will always be valuable - but that doesn't mean things that go on behind the scenes - like taking down a bottle/counting out pills and labeling a vial - won't become totally automated going forward.
                Signature
                Every child needs a pet because every family needs an optimist

                Saving one dog will not save the world....but will forever change the world for one dog.
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301096].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author DJL
                I have used self-checkout machines at a few local stores, but generally avoid them because, in my experience, the damn things just don't work very well.

                They are not nearly as smart or error-free as they need to be, or as their manufacturers seem to think they are. There is nothing more annoying than a dumb machine making a confident statement that is erroneous and requires human intervention to put right.

                Would I trust a machine to dispense my prescriptions? Not if I can avoid it.

                As for the general trend to replacing some kinds of labor with greater degrees of automation, I believe it is, in the long run, an irreversible historical trend.

                I believe the greatest threats to the working poor nowadays are the movement for higher and higher minimum wage laws, and the ever-increasing burden of government rules and regulations, imposed upon business by unaccountable bureaucratic regimes.
                Signature

                None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
                --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities (1809)

                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301103].message }}
                • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
                  Originally Posted by DJL View Post

                  I believe the greatest threats to the working poor nowadays are the movement for higher and higher minimum wage laws, and the ever-increasing burden of government rules and regulations, imposed upon business by unaccountable bureaucratic regimes.
                  Absolutely Nailed It!
                  {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301171].message }}
                • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                  Banned
                  Originally Posted by DJL View Post

                  I believe the greatest threats to the working poor nowadays are the movement for higher and higher minimum wage laws, and the ever-increasing burden of government rules and regulations, imposed upon business by unaccountable bureaucratic regimes.
                  Well, I agreed with you until this. The greatest threats to working poor is corporate greed. Companies that don't believe they should have to pay their employees fair minimum wages for their time, should buy robots and good luck to them.

                  If it weren't for government regulations on businesses like Koch and many others, we'd all have to wear oxygen masks to breathe.

                  According to the facility's latest toxics release inventory from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Crossett plant released over 913,000 pounds of toxic chemicals to the air in 2010 and another 136,000 pounds to nearby waterways, and buried over 444,000 pounds in the soil to degrade.

                  Among the chemicals that the plant emits to the air and water are known carcinogens such as formaldehyde and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as well as probable carcinogens including acetaldehyde and lead. In fact, the Crossett plant is the 39th-biggest air emitter of formaldehyde in the U.S., while a USA Today study ranked Crossett in the top percentile of communities for schoolchildren's exposure to cancer-causing chemicals.
                  {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301201].message }}
                  • Profile picture of the author butters
                    Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                    Well, I agreed with you until this. The greatest threats to working poor is corporate greed. Companies that don't believe they should have to pay their employees fair minimum wages for their time, should buy robots and good luck to them.

                    If it weren't for government regulations on businesses like Koch and many others, we'd all have to wear oxygen masks to breathe.
                    In the UK, dunno about america. My mum runs a company, community based so its non-profit and employs about 120 people. In the UK they want to introduce the living wage, we already have the minimum but in 4 years time she will have to pay everyone like an extra £2 an hour. that over a week is a big increase, imagine that over a year... She will be forced to fire at least 5 staff when this rule comes into affect. Not because of greed but simply the revenue isn't there since it will cost her an extra 120-150k a year. The government has effectively cut 5 peoples jobs or forced her into a position to cut hours all round, he isn't that far wrong.
                    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301274].message }}
                    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                      Banned
                      Originally Posted by butters View Post

                      In the UK, dunno about america. My mum runs a company, community based so its non-profit and employs about 120 people. In the UK they want to introduce the living wage, we already have the minimum but in 4 years time she will have to pay everyone like an extra £2 an hour. that over a week is a big increase, imagine that over a year... She will be forced to fire at least 5 staff when this rule comes into affect. Not because of greed but simply the revenue isn't there since it will cost her an extra 120-150k a year. The government has effectively cut 5 peoples jobs or forced her into a position to cut hours all round, he isn't that far wrong.
                      Well, I don't know if it's better for 115 people to earn a "living wage" and lose 5 of them or, like Walmart, everybody earns not nearly enough to live on. Walmart encourages their employees to apply for food stamps and other public assistance to help make ends meet, thereby transferring the financial burden for their employees to the taxpayers.

                      Report: Walmart Workers Cost Taxpayers $6.2 Billion In Public Assistance

                      Walmart’s low-wage workers cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $6.2 billion in public assistance including food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing, according to a report published to coincide with Tax Day, April 15.

                      Americans for Tax Fairness, a coalition of 400 national and state-level progressive groups, made this estimate using data from a 2013 study by Democratic Staff of the U.S. Committee on Education and the Workforce.

                      “The study estimated the cost to Wisconsin’s taxpayers of Walmart’s low wages and benefits, which often force workers to rely on various public assistance programs,” reads the report, available in full here.

                      “It found that a single Walmart Supercenter cost taxpayers between $904,542 and $1.75 million per year, or between $3,015 and $5,815 on average for each of 300 workers.”
                      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301279].message }}
                      • Profile picture of the author butters
                        Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                        Well, I don't know if it's better for 115 people to earn a "living wage" and lose 5 of them or, like Walmart, everybody earns not nearly enough to live on. Walmart encourages their employees to apply for food stamps and other public assistance to help make ends meet, thereby transferring the financial burden for their employees to the taxpayers.

                        Report: Walmart Workers Cost Taxpayers $6.2 Billion In Public Assistance
                        Sure but the problem is, most small and middle size companies will cut jobs... It's only the big corporate ones which can afford it so essentially the law will drive to fewer jobs all round.
                        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301361].message }}
                        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                          Banned
                          Originally Posted by butters View Post

                          Sure but the problem is, most small and middle size companies will cut jobs... It's only the big corporate ones which can afford it so essentially the law will drive to fewer jobs all round.
                          Well, when I was a teen and got my first job, I was paid something ridiculous like .75 cents/hr. Before I left, it had been raised all the way to $1.50/hr. They were able to get away with that because they were too small to come under minimum wage laws.

                          I personally as a taxpayer, would rather not subsidize big box and other companies employees via public assistance. It's really not the taxpayer's job to feed and provide medical care to Walmart/other employees.
                          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301384].message }}
                          • Profile picture of the author Joe Mobley
                            Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                            I personally as a taxpayer, would rather not subsidize big box and other companies employees via public assistance. It's really not the taxpayer's job to feed and provide medical care to Walmart/other employees.
                            We differ juuuuussst a little bit here...

                            I personally as a taxpayer, would rather not subsidize public assistance.
                            It's really not the taxpayer's job to feed and provide medical care to others.

                            Joe Mobley
                            Signature

                            .

                            Follow Me on Twitter: @daVinciJoe
                            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301729].message }}
                        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
                          The bogeymen are always Walmart and McDonalds....but they hire people without HS diplomas, work experience, etc. Who else does that?

                          I posted here 3 years ago about a man who owned five fast food franchises on the Gulf Coast. He paid more than the minimum wage to new hires - gave raises to those who earned them - was fair about time off, sick days, breaks. He had a rep as a good guy to work for. In spite of that, some newly hired employees started picketing him last Spring - demanding $15/hr. They also wanted longer breaks, days off, flex time and on and on.

                          The man had said he wasn't going to play games if that happened - and he didn't. He immediately closed the overnight shift at all five eateries - and let go 50+ workers. He took that money saved and used it as raises for the workers on the remaining shifts.

                          He tried to work with the protesters but they kept shouting slogans at him- most of those picketing didn't work for him to begin with. His disgust was not at the handful of people making trouble - it was with well paid employees who did not speak out against it.

                          He quit - he sold all the franchises to a large company that apparently has dozens across the southern states. What do you think those employees are earning now - the ones who still have jobs, that is....
                          Signature
                          Every child needs a pet because every family needs an optimist

                          Saving one dog will not save the world....but will forever change the world for one dog.
                          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301402].message }}
                          • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                            Banned
                            Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

                            The bogeymen are always Walmart and McDonalds....but they hire people without HS diplomas, work experience, etc. Who else does that?
                            Plenty of jobs do not require a HS diploma and/or work experience. Does that mean the taxpayer should subsidize them all? I consider the cost of doing business, including paying your employees wages and dealing with employee problems, the responsibility of the business and I personally don't care about their struggles. Some businesses are good enough to make it, some aren't. Just like anything else.

                            How McDonald's and Wal-Mart Became Welfare Queens - Bloomberg View

                            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301408].message }}
                            • Profile picture of the author Kay King
                              If lines are short (i.e., enough registers are open) - I prefer a cashier. BUT - I don't waste time in my life to stand in line to prove something.

                              I like those self checkouts that are efficient (Kroger, for example) and dislike the ones that are slow or glitchy (some Walmart stores). Love the ones at Lowe's where you have your own conveyer belt to put things on....
                              Signature
                              Every child needs a pet because every family needs an optimist

                              Saving one dog will not save the world....but will forever change the world for one dog.
                              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301426].message }}
                              • Profile picture of the author Kay King
                                I am just killing time.
                                Same here on a Sunday afternoon - though I don't have a missing wife as an excuse.

                                I think time is on it's last gasp with this one....
                                Signature
                                Every child needs a pet because every family needs an optimist

                                Saving one dog will not save the world....but will forever change the world for one dog.
                                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301430].message }}
                          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                            Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

                            I posted here 3 years ago about a man who owned five fast food franchises on the Gulf Coast.
                            I remember you posting that story. It upset me so much, I had three years of therapy...which were just over last month.

                            And now, you bring this up again?

                            You are a cruel cruel woman.

                            Yes. My wife is visiting a relative, and I am just killing time.
                            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301417].message }}
                          • Profile picture of the author Joe Mobley
                            The Following User Say Thank You to Kay King For This Useful Post:

                            Joe Mobley, Joe Mobley, Joe Mobley,...


                            Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

                            The bogeymen are always Walmart and McDonalds....but they hire people without HS diplomas, work experience, etc. Who else does that?

                            I posted here 3 years ago about a man who owned five fast food franchises on the Gulf Coast. He paid more than the minimum wage to new hires - gave raises to those who earned them - was fair about time off, sick days, breaks. He had a rep as a good guy to work for. In spite of that, some newly hired employees started picketing him last Spring - demanding $15/hr. They also wanted longer breaks, days off, flex time and on and on.

                            The man had said he wasn't going to play games if that happened - and he didn't. He immediately closed the overnight shift at all five eateries - and let go 50+ workers. He took that money saved and used it as raises for the workers on the remaining shifts.

                            He tried to work with the protesters but they kept shouting slogans at him- most of those picketing didn't work for him to begin with. His disgust was not at the handful of people making trouble - it was with well paid employees who did not speak out against it.

                            He quit - he sold all the franchises to a large company that apparently has dozens across the southern states. What do you think those employees are earning now - the ones who still have jobs, that is....

                            Sometimes, One Thanks is Not Enough!


                            Joe Mobley
                            Signature

                            .

                            Follow Me on Twitter: @daVinciJoe
                            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301712].message }}
                  • Profile picture of the author ThomM
                    Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                    Well, I agreed with you until this. The greatest threats to working poor is corporate greed. Companies that don't believe they should have to pay their employees fair minimum wages for their time, should buy robots and good luck to them.

                    If it weren't for government regulations on businesses like Koch and many others, we'd all have to wear oxygen masks to breathe.
                    Almost true. Think about the influence large corporations have on our government. The majority of regulations are written with the help of those corporations. They can afford to implement whatever the regulations require. A new business that could be a competitor with say cleaner energy can not. Regulations are used as a tool to stifle competition mush more so then to "protect" us or the environment.
                    Signature

                    Life: Nature's way of keeping meat fresh
                    Getting old ain't for sissy's
                    As you are I was, as I am you will be
                    You can't fix stupid, but you can always out smart it.

                    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301946].message }}
                    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                      Banned
                      Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

                      Almost true. Think about the influence large corporations have on our government. The majority of regulations are written with the help of those corporations. They can afford to implement whatever the regulations require. A new business that could be a competitor with say cleaner energy can not. Regulations are used as a tool to stifle competition mush more so then to "protect" us or the environment.
                      Exactly. We don't vote for corporations, yet corporations actually write much of the legislation that gets passed, after greasing the greedy and corrupt palms of the assholes that actually were elected to represent and protect the voters in this country.
                      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10302587].message }}
                      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
                        Nancy above has worked 10 years for the same pay? So - not good enough at the job to get a promotion? Didn't bother to use the multiple govt paid programs to learn better skills to get a better job? You can clean homes and make much more money than that - so what is the REASON for staying in that "entry level job" for years???

                        I don't believe the video - it's meant to generate pity - but might generate contempt instead. Is Nancy fluent in English? Does she have a HS education or GED? What is the reason she's "stuck"?

                        A social worker once told me he loved helping people but sometimes wanted to throw his desk when parents came in to sign their kids up for govt benefits because they had just reach "legal age".... There's one Nancy - but she has two kids.... education breaks the cycle but the parents need to set an example.
                        Signature
                        Every child needs a pet because every family needs an optimist

                        Saving one dog will not save the world....but will forever change the world for one dog.
                        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10302903].message }}
                        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                          Banned
                          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

                          Nancy above has worked 10 years for the same pay? So - not good enough at the job to get a promotion? Didn't bother to use the multiple govt paid programs to learn better skills to get a better job? You can clean homes and make much more money than that - so what is the REASON for staying in that "entry level job" for years???

                          I don't believe the video - it's meant to generate pity - but might generate contempt instead. Is Nancy fluent in English? Does she have a HS education or GED? What is the reason she's "stuck"?

                          A social worker once told me he loved helping people but sometimes wanted to throw his desk when parents came in to sign their kids up for govt benefits because they had just reach "legal age".... There's one Nancy - but she has two kids.... education breaks the cycle but the parents need to set an example.
                          Somehow you seemed to have missed the entire point of the video. It was an actual recording of McDonald's McResources Help Line telling her to get on Medicaid and Snap to supplement her poverty level income. As to why she stays with McDonald's you can only ask Nancy that. You don't know her and neither do I, but 10 years without a raise is ridiculous. If she were that bad of an employee, McDonald's should have just canned her. You have no idea what her circumstances are. You also have no idea of these magical gov. programs that give her skills. Where are they? What are the requirements? How long of a waiting line do you stand in to get training? Believe that is the answer when I see it in action.

                          My guess is that Nancy is fictional and called as a "sting" to record McDonald's McResources Help Line telling people to get on public assistance to supplement their pitiful incomes.
                          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10302931].message }}
                          • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
                            Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                            You also have no idea of these magical gov. programs that give her skills. Where are they? What are the requirements? How long of a waiting line do you stand in to get training? Believe that is the answer when I see it in action.


                            Here's one off the top of my head. The Workforce Investment Act:

                            Go2WorkSource

                            Most counties have a WIA program. I believe it's typically managed by your local Goodwill, but other agencies bid on the contract, too.

                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workfo...nt_Act_of_1998


                            I believe the requirements and "how long" are location dependent. You'd have to contact your local agency.


                            I worked for one many moons ago - it was actually where I met my wife. I provided job skills training and placement services. I know that it took about two months to get someone into a training program, but a lot of the wait depended on when the specific training program started at whatever school offered it. Two year vocational programs were the norm, HVAC, STNA nursing, auto mechanics, etc, We also offered truck driver training and occasionally someone would score high enough to qualify for tuition paid for four years of undergrad work.


                            I believe training, at least completely paid-for training, is harder to get now, but still available.
                            Signature

                            If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

                            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10302992].message }}
                            • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                              Banned
                              Originally Posted by Dan Riffle View Post

                              Here's one off the top of my head. The Workforce Investment Act:

                              Go2WorkSource


                              Most counties have a WIA program. I believe it's typically management by your local Goodwill, but other agencies bid on the contract, too.

                              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workfo...nt_Act_of_1998
                              Any that you know of anyone at all who has directly benefited from them? From my experience government programs benefit a bunch of fat, lazy bureaucrats and no one else. It does help keep worthless people off of social services though because they all have jobs and sit there picking their noses and giving callers the run around until they give up.

                              That's my experience with government programs and gov agencies in general.
                              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10303000].message }}
                              • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
                                Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                                Any that you know of anyone at all who has directly benefited from them? From my experience government programs benefit a bunch of fat, lazy bureaucrats and no one else. It does help keep worthless people off of social services though because they all have jobs and sit there picking their noses and giving callers the run around until they give up.

                                That's my experience with government programs and gov agencies in general.
                                I know of a husband and wife who were living in homeless shelters who both received truck driving training and became an OTR driving team and earn quite a nice living now.

                                I sent one teenage single mother to get an undergrad degree in nursing. She went on to get a Master's degree.

                                I'm sure I have a few more, but it's been a while. My wife, however, could probably fill your ears for hours considering she's worked there for about a decade picking her nose and working the equivalent of three full time jobs because budgetary requirements pull money from staff budgets and put it into the training fund.

                                The agencies that run this specific program aren't government employees. They're social workers who work for places like Goodwill Industries at below market wages because they want to make a difference. They are constantly stressed out because their clients are being offered a way up, but they just don't care. They just want their free bus card (the only day of the month when 100% of participants show for appointments.)
                                Signature

                                If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

                                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10303033].message }}
                                • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                                  Banned
                                  Originally Posted by Dan Riffle View Post

                                  I'm sure I have a few more, but it's been a while. My wife, however, could probably fill your ears for hours considering she's worked there for about a decade picking her nose and working the equivalent of three full time jobs because budgetary requirements pull money from staff budgets and put it into the training fund.

                                  The agencies that run this specific program aren't government employees. They're social workers who work for places like Goodwill Industries at below market wages because they want to make a difference. They are constantly stressed out because their clients are being offered a way up, but they just don't care. They just want their free bus card (the only day of the month when 100% of participants show for appointments.)
                                  If your wife doesn't work for the government, then the picking her nose remark does not apply. Private organizations are far more efficient at actually helping people who want to be helped, but often are hindered by budget constraints and lack of adequate staffing. (If she does work for the gov, perhaps she's one in a million who actually do something useful - see, I'm trying hard to be a diplomat ... lol)
                                  {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10303083].message }}
                                  • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
                                    Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                                    If your wife doesn't work for the government, then the picking her nose remark does not apply. Private organizations are far more efficient at actually helping people who want to be helped, but often are hindered by budget constraints and lack of adequate staffing. (If she does work for the gov, perhaps she's one in a million who actually do something useful - see, I'm trying hard to be a diplomat ... lol)


                                    Here's a (not-really-when-you-think-about-it) funny story for you. My wife has worked off and on (mostly on) for her current employer for sixteen years. One time, she left to go work for the State.


                                    People always say government workers are lazy, show up for work late, leave early, and just generally spend their days playing Solitaire on their computers.


                                    My wife's experience was totally different. She had to wear a badge that tracked her movements throughout the building. She'd receive an email from her boss if she lingered too long in, say, the bathroom. (Well, she would have had she not been made aware of the possibility. The thought of someone timing her bathroom breaks encouraged her to hold it.)


                                    She had to plot out her weekly calendar to the minute via three different systems. If her calendar changed, say a client didn't show and she was going to use the time to call other clients, she had to make the change to all three calendars and email her supervisor with the change preferably before the change was made or as it was happening. Back-changing your calendar was highly frowned upon. She kept a running total and found that she was spending over an hour a day updating her calendar. Her fellow employees verified that this was the typical time requirement.


                                    What I'm getting at is I think Big Brother knows were on to Him and has overcorrected to the side of creating inefficiencies out of attempts to be efficient.


                                    Of course, I'm sure the Director of State agency mentioned above never has to log his tee times in his calendar...
                                    Signature

                                    If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

                                    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10303133].message }}
                                    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                                      Banned
                                      Originally Posted by Dan Riffle View Post

                                      Here's a (not-really-when-you-think-about-it) funny story for you. My wife has worked off and on (mostly on) for her current employer for sixteen years. One time, she left to go work for the State.


                                      People always say government workers are lazy, show up for work late, leave early, and just generally spend their days playing Solitaire on their computers.


                                      My wife's experience was totally different. She had to wear a badge that tracked her movements throughout the building. She'd receive an email from her boss if she lingered too long in, say, the bathroom. (Well, she would have had she not been made aware of the possibility. The thought of someone timing her bathroom breaks encouraged her to hold it.)


                                      She had to plot out her weekly calendar to the minute via three different systems. If her calendar changed, say a client didn't show and she was going to use the time to call other clients, she had to make the change to all three calendars and email her supervisor with the change preferably before the change was made or as it was happening. Back-changing your calendar was highly frowned upon. She kept a running total and found that she was spending over an hour a day updating her calendar. Her fellow employees verified that this was the typical time requirement.


                                      What I'm getting at is I think Big Brother knows were on to Him and has overcorrected to the side of creating inefficiencies out of attempts to be efficient.


                                      Of course, I'm sure the Director of State agency mentioned above never has to log his tee times in his calendar...
                                      That's always been my experience with government agencies and I've always lived close to DC where they are plentiful and almost completely worthless. They do in fact spend their days doing the administrative bureaucratic types of activities rather than the core functions that the agency was originally set up to handle. Many times I've had to call a gov agency only to get someone who was completely disinterested in what I needed and told me to call a different number, only to get the same thing at the new number, often referring me back to the original number.

                                      Here's another one that burns my ass. I have a friend who retired from IBM. He then started to do gov contracting work and due to his background, was being paid $300 per day. At the agency end year, they would have him doing really mundane things just to keep him on the payroll because they had not used up their entire grant yet, and would not get the same amount the following year if it wasn't used up. So they used him to use it all up. That's our tax dollars at work.
                                      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10303158].message }}
                                    • Profile picture of the author RichBeck
                                      Originally Posted by Dan Riffle View Post

                                      Here's a (not-really-when-you-think-about-it) funny story for you. My wife has worked off and on (mostly on) for her current employer for sixteen years. One time, she left to go work for the State.

                                      People always say government workers are lazy, show up for work late, leave early, and just generally spend their days playing Solitaire on their computers.

                                      My wife's experience was totally different. She had to wear a badge that tracked her movements throughout the building. She'd receive an email from her boss if she lingered too long in, say, the bathroom. (Well, she would have had she not been made aware of the possibility. The thought of someone timing her bathroom breaks encouraged her to hold it.)

                                      She had to plot out her weekly calendar to the minute via three different systems. If her calendar changed, say a client didn't show and she was going to use the time to call other clients, she had to make the change to all three calendars and email her supervisor with the change preferably before the change was made or as it was happening. Back-changing your calendar was highly frowned upon. She kept a running total and found that she was spending over an hour a day updating her calendar. Her fellow employees verified that this was the typical time requirement.

                                      What I'm getting at is I think Big Brother knows were on to Him and has overcorrected to the side of creating inefficiencies out of attempts to be efficient.

                                      Of course, I'm sure the Director of State agency mentioned above never has to log his tee times in his calendar...
                                      From what I've directly observed.... State and Federal are totally different.

                                      State of CO workers are salaried... with no overtime pay.... just like in "corporate America." Some are "pushed" to produce... and work 55-60 hours per week.... Others work at a leisurely pace and work 40 hours per week. It all depends on your department and your supervisor.

                                      Federal workers are salaried.... and must receive "comp time" for any hours over 40 per week. So, even if they need to work 60 hours in one week, they get 20 hours off the next... The people I've know who've worked for the Federal government were rarely pushed.... One guy actually "worked" about 30 hours per week.... He took long lunches to spend time with his kids... and the 20 something Nanny. She must have provided some tasty treats to get him to drive home for lunch every day. :-)
                                      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10310402].message }}
  • Now I'm feelin' guilty.

    Generation Slacko.

    Worse thing is, a whole bunch of people who are dependent on income from all this stuff the robots now have figured are gonna be in big trouble by the time I'm queuein' in the pharmacy for new teeth.

    My only hope is that guys like us with all the creative stuff that

    1) robots can't do
    2) folks tell us is gonna become an increasingly valuable commodity

    don't get so flunked out up there in the clouds that we forget about the chrome ceiling our tech-brained fellow humans are droppin' on shops and factories and wherever.

    The glass ceiling was tough enough to bust, and not everyone needed to break out the mallet.
    Signature

    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff together.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10300792].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author butters
    The robot apocalypse is coming!! First they destroy our unions, next the world!!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10300870].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
    I posted this in another thread, but it's relevant to this discussion:
    The CEO of a car manufacturer is showing a union leader around his plant which has just replaced its workforce with robots.

    The CEO smugly says to the union guy, "How much in union fees are you going to collect from here?"

    To which the union guy replies, "How many cars are your robots going to buy?"
    Signature
    Arguing with an idiot is like playing chess with a pigeon.
    It'll just knock over all the pieces, poop on the board, and strut about like it's won anyway.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10300948].message }}
  • If robots get to be as clever as hoomans, they ain't gonna take any of this shit either.
    Signature

    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff together.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301292].message }}
  • No matter how well-written a code is, it can not compete with a human beings abilities to think critically.

    No AI that I have seen yet can compete with a human being overall.

    While it is true that human beings make mistakes, there are many more mistakes that are caught by human beings, as well.

    If Target is saying that they are going to try and replace Pharmacists with robots, then that is illegal. A robot has no license. It has passed no State Boards. Good luck to Target if they try that one.......

    Now.....robots have a place in helping not replacing a Pharmacist. There are programs that can cross-reference medications for incompatibilities from medication to medication. I use them as a back up. I still rely on my own critical thinking skills as no computer has yet to be able to achieve the same abilities as a human being.

    As for Target....well, that was my first job. They have gone through ups and downs.

    As for the article mentioned above, it says nothing about Pharmacists. If they tried that, I would say run as far away from Target or any pharmacy that thinks that they can employ a robot over a person in such a critical role as a pharmacist.
    Signature
    Improvise Adapt Overcome
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301510].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author lanfear63
      Time to wade in before I clean the toilets (TMI)

      Automation is fine and frees up peoples time. Unfortunately it deprives people of having the ability to earn money, you, know, those tokens we use to buy food/houses etc. The whole structure of society will need to change to accommodate this trend. From businesses points of view it is logical/efficient and saves them money, not faulting that.

      In a utopian society where people don't have to lift a finger because thinking robots do all the work and we can have whatever we want that would be great...however

      Due to our sheer numbers it would not currently work, resources are scarce and finite and there would be have and have not's. If you want this however then restrict births until the population dwindles to about 500 million.

      Then, and only then it would probably work.
      Signature

      Where ever you go, there you are.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301572].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Joe Mobley
      Originally Posted by Jack Blankenship,RN View Post

      No matter how well-written a code is, it can not compete with a human beings abilities to think critically.
      Jack,

      The idea that union members, slogan shouters, "hoomans" with an entitlement mentality, etc. are thinking critically is, well...

      Optimistic.


      Joe Mobley
      Signature

      .

      Follow Me on Twitter: @daVinciJoe
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10301720].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
    Do you honestly believe that if the employees hadn't voted for the union that Target wouldn't have gone ahead with their plans to use robots?
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10304020].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
      Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

      Do you honestly believe that if the employees hadn't voted for the union that Target wouldn't have gone ahead with their plans to use robots?
      Does anyone believe the workers didn't vote to unionise because Target was going to replace them with robots?
      Signature
      Arguing with an idiot is like playing chess with a pigeon.
      It'll just knock over all the pieces, poop on the board, and strut about like it's won anyway.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10304038].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
    Why is i it that workers need to be paid less to provide them with an incentive to work harder, yet CEO's and executives need to be paid more to provide them with an incentive to work harder?
    Signature
    Arguing with an idiot is like playing chess with a pigeon.
    It'll just knock over all the pieces, poop on the board, and strut about like it's won anyway.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10304054].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      "microunion" filing with the National Labor Relations Board after an initial ballot vote was passed 7 -2
      Only 9 people in this "microunion" and they couldn't get a unanimous vote?

      Seems to me this is more symbolic than anything.
      Signature
      Every child needs a pet because every family needs an optimist

      Saving one dog will not save the world....but will forever change the world for one dog.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10304323].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author @tjr
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        Only 9 people in this "microunion" and they couldn't get a unanimous vote?

        Seems to me this is more symbolic than anything.
        Could be worse. I hear produce is split 50/50 due to an argument over onion arrangement plans.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10305010].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Sumit Menon
    To all the people saying they would not use a self check out counter, nobody gives a damn. I'm sure Target doesn't. Target knows that some people, out of principle, will never buy from them. And they aren't targeting (for the lack of a better word) you anyway.

    There are a bunch of four year olds running around their homes right now playing games on their mommy's iPhone. These kids, twenty years from now, would want as little human interaction in their buying experience as possible.
    When most of you guys were little, you had to GO OUT to meet someone. You probably looked forward to having a friendly convo with the check out counter worker. Not anymore! I'm having 5 conversations simultaneously on my cell phone, and I would prefer the worker doesn't start a conversation with me, cause that would take up too much of my attention. I no longer have to go out to talk to people. They are always there. I can talk to anyone I want, anywhere I want.

    Think about it. How many of you guys use Instant Messaging regularly. I mean, like you couldn't live without it? That if you didn't have your phone, you would not have anything else to do? 10 out of the last 10 trips me and my friends planned were exclusively on Whatsapp. If I don't have my phone with me, it's the equivalent of living under a rock! Texting isn't something we do all day in our lives. It is life!

    When your generation will be replaced by my generation as the primary customers, we aren't gonna care how many workers lost their jobs because of the robots. And I bet Target and all the other retail stores are looking forward to that. They might lose some money in the short run, but eventually, they'll be doing okay. 'Buy from us because we hire real people' will lose its charm soon and might even be looked upon as pejorative. Look at how much money Target will save. They could amp up their customer service efforts with all the money without worrying about wages increasing! Everything delivered to your doorsteps for no money. Free coupons for your favorite brand of cereal. Awesome!

    The point is - Incompetency will be replaced by machines. Competent people will be paid more. Is that surprising? That's not to say you throw the people who can't get jobs under the bus. That's a real problem and there needs to be a solution to that. Taxpayers will have to take care of them in one way or the other. Saying taxpayers are funding Walmart workers is a feeble argument at best. Think about all the people taxpayers will be funding when Walmart doesn't need these workers anymore. But taxpayers funding the poor is far better than artificially keeping the wages high. That just unnecessarily and often unfairly interferes with the market mechanics which is bad for everyone other than the people who are getting paid the higher wage.

    Don’t stifle innovation because some people will lose their jobs.

    Sumit.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10305730].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Sumit Menon View Post

      Think about it. How many of you guys use Instant Messaging regularly. I mean, like you couldn't live without it?
      I rarely text & still find chitchat with cashiers a waste of time. I don't mean it in an offensive way but I just don't care what people have to say when I'm trying to buy a gallon of milk.

      If I had it my way I would buy groceries online & have it delivered to my house.
      Signature
      Hi
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10305761].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
        Originally Posted by yukon View Post

        I rarely text & still find chitchat with cashiers a waste of time. I don't mean it in an offensive way but I just don't care what people have to say when I'm trying to buy a gallon of milk.

        If I had it my way I would buy groceries online & have it delivered to my house.

        I avoid cashiers because I don't like their grubby hands fondling my meats and cheese and I really don't feel like explaining what I'm going to make with all the ingredients. And for the love of all things holy, who said you should hold up the line so you can read the birthday card I'm buying for my wife?!


        Oh, and Caesee, or however you spell your name, Billy the Bagger doesn't like you and he's not coming to your cousin's party tonight, so you're going to have to score your own pot. He just said he would because you wouldn't shut up otherwise. Yes, I'm standing thirty inches from you. I can hear your conversation.
        Signature

        If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10305792].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author yukon
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Dan Riffle View Post

          I avoid cashiers because I don't like their grubby hands fondling my meats and cheese...
          Claude has that t-shirt.
          Signature
          Hi
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10306021].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Sumit Menon View Post

      To all the people saying they would not use a self check out counter, nobody gives a damn. I'm sure Target doesn't.
      Sumit.
      Nobody gives a damn what other people give a damn about. lol. It's funny ... I was in Lowe's a couple of weeks ago and all of their lines had no cashiers. The self service lane had one cashier. I walked up and asked her if there were any lines with cashiers. She said, you can just come in this one and I'll ring you up. She was ringing up everyone's order in the self service lane. lol.

      I used to go to a Giant food store that had a system where you could carry the scanner and scan your groceries as you put them in the cart and then use that scanner at the self serve lane and then pay with a card. I tried that out and was getting used to it and BOOOM ... it was gone. The scanners gone. The self serve lane gone. The theft was so high, they had to have a person there to randomly scan some things in everyone's cart to make sure that everything had been scanned. So they simply replaced a cashier with a loss prevention staffer. Efficient?

      Not only is that inefficient to have to have someone check for theft, but it makes your honest customers feel like crap being checked for theft.

      At least two grocery chains -- Albertson's and New England-based Big Y-- have abandoned their self service moves. Both cited customer service as the reason, although Big Y says shoplifting played into the decision.

      Theft -- intentional or not -- is up to five times higher with self checkout than when cashiers are working, says Malay Kundu, founder of Stoplift Checkout Vision Systems, which sells store video analytic software.
      Research highlights include:

      • 85% of the 1,000 polled have used a self-service kiosk.
      33% find that self-checkout is actually inconvenient, with scanning items the hardest part.
      • 26% of Millennials want to use mobile devices (smartwatches, too) at self-service kiosks.
      • 91% of Millennials have used a self-service kiosk versus 81% of those 35 and older.

      Just 15% of shoppers have never used a self-service kiosk. Of those who have, the most popular reasons for doing so were: "I have a limited number of items" (72%); "there was no line" (55%); "I prefer to keep my transactions and financial information private" (13%); and "I don't like interacting with cashiers" (12%).

      Among Millennials, "I don't like interacting with cashiers" was eight percentage points higher than the average (20%). (That means that 80% of Millennials haven't shown a preference for the self serve kiosks.)

      Two-thirds (67%) of all respondents said that self-service kiosks are convenient versus 33% inconvenient. Of the 67%, however, 41% said that, despite its convenience, the experience "could be a lot better."

      Across all respondents, 43% say that they often need help from an associate when using self-service checkout. Millennials were less likely to need support (37%) compared to those over 34 (47%).

      The top challenges in using self-service kiosks include: scanning items (35%); entering coupons (24%); understanding the service screen (16%); paying with cash (15%); and entering product codes (14%).
      When Keith Wearne goes grocery shopping, checking out with a cashier is worth the few extra moments, rather than risking that a self-service machine might go awry, mishandle his purchase and delay him even more.

      Most shoppers side with Mr. Wearne, studies show. And with that in mind, some grocery store chains nationwide are bagging the do-it-yourself option, once considered the wave of the future, in the name of customer service.

      "It's just more interactive," Mr. Wearne said during a recent shopping trip at Manchester's Big Y Foods. "You get someone who says hello; you get a person to talk to if there's a problem."

      Big Y Foods, which has 61 locations in Connecticut and Massachusetts, recently became one of the latest to announce it was phasing out the self-service lanes. Some other regional chains and major players, including some Albertsons locations, also have reduced their unstaffed lanes and added more clerks to traditional lanes.

      Market studies cited by the Arlington, Va.-based Food Marketing Institute found only 16 percent of supermarket transactions in 2010 were done at self-checkout lanes in stores that provided the option. That's down from a high of 22 percent three years ago.

      Overall, people reported being much more satisfied with their supermarket experience when they used cashier-staffed checkout lanes.

      Supermarket chains started introducing self-service lanes about 10 years ago, touting them as an easy way for shoppers to scan their items' bar codes, pay, bag their goods and be on their way. Retailers also anticipated a labor savings, potentially reducing the number of cashier shifts as they encouraged shoppers to do it themselves.

      The reality, though, was mixed. Some shoppers loved them and were quick converts, while other reactions ranged from no interest to outright dislike -- much of it shared on blogs or in Facebook groups.

      An internal study by Big Y found delays in its self-service lines caused by customer confusion over coupons, payments and other problems; intentional and accidental theft, including misidentifying produce and baked goods as less-expensive varieties; and other problems that helped guide its decision to bag the self-service lanes.
      Wal-Mart discovered after increasing the number of self-checkout systems across its more than 4,000 U.S. stores that longer lines began forming at its staffed checkouts to deal with customers with more complicated and time-consuming transactions, such as shoppers who used coupons and price matching.

      The company also recently nixed a pilot program called "Scan & Go," which ran at 200 stores and allowed shoppers to use their mobile phones to scan items as they walked through stores and pay at self-service kiosks, skipping the cashiers' lines. Wal-Mart said the process was too complicated for customers.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10306192].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    It's all about economic evolution.

    Adapt or die.

    It really is that simple.

    Technological shifts CREATE JOBS at other parts of the economy.

    Also, the efficiency UNLEASHED creates CAPITAL which creates opportunities.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10306216].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by writeaway View Post

      It's all about economic evolution.

      Adapt or die.

      It really is that simple.

      Technological shifts CREATE JOBS at other parts of the economy.

      Also, the efficiency UNLEASHED creates CAPITAL which creates opportunities.
      That's funny because I have been inside a Target less than 5 times in my life, so I assure you that I will not die if I never see another Target store. It's Target that has to adapt or die. The life of their business depends on them making the right decisions.

      What I see here in my area is that at our food store, the one self checkout never has anyone in it, even while there are lines at the cashiers.

      Clearly, the Lowe's self checkout was a fail if they have to have staff ring up the purchases at it.

      If the big stores and chains attempt to go all self checkout, there will be an increase in visits and purchases at our Mom and Pops and smaller chains that don't go self checkout, and that's a good thing in my book. I always prefer shopping at a smaller family owned business. A lot of people want customer service... certainly enough that stores that provide it will benefit from acquiring the customers from stores that don't provide it.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10306914].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        I don't know where you shop but the Kroger where I shop added a second large self checkout section recently due to customer demand. The Walmart where I used to shop last year in Mississippi was one of the last in the are to install a self checkout. The manager of that store resistent as he didn't think customers would use it...he was wrong.

        Two-thirds (67%) of all respondents said that self-service kiosks are convenient versus 33% inconvenient. Of the 67%, however, 41% said that, despite its convenience, the experience “could be a lot better.”
        In my experience it is getting better quickly. The checkout areas have become more responsive and intuitive and the process for me is almost always trouble free. I just went through two self service areas yesterday without a hitch - that's what I expect to happen.

        P.S. I think I've been in a target 3 times total. Nothing against the store but I don't like to shop so I go where I can go in - get what I want and get out quickly. Their stores are too big!

        I think it's a gradual transition as many consumer changes have been in the past. Some people like self checkout - those who don't are able to wait in line and be personally checked out by a cashier. IN the past 2 years I've noticed the number of self checkout stations increasing and the number of open cashier lines decreasing.

        I think it's quite similar to the change from full service to self service gas stations. I remember hearing adult complaining the "people won't put up with this" - "customers won't come back if they insist on self service"...but truth was, people buy gas no matter what. Food is the same...and eventually the full service stores will cost more than the self service and that will be the deciding factor for many consumers.
        Signature
        Every child needs a pet because every family needs an optimist

        Saving one dog will not save the world....but will forever change the world for one dog.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10307297].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

          I don't know where you shop but the Kroger where I shop added a second large self checkout section recently due to customer demand. The Walmart where I used to shop last year in Mississippi was one of the last in the are to install a self checkout. The manager of that store resistent as he didn't think customers would use it...he was wrong.

          In my experience it is getting better quickly. The checkout areas have become more responsive and intuitive and the process for me is almost always trouble free. I just went through two self service areas yesterday without a hitch - that's what I expect to happen.

          P.S. I think I've been in a target 3 times total. Nothing against the store but I don't like to shop so I go where I can go in - get what I want and get out quickly. Their stores are too big!

          I think it's a gradual transition as many consumer changes have been in the past. Some people like self checkout - those who don't are able to wait in line and be personally checked out by a cashier. IN the past 2 years I've noticed the number of self checkout stations increasing and the number of open cashier lines decreasing.

          I think it's quite similar to the change from full service to self service gas stations. I remember hearing adult complaining the "people won't put up with this" - "customers won't come back if they insist on self service"...but truth was, people buy gas no matter what. Food is the same...and eventually the full service stores will cost more than the self service and that will be the deciding factor for many consumers.
          Around here, people just ignore the self checkout lanes. They are always empty and that is what the research I linked to above indicated as well. These things aren't new. Some have been around for well over 10 years now. Not like it's catching on like wildfire. The research said that when the article was written several years ago, 16% of the store sales were checked out on self service, which was down 3% from 3 years earlier at 22%.

          The stores that will lose customers are the ones that don't give their customers a choice. I don't care if a store has them, as long as I don't have to use it.

          As for Target, I don't like the store and rarely ever use it. I only went a few times and once was because they had a shabby chic sheet pattern I wanted. Those sheets ripped up faster than any sheets I've ever bought.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10307487].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Grocery stores should be like a warehouse full of vending machines, swipe your debit card, open the door, grab a loaf of bread. Walk straight to the car. Cya!
    Signature
    Hi
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10307310].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I just went to my online grocery site to see what the specials are this week. In searching I found the article below...wow


      Kroger Co. (KR) innovation on display at three-day leadership summit - Insider - Story

      What if Kroger notified you if you walked past an item on your shopping list?
      That could be a bit freaky....
      Signature
      Every child needs a pet because every family needs an optimist

      Saving one dog will not save the world....but will forever change the world for one dog.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10307378].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author @tjr
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      Grocery stores should be like a warehouse full of vending machines, swipe your debit card, open the door, grab a loaf of bread. Walk straight to the car. Cya!
      I'm in the cafeteria at work so I can't look up the name...but there's a documentary on Netflix that focused on gas stations. One segment focused on a gas station where the convenience store portion was automated. You pulled up to a drive thru with a computer screen. You selected what you wanted, then paid. As you paid robots gathered your items and sent them downca chute to you. It even organized by item weight/fragility (bread and eggs came out last).

      So your solution may be closer than not.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10307424].message }}
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10307431].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    Oooooooooooooh.

    Technological innovation.

    Scawy!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10307453].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Aussie_Al
    Actually I just read an article earlier in the week - when many Australian retailers are phasing out the automatic Do it yourself check outs and are returning to the cashiers.

    Market research proved that on the whole customers preferred the human interaction (sorry Yukon!)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10307729].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      The stores that will lose customers are the ones that don't give their customers a choice. I don't care if a store has them, as long as I don't have to use it.
      Agreed. I wonder if acceptance of the self checkout is regional - it does seem people in some areas embrace it while other places seem to be against it.

      Waiting in line is my least favorite activity so I was ready - but others may prefer the personal touch.
      Signature
      Every child needs a pet because every family needs an optimist

      Saving one dog will not save the world....but will forever change the world for one dog.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10308240].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        Agreed. I wonder if acceptance of the self checkout is regional - it does seem people in some areas embrace it while other places seem to be against it.

        Waiting in line is my least favorite activity so I was ready - but others may prefer the personal touch.
        I think I'm from the region of spoiled and lazy shoppers who just want to stand in line and gawk at the ridiculous headlines on the tabloids, stare at the candy and debate whether or not to get a chocolate bar, have conversation with people in line or the cashier. lol.

        If I wanted to be a cashier, I expect to get paid for doing it. If they want to make me do the cashier's job, I want to see very significant price breaks in the products for the inconvenience of making do all the work.

        Maybe it's crowds. There aren't any here. The lines aren't significant. The pace is slower and no one is in much of a hurry, and people are very social in the grocery store and in the lines (that are only 2 or 3 people deep. There's plenty of express lines for those, like myself often, who have less than 12-15 items, and they go fast.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10308285].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
          The Winn Dixie I shopped at in MS was like that - no self checkouts but plenty of lanes open and experienced (and fast) cashiers.

          Here there seem to always be 3-4 carts in front of you in every open lane so self checkout is MUCH faster.
          Signature
          Every child needs a pet because every family needs an optimist

          Saving one dog will not save the world....but will forever change the world for one dog.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10308322].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Cali16
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        Waiting in line is my least favorite activity so I was ready - but others may prefer the personal touch.
        Speaking of cashier checkout and the "personal touch"... I normally use the self-checkout lanes as well because I don't buy a lot at once and usually just want to get in and out. And the self-serve lanes are always busy, so they're definitely popular here.

        Yesterday, however, I went through a cashier's checkout - his line was open and he looked bored. I used my debit card to get some cash back, and watched in dismay as he licked his fingers to pull the bill out of the cash register drawer.

        Can't get more of a "personal touch" than fresh saliva (ick!) on your cash!
        Signature
        If you don't face your fears, the only thing you'll ever see is what's in your comfort zone. ~Anne McClain, astronaut
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10309136].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
          LOL, Cali - I had a similar experience with a cashier who clearly had a cold and kept pulling a tissue from her pocket....and those hands touched every item I purchased!

          I literally stood there and cringed so I know how you felt!

          I have never been in a Starbucks and never intend to - I don't drink coffee

          I order pizza online frequently - drive 12 minutes to pick it up. I call ahead to my favorite fried chicken place and the food is ready to go by the time I get there. A local Chinese eatery and a sub shop nearby also have online ordering.

          I think those are benefits of living near a college town where businesses compete for student traffic/money.
          Signature
          Every child needs a pet because every family needs an optimist

          Saving one dog will not save the world....but will forever change the world for one dog.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10309228].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Cali16 View Post

          Yesterday, however, I went through a cashier's checkout - his line was open and he looked bored. I used my debit card to get some cash back, and watched in dismay as he licked his fingers to pull the bill out of the cash register drawer.

          Can't get more of a "personal touch" than fresh saliva (ick!) on your cash!
          Yes you can. You can get cash that was inserted into a druggies nose to snort drugs. Happens all the time. lol. If you're a germaphobe, you should probably never handle cash without gloves on. No telling on whose body parts it has been.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10310120].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Cali16
            Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

            Yes you can. You can get cash that was inserted into a druggies nose to snort drugs. Happens all the time. lol. If you're a germaphobe, you should probably never handle cash without gloves on. No telling on whose body parts it has been.
            I'm not a germaphobe, fortunately. I'm very aware as to how filthy paper and metal currency are. But using it for snorting drugs is not something I had heard before. Good to know!
            Signature
            If you don't face your fears, the only thing you'll ever see is what's in your comfort zone. ~Anne McClain, astronaut
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10310365].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author ThomM
              Originally Posted by Cali16 View Post

              I'm not a germaphobe, fortunately. I'm very aware as to how filthy paper and metal currency are. But using it for snorting drugs is not something I had heard before. Good to know!
              90 percent of U.S. bills carry traces of cocaine - CNN.com
              Signature

              Life: Nature's way of keeping meat fresh
              Getting old ain't for sissy's
              As you are I was, as I am you will be
              You can't fix stupid, but you can always out smart it.

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10310449].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
              Banned
              Originally Posted by Cali16 View Post

              I'm not a germaphobe, fortunately. I'm very aware as to how filthy paper and metal currency are. But using it for snorting drugs is not something I had heard before. Good to know!

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10310484].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author ThomM
                Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                Been there, done that
                Signature

                Life: Nature's way of keeping meat fresh
                Getting old ain't for sissy's
                As you are I was, as I am you will be
                You can't fix stupid, but you can always out smart it.

                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10310495].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Here's checkout technology that I actually like and doesn't put the duties of cashiers onto it's customers and saves time by not having to stand in line to order and pay. Just go to pick up your order.

    Starbucks’ Mobile Pre-Ordering Goes International With London Launch | TechCrunch

    This is most suited for restaurants and I would use it at Starbucks. Starbucks is one of the stores that I occasionally go to that does have time consuming lines. I would order pizza and other food from restaurants for take out if they had this.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10309047].message }}

Trending Topics