Welcome To The Machine: More Automated Check-Outs On The Horizon
I love Home Depot. I am in Home Depot usually three times a week or more. As part of the building for Nightmare on 19th Street I usually buy supplies on Friday, a few more on Saturday and have to do some kind of 'emergency' Saturday night run. I know a lot of the people in Home Depot and a lot of them say hello to me by name. Now, insidious machines are taking over. More after the jump.
I like the Home Depot self-checkout. I never cheat because I want it to stick around. Sure, I usually use the humans in the contractor check out line, but if I just need a couple of items, I run them through the automated system. What DOES bother me though, is the new security cameras they've installed in the aisles. They can say they're for loss prevention all they want; what they are is replacements for human help. It might be a few less people per store or it might be a lot...I don't care, like a lot of people in the Home Depot I need help finding stuff from time to time and the cameras don't help.
Now this isn't just the Home Depot, in fact this blog was inspired by J.C. Penny's. Penny's has decided to go to self check-out systems. They say it's not necessarily to replace people, but to free the people up to do other things. Man, that's some real 'lawyer' talk right there.
Now I don't begrudge anybody doing business any way they want to, but I do let my thoughts be known. EVERY SINGLE TIME one of those automated cameras flip on as I'm going down the isle, I flip the camera off. I want whoever is working the security cameras to know that a. I don't like being presumed guilty and b. I don't like they replaced human help with a camera. I would encourage you to do the same. Some people worry something will happen to them if they give the bird to the camera, but nothing will. Some day word will get up to the upper executives that we really want to do business with these stores but they are making it an uncomfortable experience.