Sep 5, 2019

Grocery self-checkout: Don't cling to the past.

Don't get stuck in the past. Times change.  I used to be a "paperboy" as a kid. That job no longer exists. My first real job was a long distance operator for Ma Bell.My sister was a directory assistance operator. IVR technology, the internet and mobile phones made operators obsolete.

As an AT&T account manager, I used to sell long distance packages,  800 numbers, and T1's to businesses for outrageous $$. The internet made "long distance" calling virtually free. No more AT&T account managers.

 I had a "brick" cell phone I could plug into my heavy laptop to upload files to AT&T at 300 baud, using FTP. It took forever to upload files.Now I use an android phone that fits in my pocket and can upload/download at a zillion megabytes/second.

When we bought our first PC, it had a slow modem. Dial up. You could access gopher, local bbs's etc. Now I have blazing fast internet and the wonders of http, and the "world wide web".

I used to have a record player, a cassette walkman, an a CD player. Now I have my music on my android.

I had a new VCR, it was heavy, you had to rewind the videotape. You had to pay big bucks to rent movies from Blockbuster. Now I can stream movies to my TV or my android. No rewinding necessary.

I used to have to spend hours calling around to find auto parts, lawn mower parts, to shop for the next deals for electronics, clothes, games, gifts, movies, etc. I used to buy clothes from Lands End, Eddie Bauer etc. It sometimes took several days for my order to be shipped. Now I just go to Amazon, and get what I ordered (usually) the next day.

I admit, I'm still a Neanderthal and only buy real books from brick and mortar stores. I still occasionally buy a "paper" newspaper, even though there's not much to read.

But times change. When personal computers became affordable, the new jobs created by the new IT industry created millions more jobs than there were paperboys, long distance operators, long distance account reps etc.

I'm sure it won't be long before grocery stores will have a scanner that can "scan" an entire grocery cart full of items in just a few seconds.

It will happen. Grocery checkers will soon become obsolete. Sad but true.

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