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  • SLR

    I wish that more stores would go back to having people run the checkout lines (instead of one person supervising a ton of blinking, beeping, jammed-up self-checkout machines)!

    • Anon5

      Really? I feel exactly the opposite. I see cashiers as a relic of the old days before UPC codes and self-bagging. These days cashiers don’t really have a purpose. They don’t even need to handle much cash any more since so many people pay with debit or credit. At my supermarkets it is almost always faster to use the self-checkout lanes rather than the few remaining live cashiers.

      • Belinskaya

        Then you’re lucky to have self-check lanes that allow patrons to use any speed at all (“place item on the belt” – I PUT IT ON THE BELT WHY YOU NOT LET ME SCAN MY NEXT ITEM?!) and patrons who have figured out the system.

        The system the cashiers use allows a higher rate of input, doesn’t have issues with lightweight/small items, and someone is watching to make sure you don’t steal things (WHY IS MY CLOVE OF GARLIC NOT REGISTERING ON THE BELT SCREW YOU SAFEWAY I’M TAKING IT HOME ANYWAY!).

        I do find it faster at Trader Joe’s, where a cashier runs the items and I bag my groceries, than to do self-check at Giant (where half the time it gets confused by my bag and I end up sweeping my grocery pile into my bag as quickly as possible after the receipt has spit out). Partly a calibration issue (just because I am fast doesn’t mean other people can be) and partly systemic (if people didn’t steal things ever, there wouldn’t be weight balancing where you have to place your items).

        But consider yourself lucky that you don’t frequently end up behind people who are slow. (also, you can’t just get rid of cashiers in total unless you feel that people with mobility or weight-bearing issues should not be allowed to pick out their own produce and should just suck up being housebound and take what Peapod gives them because yay technology. Also because people steal things and try to buy alcohol with not their id.)

        • stink eye

          not quite apples to apples. trader joes has 50 people bagging. most other grocery stores have 2 or 3

          • bruno

            Please select your language.
            Please place item in the bag!
            Please enter the number of bags used.
            Please insert coins. Then insert bills.

          • west_egg

            Do you have any coupons?

        • DC Denizen

          You can place your bag on the bagging shelf if you select the option that you brought your own bag before you start scanning. I forgot what the label. It took me a while to figure it out, but it prevents the situation you talk about – having to quickly bag afterwards. I definitely think that self checkout is faster. I wish the CVS next door would have self checkout; that is the slowest CVS in the city.

          • bruno

            If you have a CVS card, please scan it now.
            Please insert coupon at the blinking light.

  • Effie

    “Efficiency”.. not so much, I beg to differ.

    I really don’t care what they put there… the fact of the matter is I’d much rather deal with a human in the checkout lane, rather than having to scan the same item multiple times because the scanner is acting up yet again.
    Oh, and don’t get me started when I have a bottle of wine with me, only to have to wait 10 minutes because no one can find 1 employee in the entire store who can scan his/her card to tell the machine that I am well over 21 years old..

    • ET

      Or that the system stops because you brought your own bags and it is reading something that hasn’t been checked out.

    • transplanted


    • Reality

      Agreed, self-scanning is nice but many times I’ll choose a person if I have more than 10 items.

  • PBJ

    I asked one of the cashiers and she said they are getting replaced with faster self-checkout stations. Hopefully she wasn’t kidding. It’s one of the worst managed Safeway’s I’ve ever been to.

  • anon

    Seriously, I hope they bring them back or start to staff more workers. I usually tend to just grab a few things on my way home from work and my checkout time has doubled. It’s really frustrating to wait behind somebody with a cart-full when you only have three things.

  • Gabeyo

    I’m for any grocery store that takes a stance against the machines. THEY TOOK OUR JOBS

    • jcm

      It’s not even like self-checkouts have replaced workers with machines. They’ve replaced workers by making their customers do the work instead, and the customers aren’t any good at it.

      • ah


        Unless I’m buying only one or two things I haven’t found self-checkout faster.

  • jsauri

    The removed the self checkout lanes at the Soviet Safeway a couple years ago. They said customers were complaining and no one liked them. But that seemed contrary to my experience there. (I lived right across the street, so I pretty much went there every day to buy fresh food instead of stocking my kitchen.)

    I think people are just stealing too much when they don’t have staff actively watching.

  • lemeow

    Gross. I prefer the machines.

  • AsAMother

    I was there the other day, and mentioned to the cashier that she must love it as they are probably getting a lot more hours. Her response?

    “No, I hate it actually. We aren’t getting anymore hours. They’re not putting more cashiers on the schedule normally. If they feel that they need more, they’ll ask the more senior cashiers to do some overtime, but newer people like me aren’t allowed to get overtime.”

  • the dude

    This Safeway was horrible when it had self-checkout lines, and it’s horrible now. Long lines before, even longer lines now. For whatever reason they refuse to staff enough checkout personnel. Everybody I knows actively avoids this Safeway if possible, in favor of Harris Teeter.

    • SassyinDC

      Then there’s the Safeway in Ward 7 on Alabama Avenue, EOTR near Hillcrest. I have lived here for 16 years and can count on one hand the number of times I’ve subjected myself to that place. I could easily walk to that store, but drive 5 mins. to the Hill for Potimac Ave. Harris Teeter or 7 mins to Southeast Waterfront Harris Teeter– why?- customer service. It is non-existent at the Ward 7 Safeway, not to mention lines half way in the aisles while customers abandon their respective carts to do additional shopping while using said carts as place holders in check out line.

      Not a fan of Safeway.

  • Anon

    Trader joes and whole foods know how to design a checkout line and handle way more volume than these crappy safeways. Why doesn’t Safeway management just copy their system?…. Oh yeah they’re cheap and this would require staffing up. I Can’t believe these safeways are still in business… They’re not even cheaper than TJs and WF in most cases and the quality of produce and other food is abysmal… End rant**

    • Anon

      Why? Two words: private equity.

  • Shaw

    I LOVE the self checkout machines, and won’t shop somewhere that doesn’t have them. Yes, they have their own annoyances with buying wine or not reading the weight of something correctly, etc., *however*, I never end up with a gallon of milk on top of a loaf of bread when I check out myself, and I don’t have to deal with an employee who seems to go out of their way to display their annoyance with me for merely showing up in their lane, which thereby mandates they actually do their job.
    I will gleefully take a self-ordering touchscreen at a fast food place they way they do it in Europe or a self-checkout machine at the grocery ANY DAY OF THE WEEK than a human. When I use the machines and do it myself, it gets done right, it gets done quickly, and it gets done without any attitude. Every. Single. Time.

    • bruno

      Please swipe your card and then follow the system prompts.

    • Reality

      Social issues, maybe?


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