Am I the only person
who finds the self service checkouts springing up everywhere unbelievably irritating? Having decided that £40 was a bit much to spend on a Christmas tree, we retreated to B&Q who now have cheap Christmas trees (good) but now have these wretched self service things installed. The chap in the queue before us gave up, dumped his stuff, and left, and after the machine had been re-set, it was our go. It's the voice that gets me - all calmly reasonable, and so bloody bossy. Do this... do that.... Pay now... tolerant pause ... Pay now... further tolerant pause... Pay now.... by which time, the idiot human (me) at the other end is steaming, as all payment methods are at the right hand side, apart from the one I want, which is to the left, which Miss Bossy doesn't see fit to mention. Then being reminded "Don't forget your receipt" makes me want to scream "NO you bossy mare, I won't take it!"
Of course, all this irritation and fury means nothing whatsoever to the machine, which sits there, utterly and totally unmoved: which of course is the point - I like a human at the end of the transaction.
Our local libraries are all introducing self service now too. I can't think of any way though, that it might mean more books unless they cut staff too. I've watched our local libraries gradually shedding books, sometimes on the most spurious criteria. One library decided to move from 6 shelves to 5, the theory being that books were easier to reach (I could reach them all without thinking about it and I am a massive 5' 8"). Hundreds of books were junked. Recently anything without the right sort of bar code - ie anything not published within the last 10 years - was also junked as it couldn't be read by the new self service machines. The dreadful irony of this is that there is very little left in our village library now that I actually want to read, so I go less and less often.
If there is anyone out there reading this who works for the library services, and can tell me what the rationale is behind cutting the number of books you stock, I would love to hear from them: the more so if it's working and the number of borrowers is up.