What's up with Walmart Making You Work the Self-check Register? (Opinion)


Photo byGerardo Marrufo on Unsplash

This story went viral because a Walmart customer decided to leave his cart full of groceries versus 'work' at the checkout counter as he declared that he was not there to work but to shop!

Is this new post-COVID free labor concept known to you? I am sure familiar with it, down in the deep south where I reside, I am an avid Walmart shopper. Though I frequent a few different merchants, I utilize Walmart for some staple items.

Before the days of COVID, one could shop at Walmart and have a choice at the checkout counter, do I use self-check or go to an actual flesh and blood person working the checkout? Suddenly COVID let up on the world and I visited Walmart, only to realize that I had become an unpaid employee.

In the spirit of disappearing democracy, the food chain merchant seemed to have fired most of their employees, forcing hapless customers into becoming something of seasonal unpaid wage earners.

In the spirit of the customer who decided to leave a shopping cart full of items rather than check them out himself, I must say I have felt his pain every time I have gone to Walmart within the past two years or so. This question has always been paramount in my mind, 'Why am I expected to check out my own items". I never applied for nor did I agree either verbally or in writing to work Walmart cash-out registers.

And because Walmart does not appear to have any cashiers in sight if I want to take home the items I need from their store, I will have to do the following;

1, Rise each day, go to my place of employment, or be present on Zoom for an agreed-upon length of time.

2. Then after I am paid from my main job, I take myself to Walmart and use my time and free skills, and hard-earned cash to work their cash register, all for free!

3. Walmart laying off these people who need their jobs and making me work for free, is not cool!

I have felt like the man in this story like leaving the shopping basket filled with items because why am I forced to work their registers? Imagine older people or those who have some difficulties learning new things, they have a hard time trying to find a cashier in the store.

My mother for instance, at 73 years old has much difficulty navigating the self-checkout at Walmart. So far, I have only seen this phenomenon elsewhere except in the giant merchant.

But I persevere and I have been forced to learn to work their registers, but each time I shop at their stores, I feel some angst when I have to pay.

Have you encountered this?


What are your thoughts on being forced to self-checkout?

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