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Checker, please


Notice to Walmart shoppers, I think I have experienced the future of the retail giant’s customers. I also predict that there are those who will not be so excited.

In fact, an ironic social media meme likely expressed the sentiment of many buyers of Wallyworld that the company owed it to him for putting him to work as an “untrained auditor.”

After collecting items in Branson’s Walmart Supercenter the other day, I searched in vain for a queue with less than five customers waiting. I didn’t even see a single line because there wasn’t a single pawn to see.

Call me spoiled, but I have become conditioned (by Walmart itself) to have a smiling cashier who makes a living by handling the transfer of my money to the public company account.

What I found in their place that day was at least 17 self-service checkouts and a dozen people waiting in a single line to acquire an open machine and pay to the world’s largest company. what we owed him.

Although the self-serve line moved a little faster than expected, it was hard to spot a smile among shoppers.

The experience also made me wonder how many jobs will be lost by this transition to electronic beeps and an impersonal recorded shipment from the machine that repeats, “Thanks for shopping at Walmart!” “

I also couldn’t help but wonder how many customers in the future might choose a shopping experience elsewhere that still includes cashiers. I noticed that Harrison’s competitor Dollar General Stores was closed for several days to be completely renovated to offer more merchandise.

I asked an employee in a yellow vest on the way out if her store’s self-service approach represented the future of Walmart. She smiled as she said, “I sure hope not.

Still, I won’t be surprised (if not already on the drawing board in a Walmart conference room) to see the stores of the future serve primarily as merchandise and grocery transfer hubs. We will order online or by app to be delivered to waiting vehicles or perhaps to our homes.

fast lane SUV

Speaking of obsolescence, I couldn’t believe it when Jeanetta told me that two friends with competing auto sales lots told me her SUVs are taking over the market, selling faster than cars. conventional and were the wave of the future. “They told me the cars would become obsolete,” she said.

There was no doubt in my mind that SUVs of all makes and models are as popular today as pickup trucks. But … surely no more than our beloved cars?

But the doubts started to swell as we were driving down the highway the other day.

Just for fun, we started noting the vehicles we saw coming and going. Our race count over a few kilometers looked like this: “SUV, SUV, pick-up, SUV, car, SUV, SUV, SUV, pick-up, car, SUV, SUV, SUV, crossover, car, pick-up, van.” Okay, that’s enough already! You get the picture.

There’s no heartbreaking revelation here, I guess. Still, that should be enough for esteemed readers who view a vehicle’s resale value as important and a point to consider when trade-in time fluctuates.

Wake up, Hollywood

We went to the movies last week for the first time in months. The new comfortable power recliners were perfect for lounging. The popcorn tasted even better than I remembered. Hooray.

Then came the movie. I’ve written before about Hollywood’s obsession with producing boring movies centered not on good acting and convincing writing (think “Shawshank Redemption”, https://www.nwaonline.com/news/ 2021 / jul / 06 / checker-please / “Dancing with the Wolves,” https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2021/jul/06/checker-please/ “Cape Fear,” https: // www. nwaonline.com/news/2021/jul/06 / checker-please / “Saving Private Ryan” etc.) but more violence, sex, and silly, uncreative special effects.

The car chase scenes, endless explosions, bedroom scenes, and obvious attempts at social engineering left us staring at each other without the need for words. We had enough after 30 minutes.

Upcoming attractions promoted the same ilk. None of them sounded the least interesting, unless you’re a fan of Marvel comics, loud noises, blood, and gore.

No one asked, but if they had, I would tell them that Hollywood will have to do a lot better if it hopes to turn people away from TV streaming services by providing films that are entertaining and creative enough to shell out at least $ 10. $ each to watch.

We enjoyed three compelling movies and two series this past weekend on Netflix and Amazon that put theater offerings to shame.

I am sure I am not alone. There were eight other people in the theater when we came out. One was sleeping.

Take one

I still have some of my “Rythms of Life from a Southern Journalist” CDs available for free, containing 14 timeless columns from the turn of the century (just kidding). I am asking $ 5 to cover the shipping costs. You can use it as a plastic disc for your dog if the contents leave you cold, or perhaps as a remedy for insomnia: 1002 West Bunn Ave., Harrison, Ark. 72601.

Now go out into the world and treat everyone you meet exactly the way you want them to treat you.

Mike Masterson is a longtime Arkansas reporter, was editor of three Arkansas dailies, and led the Masters of Journalism program at Ohio State University. Email him at [email protected]


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