When checking out at the grocery store, what is more important? Saving time or saving someone's livelihood?

On one hand, self checkouts can be time savers when the "manned" cash register lines are longer than the self checkouts. By going to a real person to check out though, we're helping keep peeps employed.

The self checkouts can be annoying. For example: bar codes that won't scan, sales prices not honored, you need approval for an alcohol purchase and don't get me started on fresh produce. You almost always need to call the person watching the area and they're usually already busy which eats into your time savings. (PS: If there are 2 or more people watching the self checkouts, you may have to let them finish their conversation ... or go interrupt it ... which, again, eats into the time you meant to save.)

On the other hand, the lines tend to be longer for the regular cashiers as people with tons of items usually go there for the bagging assistance as well as to avoid all the issues detailed above. There is also a little more chit chat between customer and cashier which has a good and bad side. Good side, basic human interaction. Bad side, more time spent paying.

Don't let security guide your decision, I have wandered away with items unpaid for in both cases due to oversights on the part of the "cashiers" ... both of us. I may as well also point out that there is no employee discount for us "self-checkers". (Whatever you do, don't let things get ugly.) All of this brings us back to the basic question; should we worry about saving time or saving jobs?

What do you think? Post your answer in the comments.

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