Monday, June 1, 2009

Protecting Jobs Through Laziness

My local Woolworths has just been remodelled. Now where there used to be a string of smiling checkout staff there are instead a bunch of brand new self-scanning booths. It is little wonder unemployment is on the rise.

Recruiting customers to act as scab labour is no doubt regarded as a corporate masterstroke. After all, nothing impresses the share market like cutting pesky overheads such as wages. The fact that so many are eager to scan their own frozen peas is however disturbing. Being lazy is a very simple step anyone can take to protect Aussie jobs, yet still I see my compatriots taking the far harder DIY approach.

While Woolworths may regard checkout chicks as blights on the balance sheet, I regard them as heroes for theirs is not an easy job. Toiling for minimum wage under harsh fluorescent lights, they are forced to listen to a mix of sickly in-house music and small children screaming incessantly because mum has denied them a strawberry Freddo. The line of customers never ends and with each incoming cough comes a new threat of swine flu.

Having once manned a register myself, I also know of every checkout worker’s worst fear - that incredibly awkward moment when a pack of condoms won’t scan and you must call for a price check. At Kmart I once had to make small talk with a fat chick while waiting 5 minutes for a price check on the pink G-string she was buying. Despite trying not to visualise the pink stringy thing on the pink fleshy thing the mental images could not be escaped.

Despite dealing with rude customers, regular docket malfunctions and badly printed barcodes, these heroes somehow handle it all with good grace. Unlike their machine counterparts, they also manage to greet me warmly and wish me well as they hand over my change.

To help the cause I have started a sticker campaign in the local area using a reappropriated propoganda poster. After 1 day none have been torn down. Yay!

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