Anyone have any thoughts on those self-checkout aisles that seem to be cropping up at superstores and grocery stores? I just saw a clip from ABC News about people using them to cheat the store by not paying.

Maybe I'm showing my age, but I do my best to avoid having to use a self-checkout aisle when I'm shopping.

Not that I'm afraid of new technology. I'm not. I tried one of the self-checkout aisles once - discovered it is pretty easy to do - but regardless, I've decided to avoid them like the plague.

Call me old fashioned, but I like service when I'm shopping. Not that I like to be tailed by a clerk as soon as I walk in the door, but once I wheel my cart up to the checkout at Walmart, Lowes or my local grocery store, I want a store employee to scan my stuff as I place them on the belt - and then I want another one to bag them, load them into my cart, and cheerfully haul that car to my car, where this same cheerful person will load my car.

And no, I don't want to tip anyone for this service. But I do like it when the checker, bagger and hauler are friendly, quick, personable, and cheerful. Extra points for if they act like they remember me from past visits, and are happy to see me again.

I guess if I wanted a totally automated shopping trip, complete with self-checkout, well then I'll choose online shopping. And I do that, too.

I'm sure the stores with the self-checkout equipment see it as a way to save on personnel costs. And I appreciate their interest in reducing overhead - especially if they pass the savings on to me.

But I suspect that the savings that might accrue from self-checkout could easily be lost via customers who walk out and never return due to frustration, not to mention those who will inevitably try to cheat the scanners somehow.

Anyone else have any thoughts on their experiences with self-checkout? Love it? Hate it? Let's talk...
Boomer in Chief of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.