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Frank Hovis

W H Smith Self Service - When Did This Happen?

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Small one in town, may well be a year since I last used it. Went in today to pick up a paper as I was passing, went up to the double sided central till and it wasn't there, long book case instead. OK, must be the other side only, went back round, not there. Confused.

Then I noticed an empty till desk now on the side that I had walked past without noticing (it hadn't previously changed its layout in decades). Staff jacket hung up but no member of staff in evidence. Next to it was a single self service till so I used that.

The shoplifting toll must be horrendous; walk in, grab a book, magazine, drink and walk out. I presume there is only one member of staff who must also receive deliveries, go for a wee, tidy up etc.

In the big supermarkets you have a whole bank of self service tills and one member of staff permanently hovering so that works.

But why have a single self service till next to a staffed one, unless the solitary member of staff is expected to be elsewhere a lot?

Who thought that this was a good idea?

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My whsmityh has a couple of teen girlies chatting. I reckon if I ask if they are models u could get most of the sweetie counter out the door.

I like the tesco self checkout. It's great for getting rid of all my small change. giving more than 5p in change to tye checkoutgirls confused them.

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I always make an effort in WH SMITH of forcing them to open a till for me and use a human operator. Sometimes the staff are exasperated and I explain that I am trying to help their jobs remaining. Most get it - you can see the lightbulb go on.

A good example of automation that should be disallowed. Moving the cost of labour onto the consumer to increase profits for the owners.

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I always make an effort in WH SMITH of forcing them to open a till for me and use a human operator. Sometimes the staff are exasperated and I explain that I am trying to help their jobs remaining. Most get it - you can see the lightbulb go on.

A good example of automation that should be disallowed. Moving the cost of labour onto the consumer to increase profits for the owners.

The tax structure encourages automation. Income tax, employer and employee NI, mandated benefits like maternity/sick pay, risks of tribunals etc. We wouldn't have half as much automation happening if we freed up employment law and shifted taxes away from employment and toward consumption and wealth taxes.

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The tax structure encourages automation. Income tax, employer and employee NI, mandated benefits like maternity/sick pay, risks of tribunals etc. We wouldn't have half as much automation happening if we freed up employment law and shifted taxes away from employment and toward consumption and wealth taxes.

Add in the compulsory workplace pension and if you're a small tradesman considering hiring an 18 yo to train them up then you're going to see the payroll and employment regulations as a ridculous amount of hassle and not bother.

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do you have to ask yourself if you want a bar of chocolate

The machine does. Honest.

I'm not sure what I'm meant todfo. choccies way away from the machine.

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:lol::lol::lol::lol:

It was funny; it's about time we had a "like" function on here, you feel you shouldn't do lots of +1s and lols but some gems should not go unsaluted.

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I guess the automatic checkouts are partially why WHSmiths persists on our highstreets (that have become more obviously troubled and dog eat dog since Woolworths went bye bye).

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I guess the automatic checkouts are partially why WHSmiths persists on our highstreets (that have become more obviously troubled and dog eat dog since Woolworths went bye bye).

WH Smith has been going since the later 1700s. I read somewhere that it started as a 'newswalk' where you could not only buy a newspaper but also rent one for an hour - in the days when they were printed on much more expensive paper and were unaffordable for most people, but were much more durable. Hence a newspaper might be circulated among a lot of people, richest first, and still be being read a long time after it came off the press.

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And yet we all get our news from the Internet instead of newspapers and then wonder out loud why shop checkouts are being automated.

It is less that than the fact that a whole shopful of stock was entirely unattended. Whatever they may be saving must be heavily outweighed by the losses in making this a shoplifter's paradise.

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I fkin hate automatic checkouts and, indeed, online shopping.

The interpersonal social interactions of day-to-day trade are what build community.

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I fkin hate automatic checkouts and, indeed, online shopping.

The interpersonal social interactions of day-to-day trade are what build community.

Yes, and I always remember that shop staff are people and chat to them, or am happy to stand and wait whilst they chat to an acquaintance. If they apologise I say something along the lines that it would be very boring for them if they couldn't have a chat.

I don't like buying things online for various reasons (security, scams, being in to receive deliveries) but occasionally it is necessary.

I couldn't make a weekend break on a big caravan site recently, it was a cheap deal out of the paper so I knew that there was no question of a refund but I phoned them up to let them know that I wasn't coming so that they wouldn't need to chase up.

The word the lady used that I had called to let them know was "stunned"; apparently people just don't turn up and never have the "common" courtesy to let them know. I got the impression that I was the first ever to do so. What a shame.

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I fkin hate automatic checkouts and, indeed, online shopping.

The interpersonal social interactions of day-to-day trade are what build community.

It's called "progress", you're supposed to like it, and if you don't apparenty you're an inconsistent loony if you don't want to go back to being a Victorian factory worked / medieval peasant / Stone Age flint chipper.

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It's called "progress", you're supposed to like it, and if you don't apparenty you're an inconsistent loony if you don't want to go back to being a Victorian factory worked / medieval peasant / Stone Age flint chipper.

I suppose I shouldn't worry about the demise of community and mutual support and friendship being built into our lives from the ground up because the government cares for us and provides all that now. Look here - to replace the warp and weft of commerce and conversation, they're putting on "CommUNITY Days" for us plebs: http://www.dudley.gov.uk/media/media-releases/september-2015/19-dudley-joins-together-for-dudley-community-day/

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My local WH SMITH seems to be sadly lacking in ink and blotting paper.

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I suppose I shouldn't worry about the demise of community and mutual support and friendship being built into our lives from the ground up because the government cares for us and provides all that now. Look here - to replace the warp and weft of commerce and conversation, they're putting on "CommUNITY Days" for us plebs: http://www.dudley.gov.uk/media/media-releases/september-2015/19-dudley-joins-together-for-dudley-community-day/

It's called control.

We have continuous low-level stimulation that prevents us from thinking, millions of all ages are on tranquillising drugs, online purchasing so we don't have to meet anybody, and then state-controlled / taxpayer-funded social events with all the actual enjoyment of a New Year's Eve in town.

We do, however, have a choice not to partake in any of these unwelcome changes.

I have no TV but read books, I shop in town and talk to the staff, I've only taken pills when I have actual flu. And I think on here the majority can say exactly the same.

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My local WH SMITH seems to be sadly lacking in ink and blotting paper.

They still do ink, I have a bottle on my desk.

Blotting paper is only a necessity for left-hookers; are you confessing to sinister tendencies?

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No Frank I have just signed up to a Virgin Mega-deal TV package, and doubled my internet speed, for fiver a month less. I spent ages fiddling with the TV box until it finally worked, and now I have access to endless repeats of Antique Road Show, and other tat. I will probably not watch it much.

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They still do ink, I have a bottle on my desk.

Blotting paper is only a necessity for left-hookers; are you confessing to sinister tendencies?

Sadly they had no red or black ink. The only colours I need.

It's not a problem being a lefty. Otherwise right handed people would have a hard time in Semitic lands, where the big noses all write bacwards. :mellow:

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Diamine Ink is the place to go. Available at all good fountain pen shops (or, of course, their web site!).

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Diamine Ink is the place to go. Available at all good fountain pen shops (or, of course, their web site!).

I always think you may be mistaken for a gentleman, if you use a real fountain pen. Obviously to not fill them to the brim before long flights, as some ink might escape. Red ink is particularly worrying to the flight staff.

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