A word of caution to striking fast food workers

posted at 1:21 pm on August 30, 2013 by Bruce McQuain

You can be replaced:

McDonalds recently went on a hiring binge in the U.S., adding 62,000 employees to its roster. The hiring picture doesn’t look quite so rosy for Europe, where the fast food chain is drafting 7,000 touch-screen kiosks to handle cashiering duties.

The move is designed to boost efficiency and make ordering more convenient for customers. In an interview with the Financial Times, McDonald’s Europe President Steve Easterbrook notes that the new system will also open up a goldmine of data.

Automation becomes more and more of an option as our technology advances continue to expand exponentially.  And automation usually is used to replace low-end, low-skilled workers – like those in fast food restaurants.  That’s an unfortunate truth.  Automation becomes a viable option when the job it would replace becomes too expensive to the employer when using traditional means.  That is, a worker.  If the worker can be replaced at a reasonable cost with a machine or system that is reliable and in the end makes that operation more efficient and profitable, chances are the employer will take that option.

$15 an hour certainly pushes any number of fast food jobs into that range.    The McDonald’s kiosks are simply a fast food version of ATMs.  The list of what they don’t require is quite extensive.  They don’t require scheduling, benefits, sick days, or even pay.  They’re efficient, consistent, and while they might break down occasionally, they’ll never demand a vacation or time off.  Oh, and no ObamaCare costs.

~McQ

 


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The McDonald’s kiosks are simply a fast food version of ATMs. The list of what they don’t require is quite extensive. They don’t require scheduling, benefits, sick days, or even pay. They’re efficient, consistent, and while they might break down occasionally, they’ll never demand a vacation or time off. Oh, and no ObamaCare costs.

That’s all well and good, but because of all of the things listed above they are also racist, therefore bad.

Gatsu on August 30, 2013 at 1:24 PM

And kiosks don’t have an attitude, wear tattoos or show late for no reason, either.

HiJack on August 30, 2013 at 1:25 PM

If I can pay for my groceries without a cashier (which I actually prefer), I am definitely able to order & receive fast food without one.

22044 on August 30, 2013 at 1:25 PM

And, a machine never goes out on strike.

unclesmrgol on August 30, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Striking fast-food workers might do for the fast-food industry what the UAW did for automobile manufacturing!

slickwillie2001 on August 30, 2013 at 1:25 PM

They’re efficient, consistent, and while they might break down occasionally, they’ll never demand a vacation or time off.

And they don’t freak out when I hand over 20.01 for a 5.01 tab. The extra change is confusing to almost every cashier I’ve dealt with.

BacaDog on August 30, 2013 at 1:26 PM

And they don’t judge you when you’re ordering your food.

I bet, though, that lunch rushes will be awful as customers will be slow with these things.

philoquin on August 30, 2013 at 1:27 PM

I can’t wait for the digitized fry cook. At that point, all Ronald McDonald will need is one person per shift (or maybe 2) to mind the machines and the cleaning.

I will miss the “human” touches though (most of which I won’t mention because it is lunch hour).

Steve Eggleston on August 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM

I would prefer a Kiosk to the kids behind the counter with giant gaping holes in their ear-lobes, metal suds in their faces and/or the short little illegal alien “dreamer pre-citizen” who can’t speak a lick of English….

powerpickle on August 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM

I’ve cut fast food out of my diet almost completely, but I’ve always loved Big Macs. You guys are killing me with those Big Mac pictures at lunch time today and dinner yesterday.

Flange on August 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM

And, they’re multi-lingual, if you’re literate.
Can’t wait for the voice-only kiosks.

Another Drew on August 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM

And they don’t freak out when I hand over 20.01 for a 5.01 tab. The extra change is confusing to almost every cashier I’ve dealt with.

BacaDog on August 30, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Try handing them $20.05 for the $5.01 tab if you want head explosions.

Steve Eggleston on August 30, 2013 at 1:29 PM

They probably don’t give you a blank stare when you hand them $20.50 for a charge of $8.45, either.

tru2tx on August 30, 2013 at 1:29 PM

SEIU to astroturf some protesters in 5….4….3…2….1….

powerpickle on August 30, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Ah, but do they give you the snarky look, when you punch their buttons???

bflat879 on August 30, 2013 at 1:30 PM

It appears I am not the only one who has had issues with baffled cashiers.

tru2tx on August 30, 2013 at 1:31 PM

And, a machine never goes out on strike.

unclesmrgol on August 30, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Until they become self aware.

SkyNet is almost online.

portlandon on August 30, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Any automation is good, as it frees people to do more productive tasks.

That said, the entire economic system in the US is so jacked up that actually both sides are probably right. We haven’t had a free market in generations.

antisense on August 30, 2013 at 1:31 PM

And, in these United States, 80% of the people will have no sympathy when you are laid off.

Old Country Boy on August 30, 2013 at 1:33 PM

And they don’t freak out when I hand over 20.01 for a 5.01 tab. The extra change is confusing to almost every cashier I’ve dealt with.

BacaDog on August 30, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Try handing them $20.05 for the $5.01 tab if you want head explosions.

Steve Eggleston on August 30, 2013 at 1:29 PM

This is so funny! I was a cashier in a supermarket when I was in my 20′s. I’m 52 now but I’m convinced that NO ONE under the age of 35 can give change without the aid of a calculator. They just can’t do it!

AOTC

Agent of the Cross on August 30, 2013 at 1:34 PM

“Earl Gray, hot!”

As often as my order is mixed up when in a drive-thru, I wondered why some (like Micky D’s) hadn’t/haven’t already implementing kiosk, even if only in trial areas.

Goody2Shoes on August 30, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Maybe the robot would get my order right more often.

Akzed on August 30, 2013 at 1:36 PM

This Kabuki theater strike is really a last pathetic gasp of private unions in general. Unions have negotiated themselves right out of the manufacturing sector almost entirely, so now they are left with the highly skilled and much sought after burger flipper segment…unions have certainly come a long way.

NotCoach on August 30, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Try handing them $20.05 for the $5.01 tab if you want head explosions.

Steve Eggleston on August 30, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Full mental meltdown occurs when you give them $6.13 for a $5.88 order.

PackerBronco on August 30, 2013 at 1:37 PM

How are they going to teach the robots to push the correct pictogram?
/
 
Seriously, though, I am concerned about the logistics of ensuring the hole in the lid lines up with the seam on the coffee cup every single dang time.

rogerb on August 30, 2013 at 1:38 PM

heh……. Sarah Connor …..
.
Luvin it !

FlaMurph on August 30, 2013 at 1:38 PM

I’d love ordering my food from a kiosk, if it means I can both pay cash and get what I want–say a burger with no onions or pickles, add mayo and lettuce, etc. The convenience would be worth it. And to avoid longer wait lines, all they’d have to do is install more than one machine–maybe even have one per table. You just go in, sit down, punch out your order and wait for it to be called.

I’ve worked in the fast food industry before. Worked briefly for McDonald’s. I hated it. Too much pressure. Worked for a local fish food company later and loved it. They were a little more relaxed, but you still worked your tail off, preparing food, serving, cleaning. It’s hard work. But it’s not worth $15 per hour, and I’m certainly glad I’m not doing it now, although I’d do it again if I had to.

theotherone on August 30, 2013 at 1:38 PM

As often as my order is mixed up when in a drive-thru, I wondered why some (like Micky D’s) hadn’t/haven’t already implementing kiosk, even if only in trial areas.

Goody2Shoes on August 30, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Business owners refuse to change models even when they know they are failing or not doing as well as they could. See Blockbuster, Best Buy, and any sit-down restaurant.

The causes are many: tradition, hard-headedness, and terrible business sense. For instance, many open up tacky Americana restaurants, (Maz & Ermas, Applebees, TGIF(ake liquor)ridays, and so on even though they know restaurants have a huge fail rate. Last I heard it was somewhere around 50%. What that tells me is that the business model these people are completely unwilling to deviate from doesn’t work anymore since the 50′s are over.

Time to modernize business. The government never does, which is one reason why it should be as small as possible.

antisense on August 30, 2013 at 1:39 PM

I made a personal rule that if the total does not go over $25 or more then 5 items on a Walmart trip I go to the self checkout till. There is nothing worse than waiting in line with 3 items with the 40 closed tills. Even the cashier gives a dirty look when you only have 3 items as that is all one needs right now.

tjexcite on August 30, 2013 at 1:39 PM

And kiosks don’t have an attitude, wear tattoos or show late for no reason, either.

HiJack on August 30, 2013 at 1:25 PM

I would prefer a Kiosk to the kids behind the counter with giant gaping holes in their ear-lobes, metal suds in their faces and/or the short little illegal alien “dreamer pre-citizen” who can’t speak a lick of English….

powerpickle on August 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM

The tattoos are tolerable, but the piercings absolutely obliterate the appetite I come in with.

antipc on August 30, 2013 at 1:39 PM

It’s not just robots. At $15 an hour many or most fast food restaurants wouldn’t survive. Only the high margin high traffic joints would keep operating. To those that like KFC or McD or whatever, most wouldn’t attribute it to the new wage, but they would be bummed that there is not that much choice around anymore. Open that can of beef stew, and add some alphabet soup…

anotherJoe on August 30, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Obama did say that ATM’s are stealing jobs. He has only himself to blame.

txhsmom on August 30, 2013 at 1:40 PM

I used to make my employees count change back to customers, had to train almost all of them how to do it. They didn’t like it but I hope it help their future employers.

Best story – I had this college girl who had held jobs before I hired her. Looked at me when I handed her a 50cent piece and asked, “what’s that?”

I kid you not….

MontanaMmmm on August 30, 2013 at 1:40 PM

And they don’t freak out when I hand over 20.01 for a 5.01 tab. The extra change is confusing to almost every cashier I’ve dealt with.

BacaDog on August 30, 2013 at 1:26 PM

I do that all time in order to get only quarters back if I’m getting any loose change. It has become a kind of strange theater to watch one of these highly skilled cashiers mentally digest what I have done to them. And after using that strange magical device that stores the money to do the conversion for them the final look of surprised understanding of why I did what I did is always priceless.

NotCoach on August 30, 2013 at 1:41 PM

There is nothing worse than waiting in line with 3 items with the 40 closed tills. Even the cashier gives a dirty look when you only have 3 items as that is all one needs right now.
 
tjexcite on August 30, 2013 at 1:39 PM

 
I always let you ahead of me.

rogerb on August 30, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Unfortunately, the low-skilled are too damned stupid to realize that they can be replaced by a machine.

GarandFan on August 30, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Bruce- that’s some really awkward writing. Tighten up the thought process before hitting the keyboard. Thanks.

Scotsman on August 30, 2013 at 1:42 PM

There’s a lot to be said for the good old Automat too. With todays technology you wouldn’t use coins like you used to, just your debit card.

Kevin R on August 30, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Europe, where the fast food chain is drafting 7,000 touch-screen kiosks to handle cashiering duties.

Yeah, but in Europe, the customers can read.

The Rogue Tomato on August 30, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Any automation is good, as it frees people to do more productive tasks.

antisense on August 30, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Actually “capital vs. labor” is (and always has been) a pure economic decision. When the machine can do it cheaper (that being a little more complicated than it sounds on its face), move to the machine. It’s been that way since man walked on 2 feet.

teejk on August 30, 2013 at 1:46 PM

SEIU to astroturf some protesters in 5….4….3…2….1….

powerpickle on August 30, 2013 at 1:30 PM

And, of course, they will pay them at (or below) minimum wage, with no benefits. And they will never see the irony of the situation.

RoadRunner on August 30, 2013 at 1:49 PM

I’ve been using touch screen ordering at Sheetz for years. Surprised all the fast food places haven’t done it yet.

dddave on August 30, 2013 at 1:50 PM

What blows my mind is the guy with 21 years and still at minimum wage. What a loser. And he demanded a raise during the strike. If I were the owner, id fire him after just a couple of years, if that long, for not making himself valuable with longevity under his belt.

AH_C on August 30, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Any automation is good, as it frees people to do more productive tasks.
 
antisense on August 30, 2013 at 1:31 PM

 
Actually “capital vs. labor” is (and always has been) a pure economic decision. When the machine can do it cheaper (that being a little more complicated than it sounds on its face), move to the machine. It’s been that way since man walked on 2 feet.
 
teejk on August 30, 2013 at 1:46 PM

 
Burke’s “Connections” gets mentioned every so often in light of these things. Full episodes are on youtube (legally, too, IIRC). Worth watching if any of you haven’t seen them:
 
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL734BAB2B716CC777
 
There’s a book as well.

rogerb on August 30, 2013 at 1:53 PM

The McDonald’s kiosks are simply a fast food version of ATMs. The list of what they don’t require is quite extensive. They don’t require scheduling, benefits, sick days, or even pay. They’re efficient, consistent, and while they might break down occasionally, they’ll never demand a vacation or time off. Oh, and no ObamaCare costs.

Nor do kiosks organize themselves into unions.

Happy Nomad on August 30, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Yeah, but in Europe, the customers can read.

The Rogue Tomato on August 30, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Even if it is in Austrian?

Happy Nomad on August 30, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Why do I need a kiosk? Why can’t I just order from my phone app when I step in the door?

Defenestratus on August 30, 2013 at 1:55 PM

If I can pay for my groceries without a cashier (which I actually prefer), I am definitely able to order & receive fast food without one.

22044 on August 30, 2013 at 1:25 PM

I never liked the self-checkout. I usually go too fast for the machine. In other words, I go just as fast as a live cashier, but apparently these machines are calibrated for legally blind, non-English-speaking, senior citizens who don’t have the use of one arm.

Also, most of the cashiers where I shop are surprisingly attractive. When I’m waiting in line and I’m offered the self-check option, I say, “No thanks. She a lot cuter than than machine, and she smiles back!”

CurtZHP on August 30, 2013 at 1:56 PM

McDonalds recently went on a hiring binge in the U.S., adding 62,000 employees to its roster. The hiring picture doesn’t look quite so rosy for Europe, where the fast food chain is drafting 7,000 touch-screen kiosks to handle cashiering duties.

It works pretty well at Buc-ees. I ordered a sandwich using the kiosk and someone made it for me and left it waiting at the counter. Eliminates the need for the person taking my order. If I’m not mistaken, I think this is what Andrea Mitchell and MSDNC took out of context to mock Mitt Romney last year.

Doughboy on August 30, 2013 at 1:59 PM

What blows my mind is the guy with 21 years and still at minimum wage. What a loser. And he demanded a raise during the strike. If I were the owner, id fire him after just a couple of years, if that long, for not making himself valuable with longevity under his belt.

AH_C on August 30, 2013 at 1:51 PM

I doubt it’s that easy to fire someone over this. The employee handbook is their agreement with their employees. Something like this likely requires process of coaching prior to firing including verbal and written warnings.

CW on August 30, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Don’t be surprised that these order taking machines will be vandalized by union thugs and the stupid layed-off button pushers who lost their jobs…

patman77 on August 30, 2013 at 1:59 PM

This is so funny! I was a cashier in a supermarket when I was in my 20′s. I’m 52 now but I’m convinced that NO ONE under the age of 35 can give change without the aid of a calculator. They just can’t do it!

Agent of the Cross on August 30, 2013 at 1:34 PM

AOTC,

They don’t actually give change. They enter in how much you gave them and wait for the register to tell them how much change you are owed. If dogs had thumbs they’d be out of a job.

True story. I was in a fast food place one night when, for whatever reason the register was not working correctly. The cashier actually handed me more in change than I had paid her. And the sad part is that she didn’t even stop to think about it. One should never question the wisdom of the register I guess.

Happy Nomad on August 30, 2013 at 2:02 PM

The only place I have been to recently that had the ability to process and count back change was In-N-Out Burger.

TexAz on August 30, 2013 at 2:04 PM

It works pretty well at Buc-ees. I ordered a sandwich using the kiosk and someone made it for me and left it waiting at the counter. Eliminates the need for the person taking my order. If I’m not mistaken, I think this is what Andrea Mitchell and MSDNC took out of context to mock Mitt Romney last year.

Doughboy on August 30, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Yep. Edited the hell out of it to make it sound as if Mitt had never seen a sandwich that wasn’t made by chef and delivered by Geeves on a silver platter.

Happy Nomad on August 30, 2013 at 2:04 PM

They can be replaced and the welfare rolls can keep expanding too.

El_Terrible on August 30, 2013 at 2:04 PM

AOTC,

They don’t actually give change. They enter in how much you gave them and wait for the register to tell them how much change you are owed. If dogs had thumbs they’d be out of a job.

True story. I was in a fast food place one night when, for whatever reason the register was not working correctly. The cashier actually handed me more in change than I had paid her. And the sad part is that she didn’t even stop to think about it. One should never question the wisdom of the register I guess.

Happy Nomad on August 30, 2013 at 2:02 PM

And in many cases, they don’t even touch the coins that are part of the change anymore.

Steve Eggleston on August 30, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Unfortunately, the low-skilled are too damned stupid to realize that they can be replaced by a machine.

GarandFan on August 30, 2013 at 1:41 PM

And these are the first to want to strike for higher wages. No concept of the value added proposition.

My pet peave is the cashier who doesn’t even acknowledge my presence as next in line. I often stand there looking at them until they ask if they can take my order. Lot’s of fun! Too bad I give them my respect and courtesy regardless. Maybe they’ll take note of how people should treat each other from my example.

freedomfirst on August 30, 2013 at 2:09 PM

CW on August 30, 2013 at 2:03 PM

How quickly your local retailer will become a source for the NSA.

freedomfirst on August 30, 2013 at 2:11 PM

And they don’t freak out when I hand over 20.01 for a 5.01 tab. The extra change is confusing to almost every cashier I’ve dealt with.

BacaDog on August 30, 2013 at 1:26 PM

that situation I’ve noticed is just a momentary delay usually. try giving one $5.03 for a $4.78 tab and you’ll see smoke coming out of ears and calls to managers like you wouldn’t believe.

chasdal on August 30, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Sheetz and Jason’s Deli are already successfully using ordering kiosks. These kiosks reduce human error and significantly speed up the ordering process. I prefer to order using the kiosk. We should encourage McDonalds and other fast-food restaurants to switch to kiosks and get rid of these government-educated entitled genious workers who don’t want to come to work on time, speak proper English or pull their pants up, but want to earn more money than the teachers who have failed them.

maryo on August 30, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Try typing into the kiosk: Hold the pickle, hold the mayo, extra ketchup please.

paulsur on August 30, 2013 at 2:14 PM

And they don’t freak out when I hand over 20.01 for a 5.01 tab. The extra change is confusing to almost every cashier I’ve dealt with.

BacaDog on August 30, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Want to see a real freak-out? Give them $20.05 for that $5.01 check. Conference call time with the manager, who spends most of her time glaring at me.

patch on August 30, 2013 at 2:18 PM

It works pretty well at Buc-ees. I ordered a sandwich using the kiosk and someone made it for me and left it waiting at the counter. Eliminates the need for the person taking my order. If I’m not mistaken, I think this is what Andrea Mitchell and MSDNC took out of context to mock Mitt Romney last year.

Doughboy on August 30, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Buc-ees is awesome! I was just thinking about their self ordering sandwich system so great minds think alike. I just wish we could get one here in the D-FW area. My daughter and her friends would make a trip to Houston once a year for a dance workshop and we HAD to stop at Buc-ees. Wearing a Buc-ees Beaver t-shirt is considered the height of fashion.

Getting back to the main point. I am a secretary and have watched my own job being largely taken over by computers for the last 30 years. At this point I hope I can retire before my job becomes unnecessary. It’s not just low-wage, low-skilled workers who can be replaced by machines.

Just as these numbskulls don’t seem to realize what is coming with Obozocare they don’t have a grasp that they are totally replaceable. Stupid is as stupid does.

neyney on August 30, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Remember when every elevator needed an elevator operator? Yeah, me neither. They were replaced by a button. This is progress. There’s jobs in the elevator button factory for former elevator operators. There’s jobs in the fast-food kiosk factory now that didn’t exist before — probably with benefits!!

jdpaz on August 30, 2013 at 2:19 PM

There already is such a machine. Check it out:

http://www.gizmag.com/hamburger-machine/25159/

It custom grinds and cooks every paddy. It custom slices the tomatoes etc per order. Everything is selectable and configurable.

The machine costs about 80 grand and can make about 300 CUSTOM gourmet burgers an hour.

More importantly, a machine like this is really just an example of what automation can do. If you can build a machine that does this you can build a machine that does the same thing for tacos and sushi and sub sandwiches and pizza. Any sort of fast food what so ever could be automated.

Now, most burger places probably don’t have 300 orders per hour. that’s a lot. That said, their labor expenses probably exceed 80 grand in a year. So even if the machine isn’t working anywhere near full capacity, it would remain very economical.

No minimum wage nonsense. No unions. No healthcare.

The only people employed at an outlet would be a manager who would double as an onsite technical support specialist so that he could keep the systems running.

And since much of the systems are automated and computerized, even that could be minimal with most of the heavy lifting dealt with by a remote technical operators… possibly in india.

That really is the answer to so much of this stuff. Just automate the minimum wage jobs.

Karmashock on August 30, 2013 at 2:19 PM

A kiosk in the drive-thru cant come soon enough. No more wondering if the register-monkey actually heard the “PLAIN, PLEASE” part of the order.

Jeddite on August 30, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Try typing into the kiosk: Hold the pickle, hold the mayo, extra ketchup please.

paulsur on August 30, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Well… those options are available on the Sheetz kiosk. Electronics are marvelous to behold!

maryo on August 30, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Karmashock on August 30, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Add an air-tube delivery system like the drive-up bank teller has and that would be the coolest restaurant ever.

jdpaz on August 30, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Try handing them $20.05 for the $5.01 tab if you want head explosions.

Steve Eggleston on August 30, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Three $2 bills.

Oldnuke on August 30, 2013 at 2:28 PM

This is so funny! I was a cashier in a supermarket when I was in my 20′s. I’m 52 now but I’m convinced that NO ONE under the age of 35 can give change without the aid of a calculator. They just can’t do it!

AOTC

Agent of the Cross on August 30, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Me, too, for about a year and a half while I was in art school. We cashiers also had to count in and count out our drawers after every shift. There were one or two times mine came in over/under 34 or 51 cents, which disappointed me, because I always aimed for it to be a 100% balance. Then management wanted us to also calculate into the total all the coupons we redeemed. Fun times, fun times.

PatriotGal2257 on August 30, 2013 at 2:30 PM

How quickly your local retailer will become a source for the NSA.

freedomfirst on August 30, 2013 at 2:11 PM

You know they’re already watching us on the store’s security cameras.

CW on August 30, 2013 at 2:31 PM

I never liked the self-checkout. I usually go too fast for the machine. In other words, I go just as fast as a live cashier, but apparently these machines are calibrated for legally blind, non-English-speaking, senior citizens who don’t have the use of one arm.

CurtZHP on August 30, 2013 at 1:56 PM

The worst thing they have ever done to those self-scan checkout lines is make them able to weigh produce. Every. Single. Time that there’s a delay with the moron ahead of me, it’s because they can’t figure out how to weigh a banana or tomato or something else that doesn’t have a barcode. Self-scan checkouts should be limited to barcode-only items. If you have produce, go to the full-service line.

James on August 30, 2013 at 2:32 PM

I think we need a comprehensive program like Obamacare to handle these machines when they break down.

Laurence on August 30, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Want to see a real freak-out? Give them $20.05 for that $5.01 check. Conference call time with the manager, who spends most of her time glaring at me.

patch on August 30, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Hubby does this all the time. As he hands over the money, he tells the cashier how much change to give him. The confusion on the cashier’s face is remarkable to behold. To add to the confusion, hubby will then give the cashier a quick lesson in how to make change.

We always hear laughter from the seniors in line behind us.

Too bad we can’t throw in a quick lesson on how to read cursive while we’re at it.

GrannyDee on August 30, 2013 at 2:33 PM

I would prefer a kiosk, I cannot understand most of the hispanics when I order.
Plus they screw the order up 50% of the time anyway!
Imagine if you still had to go pay a person when you fill up…..

redguy on August 30, 2013 at 2:35 PM

If you have produce, go to the full-service line.

James on August 30, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Diego some of us can handle it.

CW on August 30, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Unfortunately this is not quite as good a reason for celebration because thanks to Obama there are no replacement jobs for the huge masses of displaced workers, not in any field. They’d need to take at least 2 years of college or vocational school (and pay for it…how?) to have a shot at the dwindling number of other jobs.

If this hits before there are any sort of replacement positions we’ll have a large mass of angry stupid people who cannot be employed anywhere at any price for anything. That will be like pouring nitroglycerin into the barrel of powder our culture is sitting on.

MelonCollie on August 30, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Too bad we can’t throw in a quick lesson on how to read cursive while we’re at it.

GrannyDee on August 30, 2013 at 2:33 PM

It isn’t even possible to READ most modern ‘cursive’ writing because it looks like someone tried to write while blindfolded and in the middle of an earthquake. Hence the bit for paperless offices.

MelonCollie on August 30, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Here’s some straight-up old school/new school talk for you idiots:

I don’t eat ‘fast food’ very often, but any business that meets your demands will go the same way that GM did with me.

GM took taxpayer dollars and it will never get another dollar of choice from me as long as I live – though I must admit, I’ve never been a GM type of girl.

Same goes for Chrysler.

Same goes for McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, KFC, etc, etc, etc.

Fast-food jobs are ENTRY-LEVEL JOBS. They are not meant to support a family. If you want a better job and the lifestyle that it will allow you to afford, keep your pants on, don’t gobirthin’ no babies, stay in school, lose the tats and the dreds, and SPEAK PROPER ENGLISH.

The last time that I went through a drive-thru, I swear, I couldn’t understand a word the bytch said…and she thinks she’s worth $15?

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

In this economy, she is extremely expendable and can easily be replaced with someone with proper business experience and an education (and, no, not a Rachel Jeantelian 3.0) or a machine on which the owner doesn’t have to pay SS, UI, WC, Obamacare, and other benefits.

PS: As Paul Krugman wrote on page 210 in Macroeconomics, 2nd ed.:

‘The actions of labour unions can have effects similar to those of minimum wages, leading to structural unemployment.’

Resist We Much on August 30, 2013 at 2:47 PM

I can’t wait for the digitized fry cook. A

Steve Eggleston on August 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Already here! Meet the Alpha the hamburger making robot which churns out a painless 360 hamburgers per hour, and never complains that it’s not getting enough pay, benefits, vacation time, and always shows up on time and ready for work

PoliTech on August 30, 2013 at 2:52 PM

I doubt it’s that easy to fire someone over this. The employee handbook is their agreement with their employees. Something like this likely requires process of coaching prior to firing including verbal and written warnings.

CW on August 30, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Not necessarily in right-to-work states. Employee handbooks explicitly state that they are not contracts and are not to be construed as such. They are not binding — they merely describe company policies. Whether or not a company has a progressive discipline policy is its prerogative. Otherwise, an employer can keep or release an employee at will.

cheeflo on August 30, 2013 at 2:53 PM

if an automaton replaced bruce mcquain, this blog would not be any duller.

sesquipedalian on August 30, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Also, ‘Supersize your IQ’ and stop being a ‘Leveller’ and ‘Luddite.’ Despite what your Dear Leader, repeatedly, says, ATMs and airport kiosks aren’t responsible for today’s unemployment.

Unless you want to live in some Soviet Union version of the Middle Ages, you’re just going to have to accept the ‘creative destruction’ of capitalism. Sure, some people do get hurt, but the ‘collective,’ which you claim to love so much, does so much better. Until you start demanding doublets, corsets, whips, buggies, crinolines, and gramophones, I, frankly, don’t want to hear from you.

Of course, in My Progressive Little Ponyland, everyone can earn exactly the same amount, wear Mao jackets, stand in line for the occasional foodstuffs, and drive, if they are very lucky members of the party, Zaporozhets while listening to Eduard Khil on the 8-track.

Resist We Much on August 30, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Feel free to leave squiddie.

slickwillie2001 on August 30, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Already here! Meet the Alpha the hamburger making robot which churns out a painless 360 hamburgers per hour, and never complains that it’s not getting enough pay, benefits, vacation time, and always shows up on time and ready for work

PoliTech on August 30, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Why do you think I said “fry” cook? Getting just the right amount of fries into the container takes more skill than a machine cooking a burger has (and to be honest, more skill than some of those flesh-and-blood “fry techs” have).

Steve Eggleston on August 30, 2013 at 3:00 PM

This is so funny! I was a cashier in a supermarket when I was in my 20′s. I’m 52 now but I’m convinced that NO ONE under the age of 35 can give change without the aid of a calculator. They just can’t do it!

AOTC

Agent of the Cross on August 30, 2013 at 1:34 PM

My nearest convenience store has all the computers…I’m guessing that 50% of the time I have to correct them on change even though the computer tells them everything they need to know. Having worked in the days of the old mechanical NCR cash registers, math was important even if it involved pennies.

teejk on August 30, 2013 at 3:00 PM

It isn’t even possible to READ most modern ‘cursive’ writing because it looks like someone tried to write while blindfolded and in the middle of an earthquake. Hence the bit for paperless offices.

MelonCollie on August 30, 2013 at 2:40 PM

True. Good penmanship is no longer a requirement in school.

GrannyDee on August 30, 2013 at 3:00 PM

I would say that automatons would be more entertaining than our current crop of trolls, but then I would have to limit that to the second generation of automatons.

Steve Eggleston on August 30, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Why do I need a kiosk? Why can’t I just order from my phone app when I step in the door?

Defenestratus on August 30, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Yup. The kiosk has aready been replaced at The Melt in San Francisco, where the minimum wage is $10.55.

Order now, pick up anywhere

Place your order, get the code and scan it in-store. We won’t make your melt till you arrive, so it’s fresh when you get it.

https://themelt.com/

Why invest in Kiosks, when almost all of your customers can place their orders on their own cell phones or computers? The cost of the order is automatically charged to the credit card they have on file and the receipt is sent by email.

No cash, no paper, minimal number of employees.

wren on August 30, 2013 at 3:02 PM

if an automaton replaced bruce mcquain, this blog would not be any duller.
 
sesquipedalian on August 30, 2013 at 2:56 PM

 
You could try one of the Syria threads.

rogerb on August 30, 2013 at 3:04 PM

if an automaton replaced bruce mcquain, this blog would not be any duller.

sesquipedalian on August 30, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Yet , troll, here you are.

CW on August 30, 2013 at 3:05 PM

True. Good penmanship is no longer a requirement in school.

GrannyDee on August 30, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Quite frankly schools are hard-pressed to teach it as we migrate more and more to a paperless society. I may have been part of the last generation to handwrite large amounts of text; typed/emailed assignments are 1000x easier for teachers to review and it saves on the costs of writing utensils and paper.

Hell in a 14-hour workday (and not at min-wage, btw) about all I write is my signature a couple times. Everything’s electronic now.

MelonCollie on August 30, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Bruce- that’s some really awkward writing. Tighten up the thought process before hitting the keyboard. Thanks.

Scotsman on August 30, 2013 at 1:42 PM

I like Bruce’s “voice”. Apostrophes and all.

if an automaton replaced bruce mcquain, this blog would not be any duller.

sesquipedalian on August 30, 2013 at 2:56 PM

So, scram.

RushBaby on August 30, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Automat.

Bmore on August 30, 2013 at 3:06 PM

No one made you come here, sesqui. Now go back to Taco Bell to serve some burritos to the weedheads there!

22044 on August 30, 2013 at 3:06 PM

if an automaton replaced bruce mcquain, this blog would not be any duller.

sesquipedalian on August 30, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Careful there sesquipedalian, you are an expendable.

Bmore on August 30, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Not to enhance your ego, but really, do you think you’d even be missed?

Bmore on August 30, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Three $2 bills.

Oldnuke on August 30, 2013 at 2:28 PM

We carry a cache of $1 coins to tip in restaurants. The reaction is puzzlement at first, then something else happens that is a joy to watch.

I recommend this to everyone reading.

RushBaby on August 30, 2013 at 3:09 PM

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