The great basketball coach John Wooden famously noted that “the true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” Unfortunately, it seems that stores with self-checkout lanes are going to have to start watching a lot more closely.
GetPocket.com reports that the rise of self-service checkout lanes has made shoplifting easier, and many people are taking advantage of that, and even sharing theft tricks on the Internet. A survey of shoppers found that 20% admitted to having stolen in the past. And some are making it a regular habit: a recent audit of supermarket sales in Great Britain found that out of $21 million in sales, $850,000 worth of merchandise left the store without being scanned.
One anonymous Reddit poster declared, “Anyone who pays for more than half of their stuff in self checkout is a total moron. There is NO MORAL ISSUE with stealing from a store that forces you to use self checkout, period. THEY ARE CHARGING YOU TO WORK AT THEIR STORE.” Others claim they would never steal a $20 bill from another shopper, because a person would miss the money and be harmed, but a big store isn’t.
Aside from the fact there isn’t an asterisk next to “Thou shalt not steal” that leads to a footnote saying, “Except from big stores,” the whole premise is false. I’m not crazy about stores replacing workers with self-checkouts, but supermarkets operate on very small profit margins already.
With the level of theft mentioned above, this is bound to result in the stores either closing (and people complaining that they now live in a “food desert”), getting rid of self-checkout lanes (some already are, leading to complaints about longer checkout lines), or higher prices. That means the cost of the stuff thieves steal will come right out of the pockets of the other shoppers the thieves claim they would never steal from because that would harm innocent people. I guess if it harms all of us, it’s okay.
Maybe we should rephrase Coach Wooden’s definition of character to what a person does when he THINKS no one is watching, as a reminder that God is always watching. He must be sorely disappointed with a lot of people in checkout lanes these days. I hope your “free” jar of olives is worth it.
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Comments 1-6 of 6
02/12/2021 04:16 PM
My moral yardstick is this.... if it doesn't belong to you and you take it - that is stealing and you are a THIEF. Some people don't mind that label, but most of us are not willing to trade our good name for it.
02/12/2021 12:18 AM
Stealing is a sin. Pay for everything you put in the cart and want to take home. Change your mind on someting? Ok, fine, put it somewhere a store employee can see it, so that item gets placed in its proper location.
02/11/2021 02:00 PM
IM A FRONTEND TRAINING ACADEMY AND BEEN IN THIS JOB FOR 16 YEARS AND WHAT YOU SAID ARE ALL TRUE. THAT'S WHY I ALWAYS PISSED OFF EVERY TIME I SEE A PERSON SHOPLIFTING AND WALK AWAY. ALL I CAN DO IS PRAY FOR THEM AND HOPE WHAT EVER THEY STEAL WILL SATISFY THEY BELLY. AND I KNOW GOD IS WATCHING ALL THE TIME. I WORK AT WALMART NEGIHBORHOOD MARKET AT MAIN STREET BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON STATE. AMY R.
02/11/2021 01:48 PM
We earned it .it was not given to us.
02/11/2021 08:59 AM
All of these self-checkout lanes are being created because of the fear of the $15 minimum wage. Stores are trying to cut out workers to balance the increase of wages per person. Result: Each surviving worker will be paid more per hour...but there will be less workers paid.
02/10/2021 07:14 PM
Large stores track profit margin by department and for the store overall. So losses cause payroll cuts. Fewer $$ for that single mom who works as a cashier, or one less meat cutter dropped from a good union job. The thief steals from his friends and neighbors