Early one morning doing a weekly shop
I arrived at the tills and came to a stop
Not a single cashier was sitting there.
Just each machine with an empty chair.
I stood confused and then turned my head
As from near the door this voice said
It's self service at this time of day
The machines are here, come this way.
Here they are all stood in line,
We don't open tills'til half past nine.
At your prices, I said, I don't do it myself
So here's my trolley, put it back on the shelf
And I stood and looked at that bloke
Because being made redundant is no joke.
Three times it's happened in my life
And I still remember the stress and strife.
And these machines just can't replace
The service given with a smiling face.
And they don't pass on the saved cost
Of not paying the wage of those jobs lost.
Ten percent discount for doing it myself
Or you can put it all back on the shelf.
He said I tell you what I'll do
Come over here and I'll ring it through.
Thanks I said, that'll do just fine
I'll not shop here again ‘til half past nine.
I pay your prices for the quality you sell
I'm not prepared to do your work as well.
He kept his word, but with poor grace,
A rigid smile held on his face.
My bags packed I bid him good day
And head held high went on my way.
They don't seem to do that anymore
There's a different policy now in store.
They'll open a till just for you
And one by one ring things through.
So I prefer to stand and queue,
No problem waiting a minute or two
And as I pack have a little chat
Just a few words about this and that.
There are standards I expect them to meet
And If they don't I protest with my feet.
Just for a while they'd lost sight
Of the customer always being right.
Automation comes always at a price
And for some Self Service may be nice
But not so good if you're the one
Who suddenly finds your job is gone