ROTHENBURGER – Get used to being watched while you shop

The Armchair Mayor takes a picture of himself having his picture taken. (Image: Mel Rothenburger)

In this age of seemingly constant surveillance, we’re even being recorded at the self-service checkout

I WALKED INTO WALMART the other day.

As I passed the greeter at the door, I saw a staff member directing traffic in the checkout zone, asking shoppers if they wanted a cashier, express lane or self-service.

It’s the self-serve thing that’s caused a bit of a fuss with some customers. Some people foam at the mouth as soon as it’s mentioned.

I chatted briefly with the nice traffic person. The self-checkout was installed about four weeks ago, she said, and it’s been going well. A little confusion, maybe, but shorter lineups.

Indeed, there were almost no lineups at all on this morning. Most were going through the traditional cashier checkouts but a few were using the self-serve scanners. There might be something wrong with me, because I don’t mind self-serve.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former school board chair, former editor of The Kamloops Daily News, and a current director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He was awarded the Jack Webster Foundation’s lifetime achievement award in 2011. His editorials are published Monday through Thursdays, and Saturdays on CFJC Today, CFJC Midday and CFJC Evening News. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (7725 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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