Tesco’s Rising Stars: Self-service Checkout Machines

TI-3814, a Tesco self-service checkout machine, has recently been promoted to assistant manager of the St Andrews Tesco location.

The promotion opens doors for culture career opportunities, as well as several other company benefits, including insurance for routine maintenance checkups and a longer lunch break. Installed in 2017, TI-3814 has been an invaluable addition to the St Andrews Tesco, consistently logging the most sales with the a degree of efficiency literally impossible for any human employee to achieve. Accordingly, TI-3814 has been praised as a ‘wunderkind’ by the managerial staff, who remarked that the self-service checkout machine was never late, didn’t take bathroom breaks while on the clock, never received any customer complaints, and only rarely fraternized with other employees on company time.

Several of the human employees working at the St Andrews Tesco who were passed up for the promotion have lodged numerous complaints with the managerial staff. One St Andrews Tesco employee, who wished to remain anonymous, complained that she had not received any degree of recognition, let alone promotion, in her 23 years as an employee at this location. “So what if TI-3814 can work through customers faster? Anyone with the even the slightest degree of professional wherewithal knows that bagging is where the real work of the checkout industry gets done.” While the managerial staff are aware that bagging is not TI-3814’s strongest area of performance, they pointed out that addition of TI-3814 to a higher level position cost them “literally nothing”, and that bagging “wasn’t that hard… most people just do it themselves anyways”. When faced with further human employee opposition, the managerial staff issued a statement stipulating that all employees who are unhappy with decision to promote TI-3814 retain their right to “f**k off to Greggs”.

Unfortunately, machine promotions of this nature have not been uncommon in Tesco’s corporate culture in recent years, with self-checkout machines now constituting over 60% of Tesco’s entire base-level UK workforce. While Ti-3814’s new position is still base level, the fact that self-service checkout machines make up roughly 55% of Tesco’s top level Board of  Directors offers TI-3814 a clear path for future career advancement. “There is just no human substitute for the cold and calculating business rationale which these machines bring to the table” said Dave Lewis, Tesco’s CEO and half self-service machine himself, when pressed about the increasingly number of machines filling high level, traditionally human occupied, positions in the company. Mr. Lewis, explained that “their lack of consciousness is what makes them most valuable to Tesco leadership”. Mr. Lewis, clearly upset that he could never truly become full machine, expressed his jealously over the “absence of any kind of moral compass”, which he claimed “allows them to implement policies that most humans simply don’t have the heart to carry out”. Top level self-service checkout machines were the driving force behind the creation and implementation of several time honored Tesco classics, including the invention of Tesco’s frustratingly oxymoronic “Tesco Finest” products, as well as the timelessly racist ‘Oriental’ section.

William P. B. ’21

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