Saturday, November 10, 2012

stall checking out listening


 Textures and patterns. A market stall in the Pantiles from behind.

Self-checkouts at supermarkets are a new challenge. Everything is monitored. Most outcomes are considered. You put your bag on a shelf to one side of the machine. The screen in front of you tells you what to do. It scans bar codes and  weighs on the platform in front of the screen. Where there is no bar code your choose from a range of  illustrated product headings which lead to others within a group until by  process of elimination you arrive at what you are buying. The screen registers every purchase whereupon you transfer the product to your bag. If you pay by credit card the card reader has its own screen and takes you through the process. It even offers cash back. For wimps there is a "call the attendant" tab on the screen, which I am afraid I have used once or twice. So far no machine has invited me to "have a nice rest of the day".

Listening to music most of the time now I  contrast certain pieces, catchy and evocative, which you quickly tire of, with complex and profound ones which you do not tire of listening to, discovering more the more you listen. With the former I find that writing or even even drawing or painting is a perfectly acceptable occupation while the music is playing. But with the former it is best concentrate on the music with no distractions. A bit obvious perhaps but that is where, a student of the Tone Deaf School, I stand with music at the moment.

2 comments:

Roderick Robinson said...

Gradually, I suppose, the customer will go further and further (farther and farther?) back along the supply chain. Next week you'll be picking from pallets, a month later taking a special bus to wrench your sprouts from stalks in vast fields in Lincolnshire. I can't ever remember hearing you mention sprouts: is your secret vice not liking them?

Joe Hyam said...

Your picture of shopping in the future strikes me as quite likely. Why the expense of taking products of pallets? In its early days Asda did I think attempt to bring units loads directly into the shop. I rarely mention sprouts because when I have attempted to grow them, pigeons have eaten them, before I got round to harvesting them.