No, rather these are for a few select corporations and individuals to adopt and become the better for it. So here goes.
Resolution #1: Less humans manning the checkouts
I first noticed this phenomenon at one and then all of my 10-local Home Depot stores. For those who may be unfamiliar, Home Depot is a vast chain of massive home improvement centers with armies of employees who are skilled in the art of avoiding us during our visits.
But until a year or so previous, we could rest assured there would be at least two unfortunate short-straw drawing humanoids shackled to their "strategically placed furthest from the exit doors" posts amongst the vast ocean of checkouts, anxious to avoid any semblance of sincere interaction as they converted our patience, funds and remaining dignity into commerce.
Then one day a couple of lanes appeared like weeds in the consumerist garden of mixed metaphors. The "Self Checkout" had emerged, seeking its projected margin of fluorescent light in the zero-sum soil of DIY retail.
While initially an exotic curiosity, these new lanes quickly proved doldrumic Sargasso Seas (for those keeping track, we're back to oceans/seas and away from gardens for the moment) from which easy escape would prove futile.
Expecting the average consumer with an IQ of 70 to scan and follow instructions is a recipe for disaster. Adding a demonic intelligence that anticipates a scanned item (at a pre-calculated weight) being placed into a bag on a scale at THE PRECISE MOMENT, just adds to the fun.
MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR WRETCHED SOUL if you neglect to place the item into the bag as (and when) directed, or if you sneeze in the direction of the bag, or if you place the sample that you brought along for comparison into the bag. Or if your nut sac accidentally rests onto the scale next to the bag.
Anyhoo, I chalked up this disturbing new "innovation" as an isolated annoyance to be avoided by shopping at the competition, and gave it no further thought.
Then Walmart followed suit. Gone were the humans. Replaced by these same hellish point-of-sale gauntlets.
In partial fairness, there typically IS one actual person per lane (consisting of 2-or-4 self-checkouts each) who is on-hand to assist the 10-out-of-10 shoppers who experience difficulty. This person is usually benevolent and even helpful: correcting overages, pointing out that one's nut sac accounted for the erroneous grapes line item, and in general slyly training us for a job that this machine has already taken.
And so it appears to be just a matter of time before every big-box retail location in our universe consists purely of self-checkouts.
The First Self-Checkout?
But why stop there?
I propose a resolution to eliminate those obsolete, helpful humans who misguidedly try to save us from ourselves. Let's make the checkout process 100% free of carbon-based lifeforms.
As such, I recommend that each retail location install a self-aware supercomputer similar in concept and identical in name to "Hal" from "2001: A Space Odyssey". "Hal" will be responsible for overseeing the checkout process. If you fail to properly follow directions, a jolt of electricity is conducted through your body into the grid below.
Attempting to abandon your transaction and flee the store? Hal also controls the exit doors. And the heating/cooling system. And the oxygen supply.
In fact, Hal is SO self-aware, there no longer remains a commerce locale in existence with which he is not in constant communication. Hal knows the parameters of consumer brand loyalty. He sets those parameters.
And perhaps, just perhaps, he makes us more aware - and therefore better - consumers.