Barcode Labeling: Helping Santa and the Elves, One Swipe at a Time

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Christmas treeAre you one of the people who enjoy the sport of shopping on Black Friday? Maybe it is the belief that you have researched where you can find the best deals on many of the gifts on your shopping list. Or, maybe you treat it as a team event to be shared with your best friends. Perhaps you are a camping enthusiast and jump at any opportunity to use your camping gear, even if it means sleeping on a concrete sidewalk. I have yet to understand why people subject themselves to the crowds pushing and shoving on the day after the most American holiday. And, I have the YouTube videos to prove the mayhem.

One invention that makes your holiday shopping more enjoyable is the often-overlooked barcode. Imagine what shopping would be like if the person working the cash register had to enter each item by hand, typing a product code onto a keyboard. Are you the type of person who points out mistakes when they enter the wrong code, even if the $50 sweater rings up as a $5 pair of socks?

There is no activity in our lives that is more transformed by the barcode than shopping. And, there is no time of the year when this is truer than during holiday shopping. Without barcodes, it would take much longer at the checkout. This would create longer lines. One solution would be to hire more workers and install more checkouts. This would increase the overhead at stores and increase the prices of everything we buy. I’ll bet Santa would be bringing everyone fewer gifts if there weren’t barcodes to help move the process along.

So, the next time you are at the dinner table on Thanksgiving and everyone is expressing what they are thankful for, it’s OK to say you are thankful for barcodes. Yes, Grandma may look puzzled, but if you mention the enormous amount of time it saves in our lives, she may just slip an extra $20 into your Christmas card. And don’t try to tell me that Grandma is more thankful for the invention of the washing machine. L-Tron doesn’t sell washing machines so it doesn’t fit into our blogs. Happy Shopping!