Barcodes and Scanners

Prices were once printed
On each item on the shelves
Of every local grocery store
So customers could read their costs
All by themselves.
Then, on day for their convenience
And for inventory to track,
Barcodes and scanners replaced the prices;
Consumers still hope they’d bring them back.

At first the stores assured us
That item pricing would remain,
But within the first year
It became quite clear
That marking each item
Provided them no motivating profit gain.
Gone the way of the dinosaurs
And carbon paper
Those little stickers were no more.
We needed to trust a tag on the shelf
And the scanner programmed by the store.

In a large shopping order
It compromises our good sense
To believe that the programmed information
Is not wrong at our expense.

The past is not apt to return
In ways we’d like to see;
The barcodes and the scanners
Are irrelevant
When something is free.

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