SUPERMARKET giant Tesco has come under pressure from a pensioner who is calling for more cashiers instead of self-service machines at its stores.

Pat McCarthy, who is 69, has called on Tesco to ditch self-service machines in a petition that has more than 100,000 signatures.

Ms McCarthy has called the machines “inaccessible, physically difficult and overwhelming” and says that “talking with human staff is important to me” as she lives on her own.

But there’s plenty of people who love self-service checkouts – particularly those who’d rather do anything but engage in small talk over the till.

We put the debate over self-service checkouts to Argus readers on our Facebook page to find out which they preferred, humans or machines?

Rachel Ed was one of many who voiced her support for self-service checkouts.

“I think they’re great,” she said.

“They’re quick, convenient and you don’t feel anyone is judging you for your purchases. Also, if you find small talk makes you anxious, I should think they are preferable.”

Rob Parry also praised the machines for limiting small talk.

“I’m socially awkward so I love them,” he said.

“It saves me having to talk to anyone and stand in a queue waiting for someone in front of me loading the conveyor belt one item at a time and then taking ages to pack their bags and pay.

“All I want to do is pay for my three items and get out of there!”

Matthew Morris raised the idea that people needed to learn to adapt to self-service checkouts.

“It’s the way of the future – people hate change, just embrace it,” he said.

Other readers were less fond of the machines and called into question people potentially losing their jobs as a result.

“I’ve never used self service,” Mark Payne said.

“People’s jobs are much more important,” he added.

Alexandra Taylor said: “And they wonder why people can’t get jobs. It’s because they keep replacing them with machines!”

Tracy Davies called them “a waste”.

“They’re a waste of everything. Time, money and space,” she said.

“They’re only useful if you’re running through with one item, that hasn’t been reduced, not alcohol, isn’t an energy drink, no sharp ends and not on an offer.”

Maria Hughes said that more thought needed to put in to helping elderly people.

“I helped an elderly gentleman who was trying to use one last week,” she said.

“We need to consider those who aren’t comfortable with modern technologies. They have their place but for some coming into a supermarket and seeing a friendly face is sometimes much needed social interaction.”