In 2003 I went to the cinema to see Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.

I can’t remember a great deal about it: getting older has its advantages.

I do remember that it was very loud, and that the money they must have saved on scriptwriters had been spent on blowing things up.

The plot involved Arnold Schwarzenegger as a robot trying to save someone and kill someone else.

To be honest, that’s a guess but it won’t be that wide of the mark.

Arnie’s character wouldn’t have been going to the ballet and discussing Renaissance art - I’m almost certain of that.

The film’s title came back to me when I read that Tesco is axeing 4,500 staff in its latest round of redundancies.

The majority of job cuts will affect workers in Metro stores.

One of these is at Carlisle’s Victoria Viaduct and I often shop there.

I don’t think Terminator 3 was about self-service checkouts in supermarkets.

If if had been, it would probably have been a much better film.

But the rise of the machines has already started at Tesco and in numerous other shops.

Early and late in the day, few if any checkouts are staffed.

Customers are at the mercy of self-service and the dreaded bagging area.

I’m one of the many who refuse to use self-service unless there are no staff on any tills.

One evening last week there were half a dozen of us in the queue for the only till with a staff member.

Two women behind me were saying they’d rather queue at a check-out and keep people in a job than use self-service.

I was in the queue because I’d rather wait a few minutes there than have a computerised voice telling me I don’t know how to scan a tin of beans.

That’s like a scene from a low-budget version of Blade Runner.

I was also queueing because I don’t want to hasten the demise of supermarket staff, even if supermarkets are keen to have fewer.

The only time I’ve wondered if self-service might be a better option is at Aldi and Lidl. Here the checkout staff whizz items through the till much faster than I can pack them.

This is the greatest stress involving a conveyor belt since the final round of The Generation Game. I’m panicking about toilet rolls, not cuddly toys.

Ultimately, our demand for lower prices is behind supermarkets cutting staff to cut costs.

Are we prepared to pay more to keep them in jobs?

The rise of the machines suggests not.