FURTHER to Amanda Baker's letter today (June 1) headed "The tyranny of self-service” and your article on Artificial Intelligence ("Experts warn AI could lead to the ‘extinction of humanity’", The Herald, June 1), I also wonder when people will wake up and smell the coffee and do something about the lack of personal service in stores, supermarkets and banks.

My personal affront is I do not want to be forced into using self-service tills – and don’t tell me I have an option. I recently discovered that the M&S in The Gyle in Edinburgh doesn’t have a manually-operated checkout for clothing, you have to use the automated checkout – the only alternative being in the food department, where the member of staff proceeded to put light-coloured trousers onto the grocery conveyor belt, resulting in staining.

I live in a small rural village and even our wee Co-op supermarket is pushing the use of self-service tills. As I walk past the huge array of unused self-service tills to the staffed one I am constantly barraged with the AI instruction to “Please scan an item – Please scan an item…" and the same again as I leave with my purchases. It must drive the staff nuts over the course of a shift. We need to keep people in employment here, jobs in the local shops keep the local economy thriving.

Banks – you try finding one, and as a disabled person, try finding one with disabled parking spaces. Closed are RBS branches in Killin, Callander, Doune, Auchterarder, Crieff, Comrie, Dunblane ... my nearest branch is now in the centre of Stirling and has no disabled parking – my nearest branch with a disabled parking space means a four-hour round-trip drive to Edinburgh.

At 67 years of age I am too old to take up the cudgel as Luddites of the past did, but I honestly despair for people in the future looking for employment or even some customer service – it is on the brink of extinction and only action now will save it. Maybe Amanda Baker and myself are out of step with the world, but I really don’t think so.
Linda FitzGerald, Killin, Perthshire.

• I WONDER how much of the stress suffered by the young woman employed by the well-known posh supermarket frequented by Amanda Baker was caused by Ms Baker herself. Your correspondent felt harangued by bank clerks and confesses to having stand-up rows in supermarkets.

Perhaps Ms Baker needs to pause, calm down, and dare I suggest it, come off her high horse, before embarking upon her banking and shopping expeditions, thereby freeing from stress not only herself and employees, but others witnessing these unnecessary encounters.

"Peace begins with a smile"( Mother Theresa).
David Miller, Milngavie.

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Disinformation on misogyny
YOU report that "one of Scotland’s most senior female police officers [Assistant Chief Constable Emma Bond] said the findings of a report that found 86% of women in the force had experienced misogyny and sexism were 'shocking'" ("Findings over Police Scotland misogyny rate are ‘shocking’", The Herald, June 1).

The report on which ACC Bond based her comment says no such thing. It is reprehensible that such a senior officer asserts such misrepresentations (if the report is accurate).

The synopsis of the report that was issued states the following: "Of the survey sample"..."86% of female colleagues have either been subjected to and/or witnessed sexism and misogyny". The survey sample was 528 persons, approximately 2.3% of serving police officers. The survey itself was not random, it was "an online survey shared with all colleagues".

I am surely not alone in thinking that whereas misogyny may be a problem in the police service, disinformation at this level is hardly helpful in understanding the problem, given that 97.7% of serving officers did not respond to the questionnaire.
It is clear though, there are problems in Police Scotland.
Gavin Findlay, Boghead.

Read more: Don't vilify us: we baby boomers had to work hard for what we have

Far too many chiefs
THE recent statement by Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingstone was greeted with surprise by many people. In addition to the Chief, Police Scotland's executive team consists of four Deputy Chief Constables, 10 Assistant Chief Constables and four civilian senior executives. This amounts to at least 350 years' experience and an annual salary bill of at least £2 million.

With the Chief in post since 2018, what in heaven’s name has gone wrong in this organisation that these supposedly knowledgeable professionals have allowed this to happen? "Institutional racism, sexism and institutional discrimination” are very serious issues for any organisation and it seems to me that some of some of these “executives” are under-qualified, over-promoted and should take responsibility.
Douglas Cowe, Newmachar.

Use the bowel screening kit
MY wife was recently provided with and used the NHS bowel screening kit and unfortunately it led to having to undergo a colonoscopy. The result of this showed she had rectal cancer and had to have major surgery.

From start to finish of this whole process covered a period of only two months.
The relevant NHS nursing staff and consultant surgeon, plus Forth Valley Royal Hospital, all need to be praised to the highest degree.

My wife was also informed that the biopsy results showed she needed no further treatment and we count ourselves very lucky to have been provided with such excellent service.

If you are provided with a bowel screening kit, please use it.
Eric C Fleming, Doune.

Tolkein is for grown-ups
I DOUBT any serious reader would agree with Neil Mackay that the Lord of the Rings trilogy are children’s books ("If you feel outraged over Tolkien, you’re the problem", The Herald, June 1). Most critics consider them fantasy or fairy tales for adults. 

I read them (and a lot of other good books) avidly when I was about 20, never desired to read them again, but really enjoyed the films. The books are supposedly in a pre-history setting at the dawn of time. The obsessive critics of skin colour should be informed that in the real world everyone, that is every single person, in Europe just 10,000 years ago had dark skin, whether in the UK, Scotland or even Middle-earth.
GR Weir, Ochiltree.