Friday, April 17, 2009

You're Not Helping Me

It's just not working out. I don't understand this notion of having the "U-Scan" aisles at grocery stores, or the self check in kiosks at the airports. It doesn't help, it's not convenient or neat.

Let's start with the grocery.

I'm at the grocery yesterday on my lunch break. I have a loaf of bread, an avocado and a tomato.

There is only ONE lane open for regular peeps. And it's got a long line. So, I hang my head, and walk down to the U-Scan area. It's quite full too. Let me describe who's using it.

A lady who's looked a little overserved most her adult life, buying a lot of liquor. Everytime she scans the liquor, an alarm goes off, and the "attendant" (we'll discuss her presence later) has to pull some lever or something to allow Ms. Drinky to continue. Then there is the couple in their late 50's, who as I soon come to find out, not only can NOT find bar codes on groceries, they also can't read the sign that says "U-SCAN, PLEASE 12 ITEMS OR LESS" as they have a cart full of groceries. They require a lot of assistance from the attendant standing 6 feet away, and this slows their process down a lot. I watch as they flip a case of water over 15 times trying to find the elusive bar code, and I start to boil. After what seems like 15 minutes, it's my turn. Again , I only have 3 items. I have to weigh 2 of them, I get it, I know how to do it, I'm an advanced U-scanner. But you have to wait for instructions designed for 3 year olds before you can proceed or weigh or enter numbers...again, slowing down my process. Then you have to properly put each item in the bag, and if it doesn't sense the item being put in, (which for some reason, this happens 1 out of 3 times) the checkout process STOPS until the attendant clears you to go ahead, but she's busy with the freakshows over at U-SCAN station 1.

"Do I have any coupons?"


"How will you be paying?" And it announces all the variety of ways you can pay, slowly, and clearly....


Big mistake. As I try to cram my 5 one dollar bills into a machine apparently NOT designed for actually taking bills, I'm starting to scream in my head. This is what I'm screaming :


I mean, they have the manpower. She's right there. Working. Doing something. It's not convenient, this U-scan thing, no one is getting out any quicker. Why? It's so DUMB and icky and stupid and gross. WHY am I doing the work? I'm paying for this food, YOU scan it, weigh it, bag it. What the hell?

Let's go to the airport...

The Self-Check In kiosk. Now, you'd think the word "Self" would mean "by yourself because you're in a hurry and ALL the other employees are busy at the desk helping other travelers, and if you'd like, you can HURRY up and check yourSELF in all by yourSELF".


There is always an employee there, asking "Would you like to check in?" And then they just stand there while YOU type your OWN information on the screen, while YOU find your destination, and, now PAY FOR YOUR FUCKING LUGGAGE, they are just standing there. All they do then is check your ID and put the lil tape on your bags. Now, a lot of people are..well, "slow-witted", and can't deal with these things, so I assume sometime the employee is there to help these people with their "self check-in process".

BUT!! BUT!! WHAT IF? What if that SAME employee hopped over the little place where you put your $15/per bag luggage, and stood behind the counter, and did the EXACT same thing she's doing now, only...only, this time, SHE'S the one entering in the information so that Bud and Susie, who's never even driven in a parking garage, let alone try to check themselves in for a flight....ok, so SHE'S the one :


Chances are, things would be downright zippy.

I just don't understand some of these "self" automated bullshit. I can understand it if they are so sucky that they can't properly man their businesses so that they have to go automated, but when that employee is standing right there, watching us all like a bunch of toolboxes poking at screens and standing around with our mouths hanging open in a look of bewilderment, I think it's time to just go back to the way things used to be.

That's all.


james oh said...

I do understand your feeling and glad that you share your experience with us.

I have no comment other than to look at it positively or bright side of it. It will not heat up your temperature. But keep your health in check.

In this case, I see it as opportunity for us to look at the system and revamp it so as to improve the system. In this way, it will make it more efficiency and effectively so as to tax people unnecessary.

Gwen said...

Amen to that sister! It is redundency at it's worst! Complete and total bass ackwards technology were talking about here. I refuse to go through the madness anymore, especially the proper placing of the item in the bag.... who's idea was this? I seriously think we are on candid camera. There are a couple of store managers in their bow ties upstairs, with all cameras pointed at the U-Check lanes laughing their asses off.