Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fully automated

Yesterday the earbuds on my iPod went on the fritz. Specifically the right one only carried any sound at a few seemingly random moments, which is more annoying than if it wasn't working at all.

So I went to the CVS during lunchtime to pick up a new pair. Found 'em pretty easy, and I go to the checkout. But there's only one guy at the checkout counter, and he won't take my money himself. Instead he directs me to the express checkout, which now takes up a big part of the front of the store.

It seems easy enough to use, but I don't like this. When out shopping I prefer to do business with living cashiers, in part because the automated express is a clear excuse to lay people off. Stop & Shop has had the technology for years, but they at least give you the choice of which way to go. Here I had no choice. I hope the other branches don't follow suit any time soon.


susan said...

You remember it began with ATMs and has pretty much continued apace the past few years. Oh yes, we've used automatic checkout at Fred Meyer's but when you have to find the code for your broccoli it's going too far.

Voice mail is endemic too and what drives me crazy is a recording saying 'all our operators look forward to helping you' when you know there's one harassed person with the calls lined up. Worse still is the chain voice messaging systems where you're lucky to ever find a person.

Ben said...

That's a good point about the "all our operators" message. They'd like you to think there's a roomfull of ladies in beehive hairdos, all of them juggling telephones. It's pretty hard to swallow.