Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Some Pet Peeves

I often find myself annoyed by television commercials or other things in life. Fortunately, I have a blog. See how that works? ;)

● I am getting increasingly angry at the way business is interacting with customers. In particular, two things bother me. First, I will not go to a restaurant that uses these asinine kiosks. These are like computer screens that sit at the table and customers place their orders on them and pay on them. The purpose is to let the restaurant rid themselves of staff. And you feel it because you will be lucky if you see your waiter twice.

I like dealing with people in service professions. I do not like going through machines. I do not like self-service. I do not like not having someone to chat with and welcome you to the restaurant. I do not like never seeing a refill. In fact, I judge restaurants by the efficiency of refills and refills are rare at these places. Even more to the point, I don't like people being replaced by machines. I will not visit those places.

My local grocery store is trending the same way. They are testing (all over town) carts that automatically ring themselves up. That really bothers me on many levels.

● The second thing that's bothering me with customer payment interfaces is that everyone is starting to use these computer screens that automatically suggest a tip and make you turn it down. F-you. If you deserve a tip, I will give it to you. Do not beg me for a tip or try to shame me into tipping. Moreover, most of the people using these things are not in professions that society deems tipworthy and I will not start. Even worse, the tip screens obnoxiously start at 15% and go up to 30%. F-you. I tip really well, but 20% is for excellent service... beyond that requires something special. To suggest the range is 15-30% is a blatant attempt at a culture change, and it angers me.

● I have to shake my head when I see advertisements for these supplements like Frank "the Big Hurt" Thomas promising you a bigger slong with Slongenix. You know, none of these things work. They just don't. And that's probably a good thing because if they had genuinely active ingredients, they would probably kill you. Interestingly, there's increasing evidence that almost no vitamins or supplements work. Imagine that, you have to get your vitamins and minerals out of foods... not pills.

● I find it funny that the media continues to be so obsessed about who attended parties with Jeffery Epstein as if attending a party with someone makes you a co-conspirator with full knowledge of their crimes. And then there are the Clintons who practically went hunting for sex partners with the guy and the media ignores them. Tell me there's no bias.


tryanmax said...

I have mixed feelings about the kiosks. I'm absolutely with you that you that the reason to go to a sit-down restaurant is to be served, and kiosks take that away.

On the other hand, I love ordering on the app at fast food places because it eliminates what was apparently the primary point of failure. I get far fewer wrong orders when I ring it up myself. My only beef there is that customization options are limited to what the corporation will allow, even though you know they have three kinds of cheese in the kitchen.

I don't know if I trust carts that ring themselves up, but I do like self checkout. It's not as though I was getting a lot of "human interaction" with the disaffected teenager behind the scanner.

Suggested tips are obnoxious.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Here the grocery store (at least the one I use -- the people at Safeway are pretty surly) are friendly and middle age and I always chat with them.

I'm honestly just not a fan of a world without people.

The tip thing really bothers me.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. I actually agree with you about the McDonald's kiosks. Those are really convenient and they've never gotten my order wrong from one of those.

tryanmax said...

I'm not worried about a people-less world. Eventually, there'll be a turning point where certain restaurants market themselves as serving customers with real people. It isn't as though automated restaurants haven't been tried before. Where are the automats today?

The modern grocery model is barely over 100 years old. The self-service model that we take for granted was actually devised as a way to reduce the number of clerks needed in an over-the-counter grocery. In a way, the "new" model of sending in your shopping list for someone else to fetch is a return to tradition.

I see the trend in service automation following a pattern of moving us away from dealing with people because we have to and into dealing with people because we want to. Mistakes will be made (and repeated) and corrected.

AndrewPrice said...

I don't disagree with you, I just don't like the loss of people in these jobs if for no other reason that nothing ever goes right and an automatic scanner can't that.

AndrewPrice said...

It looks like Mueller crashed and burned. The TrumpObsessives will need a new plan.

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