Customer service is becoming an ancient art.
I remember going to the grocery store with my mom when I was a kid and admirably gazing at the cashier with respect and awe.
You knew their name, they knew yours, you would chat with each other while the checker pulled items from your buggy and manually rang each item up. It was like visiting with a friend who took pride in their job.
These days, you’re lucky if you get to see a human being while in the store, let alone one that can actually help you.
As I was in Walmart yesterday, I came face to face with my most dreaded nightmare- self-check registers.
I hate them. And when I mean “hate”, I’m talking about deep down, dark black, pit of hell kind of hate.
After roaming the aisles of Walmart, gathering what I need and a crap-load of things I don’t need, admiring the people who were bold enough to sport Ninja Turtles pajama pants, or no pants at all, I rounded the corner, heading for the check-out lines.
Then there they were- a dozen new self-check registers. The registers sat where all of the books were located. Not only did Walmart add these horrible contraptions to the store, they wiped out any trace of literacy.
I stood there glaring at the registers with their new signs proudly gleaming “Scan and Go”. There were lines and lines of customers eagerly awaiting their turn to use the new self-check registers. I wanted to scream “Run! Save your selves and customer service!”
The biggest issue I have with self-check registers, whether it’s at Walmart, Home Depot, Target, etc.- is I DO NOT WORK AT THIS STORE, SO WHY AM I DOING THIS JOB???
If I am ringing up and bagging my items, where is my employee discount? Um, hello, I haven’t received information on my benefits package, do you know when that will be sent out? How do I opt in to the 401k plan? Anyone know?? Anyone??
What am I getting out of this other than gaining a few minutes of extra time from not having to wait in line for a human cashier? Nothing. Nothing at all.
Now the stores, they are the ones gaining the benefit. Not only do they not have to hire people as cashiers, they are getting our money and free labor.
I was in Home Depot, and let me tell you, they are the worst when it comes to not having any cashiers, and I was buying paint. There was a sale on paint and I had to grudgingly go through the self-check. So I swipe the gallon of paint and no discount. I push buttons, I re-swipe the can about fifteen more times, push different buttons, utter a few cuss words, and still no discount. I didn’t know how to add the discount due to the fact that I AM NOT A HOME DEPOT EMPLOYEE.
I literally had to hunt down a store employee to help me, and because they weren’t a cashier (remember, Home Depot is the worst for not having cashiers) they had no idea how to add the discount.
Thirty minutes later, I walked out of Home Depot with my sale can of paint and a really bad attitude.
So much for saving time through self-check.
And it’s not just grocery stores, big box and department type stores that are implementing self-check. Restaurants are doing it too.
You go to Chili’s and you can pay your bill at your table. Which, if you have to separate the bill for everyone in your party, it’s a nightmare. Trust me. My homies and I spent a good deal of time trying to figure this out during one of our happy hours. Not only are we well into our 40’s and 50’s and are not tech-savvy, we had a few rounds of margaritas which didn’t help. We all had to share a brain cell to get through this process- and believe me, it was painful.
In addition to Chili’s, McDonald’s, Jack In The Box, and few other fast food chains are installing order booths where you place your order through a machine, pay, and then are given your order by a human.
What’s next, will be making the food ourselves too?? Bussing our own tables, washing the dishes, and taking out the trash?
I do have certain family members who use the self-check registers and table self-pay machines.
You traitors and enablers know who you are. (Well, they know who they are now because after the Walmart horror, I called them to self-check shame them.)
I just want a human being to ring me up or take my order. Customer service, is that really too much to ask for??
In addition to getting free labor, self-check registers and order machines take jobs away from people. Honestly, there are a lot of people who depend on these type of customer service jobs to live. Quite a few people have these types of jobs as second jobs. So how can we deny work to people? C’mon, think about it.
I am telling you, if all of this automated stuff keeps happening, it’s going to be Terminator’s rise of the machines in the real world. And living underground in a dark, stank cave, hiding from the Taco Bell self-order machines who are revolting against humanity for adding too many changes to a Mexican pizza order isn’t going to work for me.
So say “NO” to self-check! Let’s take customer service back and make America great again!!
Thanks for reading,