Friday, April 13, 2007

News Alerts, Turtle Cashiers, and things that bug me. :)

I just realized, it's been eleven days since I've posted anything. That's too long...I've been reading Jung recently, trying to get a handle on what I've heard about his philosophies. So far it's nothing I haven't already talked about, which is a good thing, because it means that Jung's ideas are so ingrained into my mind, and most modern English Majors, that they've become an integral part of our culture. Anyway, on to my post...


It's time for another "Things that Bug Me!" It's hard to do these posts, actually, because trying to remember enough of them to post is's the ADD. Course, that might be a good thing, since, if I can't remember what it is that bugged me, it won't really bug me until it happens . Whatever.... anyway...

This is picky, but since we live in a time where information is constantly being thrown at us, and I'll admit, I always have the television on when i'm at home in my room, television becomes, for most of us, simply background noise. It's almost like we have to sub-divide our brains while we're doing anything, because, like the need for noise, the need for multitasking is almost as strong. So, since television producers know this, they put little sound effects that will get our attention. In the olden times, the only thing they had was the emergency alert noise. Now, however, we have cable news channels and whatnot that try to get your attention in anyway they can. One annoying way that they do this is by using a noise to alert you to whatever (they think) is important. From Fox News' "Fox News Alert" with corresponding noise, to ESPN, who is now using their alert tone to tell you whats coming up next in Sportcenter, it draws you out of whatever you are doing and into the present, usually in which nothing is usually important or something they've not covered a million times. Drives me nuts. Sportcenter repeats itself over and over, and so it should be background noise. So this little ditty they have now is irritating.

Just experienced this last night. I go to Kroger to get some light bulbs (for some reason, every light has to be on in the house constantly (not me, I can see in the dark)), and so I get that, plus some water for the Bill Gaither Homecoming concert tonight, and I get in line. It's 10:30. Kroger has shut down their self-scan lines, and has replaced competent cashiers with the ugliest, slowest, least customer friendly cashiers possible. It's like they found rocks with arms and legs and showed them how to scan groceries. Now, first of all, self-scan registers would take care of the myriad of people who just need light bulbs, and then that would leave the midnight shoppers there for the other cashier or two. But Kroger is trying to save money, and probably still doesn't trust the customer to correctly scan their groceries (like that's so hard!!) and so they shut those down, and then they look through their rosters and find the slowest people to scan groceries late at night where it won't make as much difference because of the light volume of customers. The result being that the lines back up, making the customers annoyed, and then the cashiers are rude, making it unlikely we'll ever return to shop there. A definite no-no in the land of retail.

And on a related note, they do the same thing at Walmart, but a little different. So I'm at Walmart getting a few things, and I'm resigned to the fact that I'm gonna have to wait in line for three hours, listening to the whiny kids and annoying women on their cell phones talking about things they have no business talking about on their cell phones in the middle of a store, and so since I have less than 20 items, I look for the express line. Except the express line is manned by the slowest possible cashier ever to scan a gallon of milk. And they always do this! Its called an Express lane!! It means you get out more quickly! So then I go to the self scan line, where I can scan my own groceries thank you very much, and the customer in front of me has a problem scanning something (and lets face it, not everyone has been working retail all their lives). The light goes on, the too loud female voice announces to the whole store that someone is having problems... and the cashier at the end of the self scan registers doesn't look up from whatever it was that they were doing. Cleaning their fingernails...whatever. I enjoy doing self-scan because it makes me be at three places at once. A cashier doing self-scan should be outgoing, busy, and able to help customers out and make them want to come back to those lines. But they don't, and they don't, and the lines elsewhere back up and self scan registers don't live up to their full potential. On a positive note, Kroger on the north side of Conyers has a cashier that works like this. To me, she's annoyingly loud and too outgoing, but that's just me. She's an excellent cashier and encourages customers to return.

So this turned into a retail post. But since that's where I spend most of my time, either shopping or selling, that works for me. I'm going to send this post, modified, to Kroger so that maybe they'll head me.

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