Wednesday, August 13

Unclear on the Concept

Wished I'd had a camera - there was one available - but it would have been rude.

So I'm at the aforementioned megastore yesterday where I installed the 32 coupon printers last week. And I needed to get some serial numbers off the self-scan printers. Off to the left I see someone using one of the terminals, and though I tried not to stare, and for that matter kept myself from snickering, I got the numbers I needed and promptly left the store.

I'd never really liked using self-scan terminals at the grocery store. When I go to a grocery store, I like the one-on-one you get from the checker. After all, their salary is what you're helping to pay for just by buying stuff in the store. Of course, you're also helping to pay for the satanic self-scan terminals, too, but I'd rather have the personal touch.

(Note that this doesn't mean I'd rather go into a bank during banking hours to get cash - for that I'd rather use an ATM. It's different.)

Take for example the clientèle that uses the things. Next time you're at Smith's or Albertsons, watch them for a while. Some folks are experts, but a few are either pissed because there aren't enough checkers, or have only a single item that can't wait for a traditional register.

And then there are a few who haven't quite got the concept.

Years ago when CD-ROM technology was in its infancy, it was suggested that the laser should point down so as to not shine into the eyes of the user. Hell, an early Popular Electronics article showed a laser pointing at the platen of a traditional daisy wheel printer. Made it look as if the image was being burned onto the paper. Such was the fear of many as to the concept of laser printing and the technology. Takes the term burning to a whole new level.

Nowadays, we all know the laser on a laser scanner points up, to scan the item being passed over it. And it's a non-destructive laser, not the kind a la James Bond in Goldfinger.

OK, I'm not a spring chicken. And I have to catch myself sometimes when I refer to people as being older. But this one senior citizen is at a self-scan while I'm getting my serial numbers. And she's scanning her items with the bar codes facing skyward.

Normally, the checker (read "sitter") over the self-scans would pick up on this type of error - there's a camera mounted above the scanner - but the sitter was counting money at the time. Don't know how long the poor soul stood there or even if someone came to her rescue. I could have helped her, but it really wasn't my place.

Maybe it really was her first time with a self-scan, or maybe she was doing it that way on purpose so as to get someone to help. In any case, self-scans are only for those who are comfortable using them.

For me, I'll stick to the personal approach.

"Did you find everything you came in for?"

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Google Analytics Alternative