I do not work at the grocery store, so why should I have to scan and bag my own canned tomatoes? I do not work at the gas station, so why do I have to pump my own gas? I do not work at the bank, so why do I need a tutorial when I have to do anything other than withdraw money from the ATM? An ATM which apparently can do everything except dispense $5 and $10 bills.
No wonder I am so exhausted. Not only am I doing the job I get paid to do - I am doing everyone else's job that they get paid to do! Yesterday my colleague Robert and I walked to a sandwich shop to grab some lunch - because it was lunchtime. As we walked in we encountered a young employee by the front door directing people to a self-service ordering station complete with several iPads. More work. I stomped my feet, folded my arms across my chest and launched into my rehearsed speech that begins with, "Let's pretend I don't work here..." Robert left me and the bouncer alone. He stood by the iPad table, checked Facebook and waited.
"I think you wasted your speech on her," he said when I finally jumped off of my soap box. "But you might have changed her mind about working here." He smiled. I growled.
I stepped up to one of the iPads. It took me twelve minutes to order a bowl of soup and a salad with dressing on the side. Six of those twelve minutes were spent searching for the button to choose bread with my bowl of soup and not soup in a bread-bowl. Twelve unpaid minutes of my life. The worst part was when the computer commanded me to swipe my credit card, I looked up at Robert with tears in my eyes and took a $20 bill out of my pocket. There was no credit card only sign next to the iPad. Was I supposed to know that?
"Oh honey," said Robert, sharing a look of disappointment with the bouncer who was hoping I would fail. He led me and my retro cash to the counter where people like me place their orders. People who curse the day technology interfered with customer service. People who believe customer service means to be of service to the customer.
Back at the office, Robert happily ate lunch at his desk after informing me he would not be accompanying me to any more restaurants - my standards are too high. Hmmm...or society has accepted the "I'm not doing it - you do it" attitude.
With a few minutes left in my lunch hour, I booked my airplane ticket for an upcoming trip I'm taking to Illinois (travel agent) and then after I figured out what tax form I need to use this year, I found a self-service website to walk me through the process (accountant), and finally with seconds to spare I made an appointment to get my car serviced...they suggested I bring my own screwdriver.
Lori Ann Dinkins
One blog at a time, I write the truth about my life as it is, as I hope it will be, as I wish it would have been. Business insights and personal triumphs. Thank you for joining me.