Saturday, September 24, 2005

Mindless "Efficiency"

I have a pet peeve. And I admit, it's ridiculous.

But honestly, what's with every store having the credit card swipe system for the customer? I swear, every time I have to use those things I have to swipe the card 18 times, all the while the clerk is going, "you need to go a little faster," or "slower" or "flip it the other way" or "could you just stand on one foot while you do that?"

Then as I'm easily distracted by ... you know, stuff.... like the headlines of STAR magazine for example (Hillary Duff and Lindsay Lohan have mud fight?), I have the clerk breathing down my neck, "okay, now press the green 'enter' button," "great, now click yes," "click the red button again to verify," "maybe it would help if you stood on one foot again," etc.

Are these supposed to be helpful or efficient? Did someone sit at a meeting somewhere and honestly say, "You know what people really want to do... swipe their own credit cards." And then some other guy at the table says "Yes, and store clerks are so busy doing other things!" Then the Guiness beer guy says, "BRILLIANT!"

Really. I'm nostalgic for the good ol' days. Take the money off my hands, give me my oreos and leave me in peace. I don't want to disarm a nuclear bomb via checkout technology that never seems to like me (the machine at Target actually ate my card once so don't tell me I'm crazy).

I just don't see what the clerk is doing other than checking me out that would prevent him/her from taking care of the credit card stuff for me. Maybe someday I will be queen of the world, and on the glorious day I will order all annoying technology burned. Then we will all feel free to flip through the pages of STAR magazine.

Not without shame, but at least without distraction.


Heather said...

As an innocent bystander who happened to witness the inspiration for this post, I must say I agree... sometimes when we try too hard to be efficient, the things we're trying to streamline seem to turn around on us and become the terribly INefficient bane of our existences.

You could just ditch the credit card and pay in cash, but that might be equally as distressing psychologically...the whole process of handing over actual money makes you acutely aware that you are indeed spending it. And who the hell wants that when you can float happily along on the delusion that plastic affords?

I guess, my dear, we're all screwed. That is, until you become queen of the world (I'd vote for you!!).

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