Thursday, August 16, 2007

The collapse of western civilization is perfectly illustrated by

the inability of much hyped technological innovation to increase productivity. A good illustration of this week down last night at the Shaw's on Lexington Street in Waltham.
A customer presented a simple coupon to the check-out clerk and because Shaw's is implementing a new high tech scanning-cash register system this caused the whole transaction to void and brought no less than Seven grocery clerks, baggers and the night manager into the mishaugas. At one point a Shaws "associate" could be seen frantically paging thru a operator's manual like a sinner looking for loopholes in the Book of Revelation.
The poor schnook with the coupon escaped with his groceries after a ten minute wait whilst seemingly half the store's heirarchy tried to figure out how to void a purchase and re-enter on their new fool-proof high speed high tech cash register-scanner system.
Calculating the transaction on an abacus would've been quicker.
Frankly the transformation of grocery check out lines into defacto ATMS with multiple payment options has in fact increased everyone's wait time. I've taken to bringing a paperback with me for the grocery check out action unthinkable a mere twenty years ago when one could get in and out of the store in under ten minutes.
Sad but this is the shape of things to come, nobody designs "upgrades" for ease of use and one and it's killing capitalism I fear.

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