Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Checked Out" on the Self-Check Line

I was ready to write a story about the death of customer service. My car dealer fixed my brake light (see the blog) but couldn't seem to reset the computer on the car. So, I still have the "brake light" error message lit up in green. You would think this would be the last thing on their checklist before "Bill customer big bucks." So, I am extending them grace. (Wish they could do the same for my warranty.)

No, maybe customer service is not completely dead. Oh, sure, we're eventually going to pay $25 per bag so our luggage can fly less-than-coach on an airplane, but not everything is flying south.

I love the self-checkout at the grocery story. I am probably fulfilling some kind of dream, like working for the post office. There's just something about scanning your own items and having the system beep and say, "Place the item in the bag." It's an "I can't believe I get to do this" phenomenon.

Well, I was happily scanning away at the Kroger today. I think the system was unhappy with the fact that I was so slow. It kept saying, in its nice computer way, "Please wait for the attendant." Joseph (not his picture) was very nice and used his PDA to get me back to scanning quickly. I bought wine, which meant I had to show him my ID. I had a coupon, which he needed to scan through his PDA. All the while, he smiled and said nothing--just letting me live it up with my scanning.

He helped me load a bag in my cart, had me sign my receipt and wished me a good day. And I left unbeknownst to me one bag short!

I had parked my car about as far away from the store as you could be. (Because I was visiting a nearby store, I parked equidistant between the establishments). I had just about gotten the cart to the car when I heard the cry of "Ma'am! Ma'am!!"
Wouldn't you know, it was for me!

Joseph was yelling across the parking lot, carrying my stray bag. I thanked him profusely, because it really was quite a distance to walk. He just smiled more and said, "No problem."

And what had I left behind in the plastic bag turnstile? Lunch tubs of pasta shells with meatballs and chili, peanut butter crackers and fruit bars--supplies for the "emergency preparedness box" we have for power outages or bad-weather situations.

I don't know if Joseph knows something I don't, but I do know that I would definitely go back to the self-check at Kroger. Because if I'm "checked out" again doing the job myself, I want Joseph to be on hand, smiling with his PDA...probably shaking his head at me....


Chatty Kelly said...

Equidistant!?!? Well, dictionary.com says it means equally distant, which I could have figured out if I would have broken it down...but girlfriend, that's a big word! You never fail to impress me with your vast knowledge, Awesome Sue! Of course, then you leave your bag behind at the grocery and I feel a little bit better about myself. You are human after all. SMILE!

The Patterson 5 said...

My youngest loves the self check out and the attendants are very helpful and patient with her as she "plays" grocery shopping! It takes us a super long time.

My ADHD Me said...

I must be thinking like Chatty Kelly (surprise) "Equidistant!" !! I needed to go to dictionary.com just for the word "yesterday"..I kept writing "yesturday" And then I keep getting that little red line under my word. Speaking of little red lines, that's what I wrote about today in my blog. But actually, were we really speaking about little red lines?????
Love your blog!