The blind and the service-impaired

I am going to be spending most of today in the air, and, thanks to American Airlines, I can blog the whole way from DC to CA if I want to. This is bad news for you, as I am in a rather grumpy frame of mind, following a week of minor vexations and petty torments. I first wish to complain about CVS:

CVS, for the benefit of British and Irish readers, is a pharmacy chain, but sadly inferior to Boots. CVS, it seems, is trying to do away with customer care altogether and has introduced a number of self-check out stations in the store next to Transparency Towers. Former check out assistants will still stand temptingly close to their old tills but if you approach them bearing one or more of their products, and money, they will wanly wave you to the new installations, indicating that this is now a do-it-yourself store.  The machines are not intuitive, they do not have pretty voices and from their first barked instruction to the final printing of a receipt takes much, much longer than it used to with a sales assistant involved.  That’s supposing you can make the process work at all. On Tuesday, I went to work without my reading glasses. I was in the CVS at 7:45am, and was the only customer in the store. There were staff everywhere, but sales assistance was obviously not on their list of priorities for the day. I was directed to the self service check out with my glasses in hand. The problem was of course that I couldn’t read the instructions because I didn’t have my glasses. I couldn’t put my (well, soon to be my) glasses on because they were hog tied with plastic in several places. There was no-one to ask for a pair of scissors. There was no help to be had at all. The barked instructions, I discovered, don’t make much sense without visual aids. I  was there for  such a long time that I witnessed one man attempting to buy some vitamin water. The machine wouldn’t take his money. Eventually a member of staff came to his aid. Another woman tried to buy an umbrella. She went back out into the rain without it, abandoning it after her third attempt to buy. I eventually completed my purchase.

That should have been the end of it, but I was having a bad week. I arrived at work on Wednesday morning again without my specs, and had to repeat the whole ordeal. Yes, I did it on Thursday too. By then, I had pretty much mastered the machine but the whole idea still peeves me. I must tell the manager, if I can ever get  a hold of him.

About Liz Barron

US Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia. Permanent address in Washington DC. Deep roots in Northern Ireland and persistent Belfast accent. Blogger,cook, mother, grandma, Scrabble-player and enthusiastic world traveler.
This entry was posted in anger, Crone in America, Crone in the Nation's capital, overweight, Transparency Towers and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The blind and the service-impaired

  1. Celia says:

    …………….and they say it is progress. I thought it was only grumpy old people like me that complained about new technology

    Celia

  2. Kate says:

    I don’t understand how its progress when I am the one paying money for the “convenience” of doing someone else’s job. What the hell am I paying retail prices for, if I’m not getting retail service?

    (I’m giving it five years before stores start charging an extra fee for the “choice” to have a person check your items)

    It drives me craaaaaaazy!!!! Self-checkout is supposed to be a choice, not the default system.

    (also, they need a limit of 7 items or less at self check-out)

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