Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Technology vs. Man

A couple of years ago, my bank installed these new teller stations inside. They were similar to the drive thru stations in that they were just a screen, an intercom, and a tube chute. They were designed to be more efficient, staff-wise, and more secure since the tellers and the money were in some other room safe. They left 2 teller stations the old way, so that people that had more complicated transactions could still talk face to face with a person. I for one, loved it. It was actually faster, and I didn't have to talk face to face with a teller. Well about a month ago, the old people ruined it by complaining. TANGENT First off, I mean no offense to older people that are scared of technology. I can understand. I for one hate the self checkouts at the grocery stores. As much as I hate waiting and having to talk to people I don't know, unless I have just a couple of items I hate the self checkout. I feel like I am holding up a line because I'm slow at it, it always breaks causing me to have to wait and talk to someone I don't know that is sent to fix it, and inevitably its the only stinkin' line open at Home Depot when I have large items that can't be scanned easily. - END TANGENT. The bank ended up putting everything back the way it was. Now I have to go to the drive thru to avoid talking to people face to face. I think they should have left at least two stations setup the new way for people like me. I mean, they had the two stations with people before.

I'm reminded of the time I worked at the museum. I had to stand outside a ride that was closed once to tell people it was closed, and offer directions to other attractions. I argued with my boss that a sign would be better, and he said people don't like signs, they would rather talk to people. I knew that was a load of horse pucky, because I hated talking to people. I will wander all over a place looking for a sign to help me so that i don't have to talk to people. I turn down employees that ask if they can help me, even when I need something, so that I can continue looking for a sign. I've not bought things before at stores simply because they require you to get someone to open a case for you. I try not to make eye contact with employees to avoid them asking if they can help me with something. I make most of my non-routine purchases on the Internet to avoid talking to these people.

Then you have the people that DON'T work at these places, and aren't required to talk to you. Those are the real crazies. You know, the ones that just start talking. I usually smile and nod, and not say anything. It's never good to encourage these people, because they keep talking. Trust me a few seconds of awkward silence is worth it to get away from these people. My wife has the misfortune of having a voice that carries. So her and I will be having a private conversation and she'll say something that sparks these crazies to talk to us. I usually try to fall through the cracks when this happens, and feed her to the dogs.

The irritating people that I work with that don't use the help desk often use the excuse of being "a people person." This somehow gives them the right to come and talk to me about something that I'd rather read in an email. The only advantage of those people persons, is that I can plausibly say they never requested anything when I forget to do it. Then I can suggest that they use the help desk system next time so they will have record that they asked for something.

My friend, Padre, used to argue that our society is deteriorating because of technology. He is one of those people people.


Tae said...

People don't want signs! PEOPLE DON'T READ SIGNS! There can be a million signs all pointing the same way, like those cartoons that have the billion signs all pointing into one hole in the ground, and someone will still ask where the thing is!

Greg said...

I used to avoid people like that...you know, at stores wanting to help you. Now, I just say, "I'm just looking around"...they'll usually tell you to come find them if you need something, and I'll say "thank you". I have had them try to force their way into helping me. I usually kinda meander off and leave when that happens.

To be honest, as I've gotten older, I usually want pointed in the right direction so as to save time.