CSotD: Tribulations Round-up

The report from San Francisco is that I’m here without much to report yet, since it’s mostly been a social gathering. Good for me to put faces to names but you have to be here for that to be a factor. Today will mark a day of sessions and I’ll report back.

Meanwhile, Harry Bliss (Tribune) scares me with the prospects of a weekend storm that will blow off all the leaves before I get back. Autumn was just getting good as I left.

While over at Half Full (AMS), fellow New Englander Maria Scrivan notes the tourism phenomenon that emerges each year at this time, combined with the departure of the geese for golf courses, college campuses and public parks further south.

I just saw the first V’s of geese this past week, and meanwhile, some Vermont towns are closing off access to roads popular with leaf peepers. It seems curmudgeonly, but then it doesn’t cost anything to look and only the restaurants and souvenir shops make money from the influx.

The solution to goose droppings on open land is border collies, who will cheerfully run them off, but that strikes some people as cruel.

So far, nobody is speaking up for the tourists.

Another seasonal matter in the art/cartooning world is Inktober, in which people post a drawing every day based on these themes. I realize that, if you don’t have a lot of artists on your social media, you may not be aware of this, but I suppose if you have a lot of cooks, you get more food pics than average.

As the old expression goes, for people who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing they’ll like.

I’m still a bit puzzled by those towns trying to keep tourists away. It’s only for a little bit each autumn, after all.

For much the same reason, I don’t try to analyze Inktober.

For people who don’t like this sort of thing, Bizarro (KFS) offers something they won’t like. I called customer service for something the other day that spawned a series of feedback requests that made me sorry I’d done business with them at all.

The local hospital sends out surveys as well, and I used to toss them, but my nursing relatives said failure to respond can effect their pay, so I dutifully fill them out.

But Bizarro isn’t exaggerating: One isn’t enough and they’ve started repeating their requests even if you fulfilled the first one.

The Duplex (AMS) sets this in the store, but I suspect the real inspiration for the gag is the flood of TV ads for prepared table scraps for you dog. The dog food companies spent decades telling us that table scraps were not the basis of a healthy diet, but now these boutique table scrap companies are telling us they are.

And they offer discounts on your first order that are generally more than I wanted to spend at all, so I gather these are some really good table scraps.

They should get together with the people who advertise capsules of fruit and vegetable powder to take the place of all the real fruits and vegetables they tell you are a necessary part of your diet.

At least the dogs get a full-sized meal out of it. But stay tuned: I’m sure both people and dogs will soon be marketed meals in capsules, at which point they’ll have to start selling us fiber supplements.

As They Can Talk points out, if your goal is catering to your dog’s preferences, you don’t have to pay a lot of money. In fact, this could also solve the issue of towns that now require people to save their food scraps and put them out for the composters to collect.

My dog assures me it would be a win-win.

A little equal time for the anti-self-scanners from Rhymes with Orange (KFS).

Consarn it, I remember when they used to put price tags on everything, and they hired cashiers to ring up those numbers in a cash register. Then they started using bar codes and scanners and assured us that, if it didn’t scan, they’d give it to us free.

A promise, I’d note, that ended when I brought up a coffeemaker that wouldn’t scan.

But it was only a temporary promise anyway, and now the cashiers roll their eyes if something won’t scan and you say, “Then I guess it’s free!”

So now instead of having stock clerks put price tags on everything, they have one person who inputs the codes so the computer can enter the prices, at the self-scan or at attended registers.

That’s one person who doesn’t put in the code for the spaghetti squash, or the PLU on the bottom of the bag of fresh grapes.

But the checkers — both at the register or the self-scan attendants — know those codes because they spend half their shift making up for the fact that they aren’t in the system.

It’s a work in progress.

I would note that it takes less time now to have the attendant come over than it used to in the days when a missing price tag held up the whole line while the bag boy was sent off to do a price check.

Gotta run. I’m struggling with the time change out here on the West Coast. No worries. I’ll adjust in time to go back to the East Coast.

Fortunately, Reply All (WPWG) assures me that I can fall behind without missing a lot.

4 thoughts on “CSotD: Tribulations Round-up

  1. I would happily give feedback about how poorly most customer-satisfaction survey questions are worded. It’d be downright cathartic.

  2. Part of the reason why my diet is so terrible is because I don’t take fresh produce to the self-scanners.
    It’s too much hassle.

  3. I disagree that it takes less time for an attendant to come over–the grocery store nearest me operates with just one checker (out of about a dozen or so checkout lanes), one person at the self-checkout lanes (to make sure no one is stealing from the company) and one customer service person whose job seems to only be selling lotto tickets or checking those numbers on tickets to see if someone has won.

    And this would be either late in the afternoon, when everyone is stopping by to pick up items on the way home, or a busy Saturday.

    Those cashiers (or self-checkout customers) who need assistance usually have to wait for between 5 to 10 minutes to even be acknowledged by someone who can do a price check, making others waiting behind the “problem customer” angry.

    This is the new reality in grocery shopping. And this store is a major chain in my state (initials S&S).

    Give me the old days of a bag boy running down an aisle for a price check anyday.

    1. There are more than one grocery store in my town. Some of them handle things more efficiently than others. And we’ve got two stores of the same chain, one of which does better than the other. There are other reasons beside checkout to make choices — one has better produce, another better fish and another has good markdowns on meat.

      But thank god for choices, because not all stores, even in the same chain, are identical.

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