Tuesday, August 31, 2004

How the worm has turned 

What a difference a news cycle makes.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

The Deadliest Martial Art 

Don't click the link. I mean it. I'm warning you.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

A new world record! 

I turn on the Olympics to a series of shots at the end of the pool. The race is over and heads and shoulders of the various swimmers are visible as they look up to check their time. 25.139 seconds. That's how long it took me to tell whether I was looking at men's or women's swimming.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Quote of the day 

"...And for the record, self checkouts aren't so bad... Every time I ring out the dozen eggs and milk it takes me back to the good ol days working at National Supermarkets... Wait a minute, I was only making 4 bucks an hour?! Busting my chops building green bean can displays and dealing with cranky ass old ladies when National Enquirer's sold out...for 4 bucks an hour?!? That job sucked ass. SELF CHECKOUTS SUCK ASS!

That's what I'm talkin about..." (Randy Andy)

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Newschannel 5's Cordell "Whachootalkinbout" Whitlock looks a lot like Gary Coleman 

I'm just sayin' is all.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Warning: Rant ahead 

Another full-cart day at the grocery store. Which one doesn't matter because the narrative's applicable to any of the Big Three. There's one express lane open (which is unavailable to me because, as I said, it's a full-cart day), and two regular lanes which are getting backed up quickly. As I'm getting more frustrated I hear the siren call of the lone employee manning the self-checkout lanes. She's urging me to bring my goods down there and do it myself. "It's easy." "It's fast." "No waiting." I said no and continued to wait and wait and wait while watching at least three other employees milling around with nothing to do and the infamous manager-who-won't-make-eye-contact who knows in his gut he needs to open some lanes but gosh that's such a hassle.

So, once again, it takes me three times as long to check out as it did to fill my cart with groceries. Most of you know by now how I feel about the self-checkouts. I've talked about that here and here. This is the choice they're presenting us with: "Gee, we don't really have enough labor to check everybody out in a timely fashion so you're welcome to wait in line as long as you like, or you can move on down to one of our convenient do-it-yourself lanes (where we only have to pay one employee to supervise four or more registers). You get more choices at Schnucks'N'Bergs!"

I'm sympathetic to the employees, really I am. I supported them during the strike and I imagine they have mixed feelings about this and it's not like it's their decision anyway. They're trying to make the best of it as technology whittles away at their job security.

I'm sympathetic to management, really I am. They seem to be working hard to be competitive in a business that has a pretty small profit margin.

But this really sticks in my craw. If you're the kind of person who always finds yourself standing fifteen people deep in the "express" lane with a carton of eggs, then self checkouts are a legitimate service to you. Knock yourself out. But from where I'm standing (and standing and standing) it looks like this: I've done what you've asked. I've come to your store. I've loitered in your store, looking at all the endcaps and 12-pack pyramids that you worked so hard on. I've filled my cart with your wares and now I want to pay and go as quickly as I can. This is not the place for you to be cutting labor costs. What's next? Touch screen tutorials that teach me how cut my own meat at the deli?

So. If you like self checkouts, great. You may go. But if you resent this encroachment into basic services then don't use them. Don't get fed up and sigh and say "I might as well do it myself". Ask yourself if their savings are being passed on to you and then ask them to open up another lane. Also you can send the permalink to this post to anyone else that feels the same way you do and maybe we can make a difference.

Since last we met 

there have been many Strongbad emails that I've neglected to inform you about. You can scroll down and waste an hour if you're so inclined. This one is especially funny and will have you singing "chickachickachickachickachicka WAH-WAH (chickachickachickachickachickachicka) wah-wah-WAH-wah" All. Day. Long.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

If I had a dollar 

for every time I said "If we can put a man on the moon, why can't we have grass chairs?

Walt's giving me the business 

for not posting. So I'm posting. Actually, I was pretty sure NO ONE ever checked anymore, cause NO ONE ever talks about it. And, hey, I'm a busy man, those Chips Ahoy's aren't going to eat themselves. But if NO ONE's reading I can write anything I want and start saying all sorts of controversial and incendiary things like "abortion" and "poopyhead".

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