5.16.2008

is there a person in the house?

NO. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. AND... NO?

"In other words, if everything else in a consumer's life is connected through digital, shopping should be, too."

if i want to be alone and not interact with people when i shop, I SHOP ONLINE.
i don't need to get on a car, in a subway, on a train, to go visit a store without people. granted, it's "less employees," not "no employees," but what's the difference? those people who still are employed will find better ways to "use the time" they're being paid for than to perform customer service, which requires patience, effort, and understanding. why do that when a computer can do it for you? besides, it's not like we need more jobs available anyway...

can i keep saying NO any more?

how many times do you call a phone of a company now and get into an endless automated loop about some stupid thing you never wanted to tell them just because you can't get a HUMAN on the phone? a human who could have answered your question in 2.5 seconds? i don't want to stare at a screen to discern my purchasing protocol. if i'm not doing it online i a) want a personal opinion about the product or b) i procrastinated and need said item NOW, at which point i'm not asking any questions anyway: my mind is made up. removing employed people from stores is a surefire way to lose traffic to said store. they could just buy online.

we are already disconnected. we are seeking connections via pixels. welcome to the age of mass communication. mass disillusionment. mass isolation. and you're just making it worse rather than fostering those connections. if anything, this technology should be a tool used by employees to help customers. like the computers in Borders or Wawa or your local tech-savvy deli. but for the love of interaction and humanity, don't lose the people. sometimes i leave the house just to see another face.

beware the stone gods.

2 comments:

Bryon McDonald said...

Yes! I'm pondering how people shop online because of its convenience, but quite possibly become more unhappy because of said shopping method. But people normally assume that convenience = good. But it's easier to spend money online than at a store, I think anyway, so that's not very convenient for one's pocketbook. Definitely not alone on "leav[ing] the house just to see another face."

Anonymous said...

I don't think you can equate the two. waiting forever for an answer from an automated telephone service vs. speaking to an amorphous bemoaned incompetent "representative". To be self referential: I trust myself and a computer much more than the average 17yr old customer service rep "looking" or "checking" on or for something.

You are removing people from the store but you are not removing all people. You're redefining the concept of service from one that has the primary delivery vehicle of uni-function people to one that has the multi-functional consumer con computer is server and served. I can understand not wanting to do more work for no pay as the customer. But I think in some senses it greatly eliminates human error on the other side of the counter. Although there too, it can be true that in theory a person who deals in one mode of merchandise all the time will be more knowledgeable than the average consumer thanks to longer time spent with merchandise (i.e. asking the representative which cell phone is best. and the representative knowing 'x' as opposed to 'y' because so many people with 'y' have been returning 'y's). But I am sure you know that most retail situations no longer cultivate such "knowledgeable" reps.

And as for all those people who leave the house and go shopping just to see another human face. Go out more? It's sad to resort to consumerism as a means of fostering human interaction. Virginia Woolf wrote an essay about shopping for a pencil because she had to leave the house and see people. NG.


Oh & I love you.