Graham Higgins Illustration - Literate Graffiti Dept.


November 19, 2010

19-11-10 Inconvenience

Latest innovation for your convenience at the supermarket: the self-check aisle. Oh right.
When cashiers ask if I’d like ‘cash-back’ I remind myself that I’m not getting cash ‘back’, just more of my own cash. I can’t be too harsh because it does save a stop-off at the ATM, but do remember that the prime motive for offering this service is to encourage customers to carry cash away that otherwise requires sorting, bagging and collection by security firms. You’re helping to save the company a good deal of those costs. I guess the argument is that the saving enables the company to cut retail prices but some cynical inner voice says that it helps to keep shareholders happy.
Out of curiosity I’ve had a go at the self-check routine and ran into the usual problems of finding the bar-codes and swipe-swipe-swiping them until they registered, checking the itemised bill and handling the card transaction. So much more convenient to let the cashier zip the goods through. They’re paid to do it and as long as they do they have work. As soon as enough customers have been trained into compliance those jobs will go and the saving in pay-roll will be impressive. If you want groceries you’ll have to do the work. That’ll be convenient. Of course that will also mean that you’ll queue just as you do now for your turn at the till.
The investment in the self-check equipment is so significant that it can’t be allowed to fail, so it’s only a matter of time before the ‘customer culture’ changes. The companies will report that The Customer has embraced the convenience, which we will have to once it becomes the only option.
Refuse the invitation by trained supervisors (factor-in the companies’ investment in the costs of training them to shepherd you into the new procedure) and save the community’s collective bill – financial and social – for unemployment benefit, as the government increases the penalties (sorry, ‘incentives’) to get ‘back to work’ in a shrinking work-pool created by these convenience-measures.
While there’s an option, my time in the queue at the check-out operated by a real person is my only way to register that the one item I regularly don’t buy is corporate double-speak.

The blog is increasingly infested by the polar opposite of convenience: spam. OK, I realise that the enterprise is testimony to the gullibility of a tiny percentage of the recipients and the faith of the spammers that there’s at least one born every minute. Who are these numbskulls? There must be enough of them to make the exercise worthwhile.
I’ve yet to meet or hear of anyone who regards this unsolicited and frequently incomprehensible junk as anything other than a pointless irritation.
Here’s one of my flattering correspondents:-
‘This is probably the most amazing blogs Ive go through in a quite prolonged time. The amount of info in here is amazing, like you practically wrote the book around the subject matter. Your weblog is great for any individual who desires to comprehend this subject much more. Great things; please maintain it up!’

Thanks, I’ll definitely endeavour to maintain it up. I highly appreciate to have such articulated critic as friend of me. Up yours also!
Another connoisseur of my limpid prose writes:-

‘‘I concept i’d posting and let you know your sites is useful for revealed the important method.I truly adore your weblog.Expertly, the piece of writing is in inescapable fact the very best on this worth when subject. I concur along with your final thoughts and will consistently appear forward to your coming tweets. Precisely saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the unparalleled lucidity in the methods. I will quickly get your rss feed to remain informed of any updates.True function and a great deal achievements in the deliver the results and business interests.In any case retain up the wonderful perform.Thanks.’

This is melody to my organs of hearing! Such excellent, the approbation of readers thus replete of the insights to critic the thrust of my arguing.
For those wishing to keep au courant with the cutting edge of fashion, note:-

‘The forte of a good pair of comprehensive length pants is ruined when it is coupled with shoes that advance to a hapless breaking of the hem.’

I’m always haplessly breaking the hem of my comprehensive length pants and couldn’t work out how this happened. Fashion is clearly not my forte. Oh, and…:-

‘Since you take a spacious pant, adopt a intimate but not binding blouse to redress the flowing legs’

Goshdarn, I’m so self-conscious about my flowing legs. Gotta get me an intimate loose blouse toute suite! Note to self: Must search for a blouse-rescue sanctuary where I can adopt one. Maybe it would be wise to cast my net wider and employ a translator, and as luck would have it…:-

‘I look over this put and it’s awfully inviting for me. I yearning you are many visitors from google end other searchweb. If you be further this placement you should sum up it to numerous net directories. I yen invited to my webdir. It’s correct dir but we undergo milieu from other country. Strengthen this area in our position… [URL deleted, Ed.] Please enlarge site with english description. We spontaneous alter it to 30 language. Tote up site nowadays!’

This is the free flow of ideas and information across international boundaries we were promised at the dawn of the internet age. I realise that every time I add a post here I present a bigger target for these technorang-utan spam-chuckers.
On the positive, here is embryonic Globelish in vitro. Soon we’ll all write like this to the betterment of enhanced comprehending one against another. Mutual low-decibels and compatible key, y’all.

  1. Equally, the arrival in the out-of-town of Big Supermarket Plc, given planning permission thanks to creating umpty-ump new jobs, is balanced (or outweighed) by the closure of any number of small and medium shops and stores in the town centre – due to lower footfall if not direct competition. I am happy to use the local Co-Op and discount stores for basics and M&S for luxuries, both of which help to keep the customers coming into town, and feel guilty whenever I have to patronise Tesco or Sainsburys.

    On the spam front, I think you would be well advised to shift this blog to or similar, and let their filters catch the bulk of the pink processed meat. Of course, you’ll miss such gems as the flowing legs, but the odd few get through. Here’s an excerpt from one of my favourites, advertising a card printing service: “With access to the services offered past our website, you can shortly and without undue formalities stick an organization for goods, comment the outline and approved it and ordered some business cards. Choose our retinue as a sympathetic subject card is oft a oath fitting for success.”

    Stick an organistation for goods – before they stick you!

    Comment by Sue Jones — November 19, 2010 @ 1:47 pm

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