Enough with the Self Checkouts! My Two Cents

Today I’m talking about my aversion to self-checkout registers in stores. I hate them!

What spurred this post was a meme I’d seen on social media where people are up in arms in the comment section about having to self checkout at Walmart with cart loads of stuff, some leaving their carts and walking out. Below, find a few samplings:

 

“I refuse to self check out. It puts people out of work and contributes nothing to the social security tax base or income tax. It’s Walmart’s way of not paying wages. Plus most folks are part time so Walmart doesn’t have to pay benefits.”

 

“When I’m in line waiting to pay for my groceries, and the nice assistant manager tells me there’s an opening at the self checkout, I look at them and say, “I’m sorry. I don’t work here.”

 

“I think we should get a “ I cashiered myself discount “ since they aren’t paying anyone to ring us up”

 

“Hire the cashiers back!”

 

I can definitely relate and not a big fan of self-checkout for various reasons besides the complaints noted above. Grocery shopping has never been one of my favorite shopping past times. I go with my list, gather my goods and go to checkout. I’m used to bagging my own things in some supermarkets, but, ringing items through on a self-checkout doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting out faster.

 

I’ll take my local pharmacy, Shopper’s Drug Mart, as an example here. I’ve developed a habit of going there only on Thursdays. Thursdays are Senior Days. Ya, ya, I’d hardly consider myself a senior, but I’ve been getting that discount for years.

 

It began about eight years ago at the Shopper’s near where me and my husband lived for years. I’d pick up his prescriptions and do a shop. I asked one of the pharmacy girls if I could get the discount since my husband was a senior. She told me she’d certainly ring up my things with a 20% discount. That was it! Since that time, any other Shopper’s I’d spend money at on a Thursday, I’d ask for the senior’s discount and got it. At the time, I was further away from being a senior and was puzzled that I wasn’t asked for identification. I asked the clerk if she needed proof. I was told then that clerks weren’t allowed to ask for I.D. for this discount and that if we claimed we’re seniors we’d just get the discount. That worked out well through the years. . . until the self-checkout machines came around.

 

As you can imagine, Thursdays are the busiest days at Shopper’s. The one closest to me is a nightmare to checkout from on Thursdays. With usually only one cashier on (these days) and three self-checkout machines, prepare to spend longer in line. We have Shopper’s points cards where we earn extra points for items we purchase. The cards get scanned at checkout, but Shopper’s has yet to come up with a cure for the missing access to the ‘senior discount’ selection at self-checkout. What currently happens is the ONE cashier on duty has to leave the line of waiting paying customers to go over to the robots and swipe a ‘special’ employee card into the machine to take off the extra 20% for those who braved the robots. So we are in fact waiting on one cashier line and sharing that cashier with all the lost self-checkout customers who can’t get their discounts at the machines. Not to mention, most of the elderly seniors don’t have any concept of digital payment. Sometimes I question if the 20% off is worth my time.

 

This self-checkout business is a nightmare for many. I detest it more in grocery stores. How many times have you been self-checking out and an item doesn’t scan? Yes, we are at the mercy of computerized everything. And no, they aren’t foolproof. When we checkout with an actual cashier, it’s their business to call a stock person and go check the price of the item if it doesn’t scan. At a self-checkout scanning machine, it’s enough to make me leave the whole lot of stuff and walk out. This isn’t my job. I’m wanting to pay for goods and the robot I’m at isn’t complying and there’s no help. Yes, I am going to leave if there is no help around.

 

Now, I know that some stores have ‘helpers’ around to help serve shoppers when glitches occur, but that’s not always the case, especially since I’ve noticed less people working in these stores. It isn’t a secret that North America is recognizing a shortage of employees for many businesses. With the advent of Covid and people working from home or leaving their non-essential jobs, which are in fact, very essential to the average citizen, I’ve noticed plenty of closed checkout aisles in many a store.

 

I’m not sure if all those people ranting over the situation at Walmart aren’t justified in their thinking, but I do feel the same way as many of those commenters. Greed has taken over everywhere with price gauging, giving less and taking more from us from service to pricing, but, I do know it sure would be nice to see people working in stores instead of these damned robots!

 

What’s your take on self-checkout?

 

©DGKaye2021

 

 

Moving – Closure and Erasure, and #Grieving

I recently did the big move two Saturdays ago. It was a horrendous journey from the getgo. Barely two weeks had passed after my husband’s death when I was informed there was a one bedroom coming available in July. I probably wasn’t in my rightest mind, but I did know I didn’t want to pay exuberant rent living alone in the big place, so I agreed to take the early departure.

 

But before any packing could be done, I had to go through a lifetime of everything we owned. I had to downsize to at least half of everything – furniture, clothes, shoes, and other assorted big things taking up space. I barely had time to mourn over the seperation of the so many things that have been a part of my life, our life, for decades. But there was no choice. And there was barely a helping hand to help me sort out our life and condense it into boxes and smaller spaces. Trauma teaches us just how many are really in our life, and how many actually give a shit. I found out – not many.

I was referred to the clown movers by ‘a friend’ in my building. My good friend Vinnie had brought me over a large moving trolley a month before the move, telling me to use it to transport stuff downstairs as soon as I got the keys early. I did many loads and unloads, alone, and by the time moving day came, it should have been a four hour deal. Only, the mover guys came with no moving tools, didn’t bother taking a shower before coming to our air-conditioned building that was working overtime with some of the worst humidity from a temporary heatwave that hit on moving day, making the breathing more unbearable – even through a mask. These clowns needed me to guide and babysit them, so there was no way I could be down in the new place doing anything constructive. You may be wondering, so no, NOBODY came to help me on moving day.

After over ten hours of moving, scraping, dragging my furniture up and down hallways, I fired them at almost 9pm. My bones all felt broken, and I fell into a very dark place. It wouldn’t be until the Monday, two days later that the cavalry – my good friends Vinnie, Tonie and Alison showed up to help turn my place into a home. There were a few more visits over the last two weeks from my lovely friends, as everyone is busy and has their own life issues to deal with, but I learned a lot. And I couldn’t help thinking about a famous quote from Maya Angelou – “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

Through my journey of grief, I haven’t been working on a book, heck, I haven’t been writing regularly, but I have been writing. I found myself writing snippets of life and what I learned and felt through the days of my husband’s illness, through his dying days, and the emotional fallout afterwards that I continue to live daily. Late at night is when my inspirational moments of recall become crystal clear, and I write these thoughts down in one Word doc that will surely become elaborated on and condensed into a book – eventually – when I regain my balance and begin to stomach rereading the enormity of my life this past year. But in the interim, I will share snippets of my thoughts, here on my blog:

 

Closure Erasure

I scream at the top of my lungs when the pain gets too much. I have to release it or I may just spontaneously combust. Since the day you went away I have been running on auto pilot. From the shock of your death to making funeral arrangements, to burying you, to trying to swallow the five lonely weeks you lived from your death edict diagnosis.

The paper work, the banks, investments, will, and income tax to be done too, kept me in a tailspin between tears. Then, the last thing in the world on my mind was moving, yet, I knew I had to. We had planned to move in the early fall before we even knew how very sick you were. What I really wanted to do when you died was lay in bed with covers over my head, for however long I wanted to – days? Weeks? Who knows how long I’d allow myself. But it was as if you intervened when I surprisingly found out in gest there was a smaller unit in the same building. I truly believe you made that happen. But in the midst of the madness of preparing for this 180 degree move for me, it felt more like a total 360.

Life was a merry-go-round of fun, spontaneity, and love. We traveled, we laughed, and we loved, and we had a great life. Once again, I’m suddenly on my own and moving back to a one bedroom apartment, like I did when I left home at eighteen. Only then, it was exciting and freeing. This time it’s painful and lonely.

I’ve given all your belongings to your family, as I was forced to take on the ‘cleaning out’ process as half our stuff would not fit the new place. In the span of my life taking a 180, losing you, and clearing out our life, every picture, sock, piece of furniture, had me and you all over it. A monumental task that I still to this day, do not know how I had the strength to keep moving through while my heart is shattered. But I did. And often I felt I wasn’t even in my own body. Like some invisible force was keeping me going – like a friend calling to offer a hand just at the right moment -like my bestie Zan who still calls me twice a day from the other side of the world, because other than you, my love, there is nobody left living on this planet earth who loves me to nth degree and unconditionally, but Zan.

Erasure and closure everywhere I look. Bare walls embedded with leftover nails sticking out the walls from photos and mirrors now sold or packed away are what reflect back to me now. I think about how many homes we’ve built and sold and downsized each time, yet, we kept so much, like the huge two shopping bags full of every card for every occasion we’d ever given each other in our almost twenty-five years together. When I was getting rid of a lot of things, someone remarked to me that I should toss those bags too. I told her what they were and she remarked they’re no good to me now. Did you hear that? They are ever more important to me now. And one day, when my heart is ready to smile about our good times, I’d like to look back at those cards and smile in my heart again.

 

©DGKaye2021

 

“You’re allowed to change your mind about the people and things you want in your life. You’re allowed to adjust your values and preferences as you get older and wiser. You’re allowed to evolve and be a different person today than you were yesterday. This is your life.” ~ Unknown wordables.

 

 

Time for a #Rant – #Covid #Vaccines in Canada the Disorderly

I haven’t been back writing much lately, due to my husband’s recent passing. But that doesn’t mean through my grief that outside influences haven’t been getting my goat, like the way our province of Ontario has become a big joke for the incompetence of our government on the handling of containment and the sorrowful lack of vaccines, and the system of no law and order when it comes to how they are rolling out vaccines at random.

 

When I got my first vaccine in early March, my doctor’s office managed to get me into a local pharmacy that had openings, but not for my lack of trying, I could never get through the line to book, it’s much easier for a doctor’s office to connect. The pharmacist who gave me the jab had told me there is no return date booked for my second vax, but it will be four to 12 weeks. Well, no return date, and our province has decided four months will suffice. Why? When the directives are 4 to 12 weeks by the pharmaceutical suggested dosing, and we don’t have enough vaccine around, Health Canada ‘decided’ four months is sufficient. Do we even have any data of efficacy for that long of a wait gap?

Our province did not begin vaccines with a plan of law and order. In fact, front line workers are only RECENTLY being called on for their turn. I guess they forgot that all the people who work in factories who go to work and bring home the Covid to their families are creating wild hotspots within our city and contributing to the 3000 plus daily cases daily we’re still getting. This is a fire that can’t be extinguished because our borders are a joke, as is our government, and vaccines are being sent to us willy nilly. The general public is lost and speaking out about the joke of a system where they have to look for popup places, often getting shutout because if you didn’t stand in line from the wee hours of the night waiting for them to open, you more than likely lose out. We’re like a bloody third-world country here!

Gratefully, while I was watching the Canadian news the other night, the media announced that @VaxHuntersCan, has taken it upon themselves to establish a responsible group to take over where the government sorely missed, using social media to help Canadians get a heads up on where vaccines will be offered daily, how many spots, how to book, and who is sold out. From VaxHuntersCan, came another branch @VaxHuntersTO, they post specifically to Toronto’s availabilities. Note their slogan under their name on Twitter – “Here to help people navigate the overly complex vaccine rollout and do the Ford government’s job for them.” Yup, thanks to them they are helping Canadians out where our government fails.

Now, here’s the bug up my ass. As I am living in solitude and grief with the passing of my husband, I am ANXIOUSLY awaiting my second dose, where I know not where and if it will come from, so I can get the heck out of here by July/August. But hey, this country is farrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr from even getting close to vaxxing Canada with round one.

Here’s something that niggles at my mind. The only reason my age group was randomly called out of order, which allowed me to get the first vaccine, I found out from the pharmacist, was because at that time, (the age allowances have been changed several times since for those eligible for the Astra Zeneca – just another reason people have no confidence and don’t know what to believe about safety), the pharmacy’s vaccine was soon to expire. That’s how I got in.

Fast forward to a few days ago, when I began following @VaxHuntersTO on Twitter, they announced two pharmacies (close to me) that had lots of spots left for the Astra vaccine, that are supposedly expiring in May. So I called up both those pharmacies and told them I noted there were lots of spots on the website still available. A lot of people don’t want Astra Zeneca for whatever reasons (most of which because the government has changed their mind on age limits), so I asked if I could come in for my second dose and was refused. I didn’t hang up without making a comment, reiterating that they have vaccines, nobody is coming for, they’re about to expire, but they will go in the garbage instead of vaxxing anyone waiting for dose two. Yes apparently, in our Covid capital of Toronto where we can’t get enough vaccines, they will throw them out before giving anyone a second dose.

DO YOU SEE WHY I NEED TO GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE???

So I’ve been DMing on Twitter with one of the persons running this VaxHuntersTO site, sharing about my discoveries and they are as appalled as I am. Apparently, ‘the person’ I’m chatting with runs a clinic downtown Toronto, and they told me that they will have left overs and they will personally DM me to invite me in for round two!

Thank goodness for competent citizens because certainly our government cannot seem to get their shit together!

Note – I’d also like to add that my first dose vaccine came from India. Ironically, when India was doing so well before this next tragic wave hit them, they kindly helped Canada out with Astra Zeneca from their plants. My heart (what’s left of it) goes out to India for the horrific predicament they are in right now. It’s gut-wrenching to watch those poor people in desperation to save their loved ones. I know Canada and the US are sending them equipment, oxygen and ventilators as they so desperately need for this killer next wave that is unrelenting there. I hope other countries will send along some healthcare workers to help ease their under-staffed situation, the same way so many are helping out each other in so many other countries, including my own.

People are dying everywhere, kindness and compassion are essential in these times everywhere and from everyone. We are all one as the world.

 

©DGKaye2021

 

bitmo Kindness Matters

 

Just Another Rant – The Pant Rant

Today’s post is another call for fairness for consumers. As someone who is a very organized and expertised shopper, I want to say something here to online businesses who oversell their stock, just like the airlines do with over-selling seats.

Wouldn’t it seem simple that when ordering an item from an online store and your order is confirmed that you should expect the delivery of your product? Ya, so did I. Wouldn’t it seem simple that when there are ‘x’ amount of items in stock that as each person orders one, the number available would go down by one in their system? Ya, that’s what I thought. But apparently, that’s not how they do things at TSC, our Canadian home shopping network.

Let me preface this by saying, I practically have a mortgage with this company. I’ve ordered from them for over 20 years, and although I’ve had my share of discrepancies with them over the years, this one just bites!

Over 3 weeks ago, one of my favorite clothing lines came on TSC. I’d found the perfect evening legging to complete an outfit I intended to wear last weekend.But I still never received them. I’d sent 4 intermittent emails to customer support inquiring as to where the hell my pants were – to no avail. Because, as usual, NO REPLY. When I went into my account to check on the status of the order, beside the item number was the word ‘backordered’. Backordered? WTF? As a seasoned shopper on that channel, I know full well the items that go first on airings. The pants I’d ordered were a popular item. I ordered those damned pants on the very first airing to lock in my order – OR SO I THOUGHT.

I placed my order, along with some other items, a few days later I received the other items – no pants! The receipt said ‘pants to follow’. This does happen occasionally that they will send a partial order and follow up a few days later with the balance. But no, not this time. I placed my order and immediately got notification, ‘thank you for shopping TSC your order has been placed.’ After a week had passed and no pants, I got suspicious. After checking my account order status and seeing backordered, I sent customer support an email. In fact over the course of another week I’d sent them 4 emails but AS USUAL they never replied.

Yesterday I started to get really concerned because I was counting on those pants to go with a jacket I’d purchased to wear to next weekend’s family Christmas party. Since I had no email reply, I went onto their Facebook page and messaged through there with my inquiry. The response was about as helpful as anything I’d received so far. So, I knew it was time to place a call.

After the usual 100 button pushing and waiting on hold for half an hour I finally spoke with a rep to ask where the hell my pants were. Yes, I admit, I wasn’t feeling very friendly. I received the typical ‘Oh, so sorry, the pants are sold out’. I lost it. And that’s when my rant began.

I asked her how a giant company like Rogers who owns half of Canada it seems, including our home shopping channel, doesn’t have an ordering system that serves the consumer. How on earth could my pants be sold out when I ordered in first airing and the pants remained on other airings as available for 2 days that followed? The hosts on that show display an ‘items left’ when they feature an item. On day 2 there were still ‘items left’ but somehow my friggin pants are SOLD OUT! The rep kept coming up with lame excuses amid her apologies, telling me that they were probably sold out before the airing. LOL I replied, are you kidding me, those pants were available for 2 days because I kept checking myself as I saw them as I was eyeing some other items.

“You oversold the item, just like the airlines do with seats!” I replied in a huff. How can such a big company run a business like this where people order an item and it’s not counted as sold automatically? How can a giant corporation like Rogers who owns them, have such a lame shipping system? She continued on trying to pacify me, apologizing that the item was no longer available and no more would be coming in stock. I was livid, and asked to speak to a supervisor. She told me there was no point because there were no items left and the item shouldn’t be showing in my cart. Oh really, and wouldn’t it have been nice IF I WAS INFORMED IT WAS OUT OF STOCK? More apologies, again for not receiving an email!

I told her I want to speak to a supervisor because I want to let them know that you can’t treat consumers like this. Eventually, I spoke to the higher up who again apologized profusely and tried  to tell me the same excuses the rep did. I set the record straight with her, letting her know this isn’t how to do business, their support is terrible, and stop telling me bullshit stories about stock. She retorted by telling me they send emails out when something is out of stock. I reminded her, just one more incompetent thing on them because I NEVER RECEIVED ANY EMAILS, other than when MY ORDER WAS CONFIRMED!

I’m a seasoned shopper there, I know how it all works.”You guys failed to deliver my product ordered first airing and those stragglers a day or two later who ordered received their pants and I didn’t.” I told her again how bad their stock strategy was and as a courtesy to the public I will be writing an article about this. That was when I got offered a credit on my account. But that was not enough to stop me from sharing this rant!

I am soooooooooo tired of big corporations. I’m tired of taking whatever is dished out from companies because our hands are tied and there’s nothing we can do when business isn’t done properly. No, my complaint didn’t magically make them come up with my pants, but I had hoped to instill some sort message to upper management that may miraculously be passed on to the powers that be. Yes, I got a credit, big deal, that didn’t give me my pants and that doesn’t justify their shit business policy and sorely lacking customer service. Just sayin’.

I know I’m not going to change the world single-handedly. But by speaking up, we have to let these companies know when they’re in the wrong. If nobody speaks up, nothing will ever change! We must keep them accountable!

Have any of you been chumped by bogus protocol with online ordering?

 

Copyright
© D.G. Kaye and DGKayewriter.com, 2014 – 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to D.G. Kaye

 

 

People Not Doing Their Jobs – Pitfalls of Ordering Online

Yup, this is going to be a rant. When I’ve had my fill of incompetence, I’m going step up here on my soapbox and call out those who just don’t give a shit about their jobs.

We only have one department store left in Canada – The Hudson’s Bay, and I need more than two hands to count on how many errors and run-ins I’ve had with them. And my latest encounter was a double whammy once Purolator got involved.

 

Because I pretty much live attached to my computer, I don’t get out often, so I rely a lot on delivery service. It’s not difficult to see that artificial intelligence is taking over in so many ways, but AI isn’t human and when glitches and errors occur, it’s usually the customer who gets caught up in the time-consuming crossroads of trying to figure out where their orders are. And this isn’t my first rodeo with such issues with both companies.

I frequently order from The Bay, and every so often, when orders get screwed up, it’s because of misinformation, and quite frankly – laziness. On a good day, my order is normally delivered the next day or two days max. But this time I ordered some items, now two weeks ago, which I’ve yet to receive! I began checking on my order Aug 27th when I hadn’t received any notification of the progress of my package. But all it said beside my order was ‘in process’. I let it ride for the rest of the week being a long weekend coming, and expected my package at least by the day after Labor Day – to no avail.

I called up The Bay, got put on hold twenty minutes, only to get my call picked up by an incompetent person who I could barely understand, and was told, they would look into the order, send an email to head office and get back to me. I hung up the phone on her, dialed the number again, placed the phone down for almost another half hour until someone picked up, and then chewed off their ear.

After laying into the agent for their incompetence, he apologized saying that ‘someone’ must have forgot to put the order through. Are you kidding me? I told him, the items are now further reduced on sale, so here’s an idea – CANCEL THE ORDER and redo it now at the lower price. And he did. Then he proceeded to tell me I’ll have it by next week. I retorted with ‘I’m not waiting another week’ because of their screw-up. He then did whatever he did on his computer and informed me, I’d have it by Friday Sept. 5th. I usually get an email telling me my package is on its way stating my package will be delivered by the end of the day from Canada Post. But no notifications came.

On Friday, I went down to my mailbox and found no package. On a hunch, I walked into the lobby of my building and noticed a Purolator notice taped to the door flapping around. Yup, it had my name on it, stating, ‘line was busy’, leaving a pick-up address at about ten miles from where I live. I blew a gasket.

I called Purolator and pitied whomever was going to take my call.

After placing me on hold for another half an hour, I finally got to chew someone out. First, I informed the woman on the other end that NOBODY buzzed up, and NOBODY who lives in the complex hardly ever goes through the lobby, as tenants come in from the underground parking. I proceeded to inform her about the numerous Purolator tags floating around in the lobby as an ongoing event because they’re too damned lazy to deliver a package. They are notoriously the worst for deliveries. The lobby door had even been kept open for several days because of some ongoing repairs. I asked her how the hell are people supposed to know they have a package when they aren’t notified by any means other than a sticky note left randomly in the lobby entrance. She replied that’s their protocol. I replied that they are the worst delivery system next to UPS, and asked her to re-deliver that package and have them bring it up to my door and if I don’t answer to leave it there. She put me on hold another few minutes to inquire on her end if they’re allowed to do that. I told her to just do it!

I’m so sick and tired of incompetence by big corporations hiring incompetent people for jobs, most likely not being paid enough to give a shit about their jobs, and certainly not enough people in these jobs. And I’m sick of having to do the leg work to follow up on missing deliveries due to their incompetence. We are at their mercy because nothing ever changes.

I remember an old saying ‘the customer comes first’, but that is an old saying for sure because it no longer applies. I even asked the Purolator rep if she has any idea how many packages are left unclaimed because of their poor delivery procedures. Of course, she had no idea.

Companies have no qualms sending us a bombardment of emails asking us to complete surveys asking us to tell them how they’re doing, please write a review for your new product etc. and bla bla bla. But when you need to get hold of them for support, good luck! So please, stop invading my inbox with your fake goodwill and do your damned jobs!

And this just in as I get ready to schedule this post. . .it’s now Monday night and still no delivery. Fuming at full steam I called them again.This time I waited 55 minutes for an agent, only to find my parcel was still sitting in some dumpy warehouse because NOBODY BOTHERED SENDING THROUGH THE MESSAGE from last Friday that the lying agent told me was sent. I finally got through to an agent, and as I write this, I’ve now been on hold a total of TWO AND A HALF HOURS!!!! “So sorry Debby, but I now have to wait for a supervisor to send the email to the warehouse to release the box.” Many swear words were expelled from my mouth. I HAVE NO FRIGGIN’ WORDS LEFT!!!!!!!!!

 

incompetent

 

Thanks for listening. I feel so much better now. 🙂

Anyone here have an incompetence beef you’d like to share here? Please be my guest.

 

Copyright
© D.G. Kaye and DGKayewriter.com, 2014 – 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to D.G. Kaye