May 3, 2018
KIOSKS AND LONELY PEOPLE
Linda M. Penn
Raise your hand if you use the self-checkout kiosks at the grocery store and avoid the person-to-person contact when checking out?
So… how much more quickly did the kiosk person finish shopping before me since I chose a real live person to scan the purchases and bag them? Three to four minutes time saved – WOW, THAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT, RIGHT? Yes, she gets to sit in the car rider pickup line at school and she is five cars in front of me! Oh, no!
On the other hand, I was able to talk to one of my favorite checkers, Catherine, and found out she sold a painting – “Congratulations!” I told her. I could tell she was really excited over the prospect of selling another piece of art.
What about that ATM machine located just outside the front door to my bank? Oh, that ATM transaction will take a lot less time than if you go inside, you say? Well, I waited in the car while my husband chose person-to-person contact and went inside. At the same time, I saw another gentleman walk up to the ATM machine. He left to go to his car about three or four minutes before my husband returned. WOW, THAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT, RIGHT? Yes, he gets in the local restaurant and is waiting to be seated when my husband and I walk in. Oh, no! He’ll get his table and food before us!
On the other hand, when my husband got in the car at the bank, he shared the news that one of our favorite bank tellers, Carol, has her house up for sale and intends to move in a condo down our street. He shared what he told her, “That’s cool, you’ll love the neighborhood.”
Ok, just one more kiosk story! Have you tried the kiosk where you can place your food order instead of ordering using that perceived old-fashioned person-to-person contact at the counter? My local favorite fast food restaurant recently closed for several months for renovation. Upon my first visit back, I saw the newly installed ordering kiosks, but instead of choosing that perceived time-saving kiosk, I chose person-to-person contact with my favorite clerk, George. “Hi, glad to see you are back at work now,” I told him and he grinned ear to ear. “Oh, yes!” he enthusiastically answered. Well, what do you think happened? The kiosk user and I received our orders at the SAME TIME!
Contrast these experiences with a news report I saw recently about the high percentage of adults, particularly young adults, who admitted to feeling lonely more than 50% of the time. Just wondering, are those kiosk users complaining of being lonely?
WOW! Not me! I love that person-to-person contact! TRY IT! YOU’LL LOVE IT!