Friday, December 9, 2016

Cat food, Points of Sales, and...

The Queen of Spades sent RantWoman shopping. Actually, RantWoman apologetically poured the last insufficient crumbs of dry kibble into the breakfast bowl, the Queen of Spades ate and then stalked back under the covers to sleep away the wintry blasts. It's just that the Queen of Spades does not care about #wasnow snow and treacherous icy paths and time to go to the place where RantWoman knows the preferred brand can be  found. RantWoman will not be allowed in her own door if cat food does not come along tonight. Hence, during another excursion a trip to Safeway and even a bag of the Queen of Spades' preferred brand!

A WHOLE bunch of other things went right at RantWoman's latest Safeway visit, but RantWoman has one very big Dial-a-Tirade point to complain about, and a couple others thrown in just because it is holiday time:

RantWoman is posting to her blog for a number of reasons not specific to Safeway, but if a Safeway rep wants to get in contact with RantWoman to follow up, please leave a comment.

Safeway is implementing new software for its Point of Sale System. TWICE at two different stores, something about RantWoman's interaction with the touch screen has resulted in RantWoman getting cash back  when she did not request cash back. RantWoman fortunately has been able in both cases to absorb the unintended withdrawals, but accidental things like this can have HUGE consequences for people who have trouble managing bank accounts: overdraft fees, bounced checks and loss of access to banking services and all the other things that are much easier when one can do things online. Even unravlling the problems and making follow-up phone calls can require HUGE investment of time from family members or other helpers! Hashtag #disablepoverty!

That is the Dial-a-Tirade part, the steam rising from RantWoman's ears part.  Steam rises faster from RantWoman's ears about this than another gap known anecdotally to RantWoman. RantWoman knows a few customers who would like to shop online from the likes of Safeway but who cannot do so because the online shopping option does not allow people to pay for food with the food stamp benefit part of their EBT card and the nonfood delivery part with their cash benefit. RantWoman has no sense of whether this also gets in the way of people with mobility issues taking advantage of the coupons she has learned about from RantMom that come to email. RantWoman recognizes that saying more about these issues is beyond scope of this blog post so back to the Point of Sale device.

RantWoman LOVES tactile buttons on point of sale devices. RantWoman celebrates their proliferation at many different places where RantWoman shops including Safeway. Alas, Safeway is not the only place where the visual interface of point of sale devices features poor use of screen space, terrible contrast, and extremely busy icons. RantWoman could of course ask the clerk to punch the needed buttons and not worry but RantWoman keeps gamely trying to interact, peering very closely, trying to identify the needed touch screen points.

In the two cases RantWoman has received cash back when she did not request it, RantWoman does not even think she has touched the screen. That is what most bothers RantWoman. Something about the touch screen interface seems VERY sensitive and something flashes without RantWoman having any sense of actually touching the screen.


That is the part RantWoman hopes it is reasonable to ask a knowledgable techie to fix.

Please consider yourselves asked!

While we're on the subject of shopping experiences:

Look folks, people need to pee. By the time RantWoman and friend got to Safeway, we had already somehow not been able to pee in another place we expected to be able to use the restroom. People who ride the bus to and from your store need to pee sometimes. RantWoman and most of the people she knows would much prefer to pee appropriately in restrooms. RantWoman is not the only person she knows who admits to temptation to do otherwise when a restroom is not easily available. Today's restroom moment involved the words "downstairs." RantWoman was in a hurry and decided that she did not want to deal with "downstairs."

However, RantWoman was with someone who often needs help tracking directions. RantWoman likes this person a lot and finds it easy usually to help in that way. This person also needed to pee and RantWoman hopes she actually did pee as needed in sptie of the words "downstairs."

After this, things got much better:

RantWoman found the cat food brand the Queen of Spades is used to.

Travel Friend got what she needed.

We made it to the checkout.

We discovered that the clerk is deaf and uses sign language.

RantWoman has enough vision to figure this out, but Ambassador Thwack the Badly Behaved white cane was lounging in the cart, not offering the clerk any clues beyond RantWoman's need to peer very close to the Point of Sale Device about RantWoman's vision issues.

The Clerk did a great job including handing RantWoman the cash she was expecting and bagging RantWoman's groceries in a RantWoman bag AND making sure RantWoman [picked up her bag. RantWoman had stepped away to wait for Travel Friend and attend to the purse-based part of RantWoman's personal bookkeeping. After RantWoman's friend paid, the clerk got both of our attention and RantWoman was very grateful not to leave the store without the cat food!

Thank you clerk!

Now about that technology?

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