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Simple Things Made Stupidly Complicated.

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Simple Things Made Stupidly Complicated.

Old 4th Nov 2018, 09:08
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Simple Things Made Stupidly Complicated.

Just enjoyed the delightful experience of eating breakfast at Orlando International Airport. Take my trash to the trash can and discover that I have to wave my hand over a sensor that in turn will open the door that will allow me to put my trash in the trash can. I'm holding bags in one hand and a trash covered tray in the other, so no free hands, so therefore I can't throw away my trash. Who in their right mind thought this was a great idea? Not to mention the cost of the stupid thing. What's wrong with a large container with a big hole in the top?

Whilst I'm at it.......supposedly spill/leak proof gas (petrol) cans. I have managed to prove on more than one occasion that that claim is utter bo***cks.
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 09:17
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Originally Posted by vaqueroaero View Post
Whilst I'm at it.......supposedly spill/leak proof gas (petrol) cans.
My mother tells me that when I was a toddler I broke a toy sold as "unbreakable". She got her money back.
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 09:19
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Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should do something.....As per usual (mostly) things aren't thought through beforehand and the advantage becomes a hindrance.
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 09:49
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The idiots that put design before function need to be made to use the products they design under all conditions, then perhaps they might just start to see the error of their ways.

Years ago we bought a brand new house (never again, for a host of good reasons). It looked very nice, with internal door handles that were sleek stainless steel cylinders, and tap handles that were near-identical to the door handles in design. It didn't take long for us to discover that these handles were effectively inoperative if your hands were even slightly damp. Turning a tap off with wet hands was near impossible; you had to leave it running, dry your hands, dry the tap handle, and then you had half a chance of being able to turn it off. The same went for door handles, particularly the bathroom one. That would get damp enough from condensation after a shower to make it near-impossible to get out without wrapping a dry towel around the handle first.
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 09:51
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I've often thought about starting a blog/website or some such called "What effing Einstein thought of this" where punters could post such examples, and others could name and shame the designers.
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 09:52
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Originally Posted by Gertrude the Wombat View Post
My mother tells me that when I was a toddler I broke a toy sold as "unbreakable". She got her money back.
I had two 'unbreakable' toy soldiers, grenade throwers, which certainly proved unbreakable and regret not getting more (Gamages in High Holborn). I eventually sold them on eBay last year. I was tempted to use a hammer but chickened out ☺
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 10:00
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Originally Posted by Gertrude the Wombat View Post
My mother tells me that when I was a toddler I broke a toy sold as "unbreakable". She got her money back.
I used to own four anvils, but now I only have one.
I lost one and broke the other two.
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 10:13
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Originally Posted by vaqueroaero View Post
Just enjoyed the delightful experience of eating breakfast at Orlando International Airport. Take my trash to the trash can and discover that I have to wave my hand over a sensor that in turn will open the door that will allow me to put my trash in the trash can. I'm holding bags in one hand and a trash covered tray in the other, so no free hands, so therefore I can't throw away my trash. Who in their right mind thought this was a great idea? Not to mention the cost of the stupid thing. What's wrong with a large container with a big hole in the top?

Whilst I'm at it.......supposedly spill/leak proof gas (petrol) cans. I have managed to prove on more than one occasion that that claim is utter bo***cks.
On the subject of useless technology at airports - and it’s been covered before on JB - Self Check In. My particular hated passion were the Virgin Atlantic ones at T3 LHW. There were these lovely members of staff standing around, smiling encouragingly, looking to steer victims to the machine. Spent 10 minutes typing in my details, only for the pile of **** to inform me, “booking not found” The lovely ladies then spent another 10 minutes helping me and doing exactly what I had just done, only to get the same reject answer, I was then offered apologies and taken to a check in desk to stand in front of a real person, who processed the whole thing without a hitch. If they can spare the staff to stand around to help, why can’t they be manning a desk and just doing it the traditional way?!

Are these SCI machines installed to ‘entertain’ travellers and keep them in a holding pen to prevent queues until a human can deal with them?
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 11:34
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Originally Posted by BehindBlueEyes View Post
If they can spare the staff to stand around to help, why can’t they be manning a desk and just doing it the traditional way?!
Firstly they don't want to upset their staff by simply making them redundant, and they don't want to upset their customers who will complain about the reduction in service.
By guiding customers into using the self-service facility, the staff will eventually accept that they are no longer needed and the customers will, likewise, accept the lack of staff.
Psychology and staff reduction by stealth.

Banks are the same . . .
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 11:42
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The building where my office is based is only a few years old and has automtic everything. It is incredibly irritating. Especially the automatic taps.
Try rinsing your contact lenses under a tap when you can't control the flow/temperature and when the tap will only come on if you have something very close to the sensor. Rrrggh.
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 11:57
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Originally Posted by G-CPTN View Post
By guiding customers into using the self-service facility, the staff will eventually accept that they are no longer needed and the customers will, likewise, accept the lack of staff.
That's the theory. It might work a bit better if every experience with one of these machines wasn't totally different to any that you've ever used before, so you've got to learn all over again how to drive it. Which basically I can't be arsed to do if someone will do it for me, so I just stare at the machine in puzzlement until a member of staff comes and does it for me.
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 12:08
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Regarding self-service machines, I was interested to see that a local newsagent has had a change of heart recently and re-built their check-out area, again. They had installed three or four self-service checkouts, and cut down to just a single till with an operator. The self-service machines were so slow, and caused such long queues, that they ended up having an operator by every one at busy periods to try and speed things up. Last time I went in there they had reverted to three manned tills and a single self-service checkout, with the self-service unit being restricted to card payments only.

There are places where self-service checkouts do seem to work well though. I prefer using them in the supermarket, as I like to be able to scan and pack things in the order I choose, not the order that the checkout operator chooses to slide things down to the packing area. These machines are generally pretty reliable, too, my only gripe is that there should be an option to turn off the annoying voice instructions for those that know how to use the things.
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 12:28
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
Regarding self-service machines, I was interested to see that a local newsagent has had a change of heart recently and re-built their check-out area, again. They had installed three or four self-service checkouts, and cut down to just a single till with an operator. The self-service machines were so slow, and caused such long queues, that they ended up having an operator by every one at busy periods to try and speed things up. Last time I went in there they had reverted to three manned tills and a single self-service checkout, with the self-service unit being restricted to card payments only.
Our local Co-op has some self-service machines. Nobody uses them, because they never work. Yesterday however one woman got so bored with the queue to see a real till operator that she tried using the machine. Most of the way through her transaction it said "an operator has been called and will be with you shortly" and started flashing a red light.

Needless to say the till operators were busy operating the tills and continued to serve the long queue and ignore the flashing red light. Eventually the woman collected up her shopping, put it back in her basket, and rejoined the end of the queue for a real till, many places behind where she'd originally left it.

Our taxi company has done as your local newsagent - it used to be that you phoned up and had no choice but to try to navigate the voice recognition system - the only way to try to talk to a human being was to talk garbage at the automatic system until it gave up, which (a) took rather a long time, and (b) seemed to need different tactics each time you used it, so saying the same wrong thing to the same prompt didn't work twice.

It's been fixed, apparently I wasn't the only one asking around on social media for recommendations for a different taxi company. It now says "press 1 for our priority automated system, or 2 to join the queue for when an operator is available". Excellent. Press 2 and get hold music ... for about one and a half seconds, before the call is answered by a human and dealt with in the usual way.
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 12:52
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Waitrose self service is love hate - have to get customer services to release machine - hate. Scan products as we go round and get exactly to the offer vakue, say £50 - love.
Go to self -service till and get stuck, call assistant - hate.
Have voucher, have to call assist again!

I also wonder if they ever check that everything was scanned.
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 12:58
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
I also wonder if they ever check that everything was scanned.
There is an initial check based on the weight of the scanned items placed on the 'output' side, and some establishments have CCTV monitoring - which might not catch occasional thefts but will record offenders for susequent monitoring and apprehending.
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 13:03
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post

There are places where self-service checkouts do seem to work well though. I prefer using them in the supermarket, as I like to be able to scan and pack things in the order I choose, not the order that the checkout operator chooses to slide things down to the packing area. These machines are generally pretty reliable, too, my only gripe is that there should be an option to turn off the annoying voice instructions for those that know how to use the things.
It can be incredibly complex to unload your trolley, or basket items, onto the belt in the order you wish to pack them once the operator has scanned them.

Makes the title of this thread very apt really......

And not forgetting the operator being blameless for simply doing his / her job by scanning the items.......... blissfully unaware of your exacting loading plan......

Last edited by Krystal n chips; 4th Nov 2018 at 14:34.
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 13:09
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ALDI requires customers to reload their trolley and 'pack' elsewhere - though they do not permit the re-use of hand-baskets with customers expected to have bags ready.
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 13:32
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
There are places where self-service checkouts do seem to work well though. I prefer using them in the supermarket, as I like to be able to scan and pack things in the order I choose, not the order that the checkout operator chooses to slide things down to the packing area. These machines are generally pretty reliable, too, my only gripe is that there should be an option to turn off the annoying voice instructions for those that know how to use the things.
The bank of four self-service check-outs at my local Super-U are usually staffed by one of the same two women. I popped in the other day to buy a single item and when I got to the check-outs, the self-service ones were barred off. I had to join a queue of people with trolleys loaded full of stuff but they let me and my one item through first.

On the way back to my car I passed the employee smoking shelter, and guess which two members of staff were there puffing away?
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 13:45
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I use Tesco a lot. I always use self-service. It is almost faultless; and keeps me clear of all the idiots who variously- chat on the phone whilst shopping; fail to recall that you will need some means of payment; picking up items with no barcode on them or 'forgetting' the ten extra items they waltz off to collect.

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Old 4th Nov 2018, 14:31
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How about the really clever train hand-wash sinks which dispense soap, water and hot air. Unfortunately mostly not in that order.
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