Saturday, September 16, 2006

Technology and other failures

I could devote this entire post, nay this entire blog, to the rather narrow subject of deficiencies in the software and technology which supposedly were introduced (possibly last century, more probably during the one before) to, um, make our lives easier and the business more efficient and effective.

I could also devote this entire blog to the subject of big corporate inability to run a business; any business.

I could bang on and on and on .... about the fecklessness (indolence, incivility and illiteracy) of so many of the people who turn to us for employment.

I could rail at the system which makes it worth someone's while declining more than 15 hours per week - because the Job Seekers Allowance pays better than we do.

I could bitch about customers.

The saddest thing though is that even if I could get a baby sitter tonight I couldn't be bothered getting dressed up and heading out for a night on what tiles this town has to offer.

Our software is chronically and possibly terminally ill. This morning we struggled for a prolonged period to process credit / debit card transactions. The only mercy for us was that the supplier did finally get around to filling the ATM outside and so some customers could withdraw cash to cover their transaction.

This evening one of the check-outs 'fell off the system' which meant that I couldn't process the back off financials properly. The checkout that fell off the system isn't the same one that was falling off a month or so ago, but it will need an engineer to come out and coax some life into it. That might happen tomorrow, but tomorrow is Sunday.

I'm not even going to start tonight on the inability of corporations to run businesses ... something I read last night got me thinking but I made no notes and will come back to that later when I'm in a more suitable frame of mind.

Tom Tom the senior clerk's son decided to hand in his notice because he couldn't change his weekend shifts so as to give himself free time to play football, with the particular team he wants to play with. Like all general assistant staff he's expected to work his notice period which is one whole week. That week ended today for him with a 5-9 shift. He didn't turn up but I had to endure a conversation with his mother who went on and on and on about how difficult it is to get a 16 year old to do what he's told.

When I was sixteen I went to school, I came home, I practiced tennis/violin, I ate, I washed up, I did my homework and then I went to bed. That was it. Five nights a week. Then I did lots of tennis and music practice and housework on the weekends. I wasn't expected to go out to work but on the other hand I wasn't treated an adult in any other way. My reading, music, tv, movies and friends were subject to scrutiny and my mother held the power of veto.

The message was really simple. When you're an adult and you have a place of your own you can do what you like. Until you're an adult, and so long as I'm responsible for you, you will do as you are told; this is not your house and you may not do as you please within it.

We fuck kids up I guess. We treat them as adults part of the time and then scratch our heads when they won't behave like kids when we want them to.

As for the Job Seekers Allowance and how it acts as a block to perfectly employable individuals seeking full time employment, I could say lots and lots of complex stuff but what that boils down to is 'scrap the social welfare system as it exists and starts again'. Each successive administration since the end of WWII has added a layer of administrative complexity until we've reached the point at which nothing short of the 'nuclear' option could eliminate the faults and failings in the system.

I'm not sure what should be built over the ashes of Nye Bevin's dream but it sure isn't a cradle to grave, free at the point of consumption type welfare system such as that in place now.

As for the jackass who walked out leaving his paper and 2 pints of milk behind I have three words: "Go to Safeway". At the time I was short staffed and struggling to nurse the check-out software through its nineteenth nervous breakdown. Safeway, as far as I'm aware, are no long trading in this country (at least under that name) and to the best of my knowledge the nearest ex-Safeway store is a good 25 minute drive from us. I think that even in the worst case scenario waiting at the checkout would have taken less time.

Damned fool.

Damned fool me for putting myself through this for a pittance.


  • At 7:17 pm, Blogger Pizza Hut Team Member said…

    The tills at Pizza Hut would be perfect if...some techy would put a 'return to previous screen' button on it rather than having to actually put an order through to get back to the first screen. But seriously, they are pretty good otherwise...especially when they keep telling me I was bang on the money at the end of the night! :-) I'd hate to have a checkout system with fixed buttons and just a little green screen (presumably what yours is?), as they are totally non user friendly. you work for -- - --?


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