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Old 09-22-2008, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Tucson
42,837 posts, read 78,854,500 times
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As most of you know, I haven't spent my entire life in this country, so I'm curious to know how and when the robotization process started. What do I mean by this? I'm talking about the smileless, expressionless robots in the service fields. The kind that never goes off the script, the kind that can never solve any problem that happens to be off the script and call for some creativity or perhaps even bending the rules somewhat, the kind that doesn't allow any humor in his/hers or anybody's life. I'll stop here before giving any more examples...

I just happened to observe a group of (happened to be) guys in the drug store I went to. All of them were in their late 20s and early 30s. On the surface all looked like humans; however, only about half really were. The humans were smiling, joking, and being friendly; the robots were confirming addresses for the umpteenth time, "releasing" drugs, dispersing privacy policies while having stone-cold faces all along.

I suspect things haven't always been this way. How did this brain-washing start? Why? The topic may not be very appropriate here even though it's about human interactions because many on the forum are young and probably unaware of these changes. I'd imagine they don't even find anything wrong with it or understand what I refer to...
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:24 PM
 
Location: a primitive state
9,840 posts, read 20,086,063 times
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I dunno. I'll go look for them. The drug store, you said? The kids in the pharmacy did seem unusually professional. I'll get back with you on it...you reckon I should throw something at one to see if he/she flinches? Tell a joke?

Maybe it's just young pharmacists?

Actually, the time before last, one of them was actually helpful and gave me the address of a place I was looking for. Looked it up in a phone book and wrote it down on a piece of paper. Weird.
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Tucson
42,837 posts, read 78,854,500 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellie View Post
I dunno. I'll go look for them. The drug store, you said? The kids in the pharmacy did seem unusually professional. I'll get back with you on it...you reckon I should throw something at one to see if he/she flinches? Tell a joke?

Maybe it's just young pharmacists?
Well, have you not noticed the difference when you call some place? Sometimes you come across humans who talk like humans and act like humans. More often than not you come across the robots who know nothing more than reading their darn script and can't take a step off it.
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:31 PM
 
3,628 posts, read 9,196,969 times
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ahh because some of us in the service industry don't want to drift too far from the script for fear that doing so will cause us to precious hours cut from our work schedule.
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:35 PM
 
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When ?-- within 6 months of saying "I do", my transformation to a robot was complete. I do everything I am told - with a smile and don't complain.
How? - wish I could figure it out
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
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This may not be the same thing, but I've always wondered where customer service has gone in general. The old saying of the customer is always right has long since fallen by the wayside. So, I wonder if people in these fields are kinda put in a lose/lose situation. On the one hand, they have to follow company policy on the other hand the "company" doesn't have to deal with the fall out, they do. So it seems like they are always "bracing" themselves. Personally, once I find a place with good service I rarely go anywhere else. Poor customer services irritates me to no end. I can always find somewhere else to spend my money.
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Tucson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supernerdgirl View Post
ahh because some of us in the service industry don't want to drift too far from the script for fear that doing so will cause us to precious hours cut from our work schedule.
I don't get robotish ("to" normally calls for a verb after it)... Please translate to humanish!

Quote:
Originally Posted by calmdude View Post
When ?-- within 6 months of saying "I do", my transformation to a robot was complete. I do everything I am told - with a smile and don't complain.
How? - wish I could figure it out
Now this kind of robot I DO like! Wish I could produce some of those...
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:44 PM
 
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I have noticed this too... the local grocer has asked his cashiers to ask "Did you find everything alright?" and it drives me bananas! The first time I thought "Oh, that was nice" but now I friggin' dread it!
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Beautiful New England
2,412 posts, read 6,452,756 times
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I go to a supermarket near my home 3 or 4 times a week. Many of the employees there are "robots" as you describe, sierraAZ. They reek of apathy. Contempt sometimes, but mostly just a lack of caring.

I think to many people it's a matter of priorities. They certainly care about other things -- friends, family, leisure. But they seem to see no reason to care much about work. In some ways that's understandable; it's a crummy job they have and they see their job, and themselves, going nowhere. But I think what also drives the attitude is, to a large extent, a lack of ambition that is derived from shortsightedness. They are complacent with mediocrity and see nothing beyond their next paycheck or why they should do anything better. And I suspect for others being apathetic is a defense mechanism, allowing them to avoid revealing themselves to others. (I would note that all of this is pure speculation, of course).

I worked a drug store cash register when I was in high school. I made it a point to be friendly and fast. I did so because I found it made the time at work more enjoyable. The manager of the drug store paid me (indirectly) an extraordinary compliment in return. The grizzled veteran had been in the business for decades and wasn't one to pay compliments (he certainly never gave any to me). But he told one of my coworkers that I was the best clerk he had ever supervised. It was a point of pride for me. Some folks have it, some don't.
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Tucson
42,837 posts, read 78,854,500 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovelyinLa View Post
This may not be the same thing, but I've always wondered where customer service has gone in general.
Customer service has gone the way of the 1st amendment... RIP! I caught the tail end of customer service. Fondly remember a few years of receiving various calendars, gadgets, you name it... Not that I needed that junk, but it felt nice... warm and fuzzy.

Quote:
The old saying of the customer is always right has long since fallen by the wayside. So, I wonder if people in these fields are kinda put in a lose/lose situation. On the one hand, they have to follow company policy on the other hand the "company" doesn't have to deal with the fall out, they do. So it seems like they are always "bracing" themselves.
Guess so... However, some appear to be brain-dead.

Quote:
Personally, once I find a place with good service I rarely go anywhere else. Poor customer services irritates me to no end.
Same here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrstewart View Post
I have noticed this too... the local grocer has asked his cashiers to ask "Did you find everything alright?" and it drives me bananas! The first time I thought "Oh, that was nice" but now I friggin' dread it!
Oh, that's the polite version of the robotization! That's not really new... I believe it's just as annoying to them to say it for the umpteenth time as it is for us to hear it. I can't begin to imagine how people can keep these masks on their faces for 8 hours straight and repeat the same crap like broken records... Safeway makes their cashiers address you by your name... Why would anybody care to hear his/her name butchered (which is the case most of the time in this country unless your last name is Smith) is beyond me!
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