Monday, March 30, 2020

Shopping During the Pandemic or Virus Outbreak

My wife and I, as many other, had to go grocery shopping during this time of “Stay at Home” and “Social Distancing”.  We make a list and then start out. As usual what we want, at this time, may not be carried by the first store we go to, Saturday was no exception.

I have read a great deal about what is being done to protect employees as well as consumers. It wasn’t quite as I expected – for a state which has been trying to stay  ahead of the problem.

I don’t thing people are listening or taking it as seriously as I would have expected.

It is a bit warm in this mask.
First, we had been out on Thursday night and were quite impressed with product being back on the shelf at our favorite Kroger. As we have been doing, we are wearing masks to filter the incoming as well as the outgoing air we breathe.

I was quite surprised at the number of people not wearing masks, including employees. I know it is a problem getting masks but I thought Kroger would be doing the best the could to; 1) protect their employees, 2) their customers, and 3) to set a good example as a concerned citizen. Alas not the case.

On Saturday we had to go back out again for a few things we were not able to acquire on Thursday night. This time we went to Meijer’s, which is very close to us.

At Meijer’s there were many people wearing masks, but again no employees. I had to ask for help and while getting it from the employee – who was quite pleasant – many passed by. Social Distancing may have only been practiced by those wearing masks. People bunched together in the aisles, bumping into each other, a normal day at the grocery store.

After leaving Meijer’s we still had something to find and so to a different Kroger this time and we were able to find what we wanted. I noticed when we went in there was quite a crowd at this Kroger, a lot of people, however, we were the only ones wearing masks.

I understand that Kroger is in the process of putting up shields for the cashiers but what about the other workers in the aisles? Nothing, no masks, no gloves, and they are handling our food products. Hmm…should we be scrubbing the cans and frozen packages when we get home?

And again, people bunched up in lines, it was like they had never heard of “Social Distancing”.

Now, in Ohio, we are not doing great, but our State Government is trying – but not sure everyone is listening. 

On our way out of Kroger we did see 4 people with masks – 3 outside the store headed in.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

A thought about the current conditions affecting our society.

This is the first time, in my memory, that American's are being forced to hunker down because of something that is happening to us directly. The COVID-19 (WEBMD), or Coronavirus (CDC) as we call it, could be presenting people all over the world with a new Lifestyle.

We are entering a period of great isolation with restaurants, bars, and stores, closing. Libraries, and schools, have locked their doors. Places of congregation; shopping malls, gyms, churches, synagogues, temples. Even places where one votes, now not open to us.  

Limited to groups of 10 and stay 10 feet apart. Difficult to comprehend and difficult to enforce, but coming at us.

In this struggle we are not going ‘over there’ as the song says, it is coming here. This time we need to help ourselves and each other. The whole world is facing this adversary. We cannot shoot it or burn it, and it isn’t visible – not hiding around a corner, behind a bush.

One very big outcome of this battle, and our “Shelter-In-Place” demands, we are not enjoying the relationship with others in the workplace or anywhere socially. Schooling is now going online; people are working from home; people are buying online. People are getting their news online – minute by minute.

All in the name of self-preservation. For how long?

Yes, we have the tools to communicate via phone, text, computer, video, without touching, smelling, or feeling the presence of one another. How long will it take to get used to this? And what will it feel like when we can meet again outside? Joyous, I imagine, but awkward?

What could be the long-range result of this new Lifestyle?

Will this Life we are now engaging in bring more immediate advancements to our Stay-At-Home technologies?

·       Will people get used to watching more TV and not go to the movies?
·       Will; people get used to eating at home and think this may be a better life?
·       Will people get used to shopping online?
·       Will people understand and become better at learning online?

Churches are going online, concerts going online, meetings and conferences all going online.

Will those jobs that are going away because of AI be replaced by delivery van drivers – in the short term? There could be openings for those who fill the orders for grocery stores - with groceries to be delivered. OR will all this be handled robotically?

The government is now considering sending out checks to its citizens – is this the beginning of UBI – the Universal Basic Income?

Oh, so many questions.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Adding to My Post on Amazon: Rheem Econet Service Reached The Same Great Customer Service Level

In the change of wireless passwords I had forgotten about our Rheem Electric Water Heater. It is connected via Rheem Ecnonet to my Android device. Not able to re-connect I called Econet and Allan had me up and connected quickly and pleasantly. I'm impressed.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if all User Experiences were the same.

I suspect, as we use these wireless devices connected to our phones tech learning can be a major thing. Our phones get upgrades to operating systems and things change. The equipment you are connected to does not always get to upgrade their instructions., however, the tech's that handle Customer Service are informed and this, my friend, is good thing.

IT is a forever changing. Training and desire to stay ahead should be a major part of any organization that utilizes these technologies.

Thank you Amazon and Rheem Econet.  

Amazon and Customer Service - Another UX Experience

Last Friday I decided we needed to change our Wireless SSID and Password - not a simple task. We have many Echo devices, a number of Echo connected plugs and a variety of lights. We have Smart TV's all with Amazon Fire TV 4K devices, 2 phones, and computers. Some things are very old by today's technology - we were an Alexa Beta purchaser. OH yes, there are wireless printers in the house.

It took 2 days to get most everything back up and running without help. I had issues with an Amazon Dash Wand and the original Echo TAP. At first I wrote Amazon and received a quick response for me to call at my leisure. I took Sunday off so this morning I called.

I made one call for the TAP and then a second call for the Amazon Dash Wand. Both calls were fantastic. Wait time was at a minimum, perhaps I called early in the day.

Now no one knows I have spent over 70 years playing with technology and 30 years with the latest "stuff" (learned that from Carl Sagan"). I do not "Grok" (Robert A. Heinlein) everything. I am still an "Egg", however, I am learning.

I was treated very courteously, pleasantly, and I really believe they were both smiling. First call was answered by a male, second call by a female. Both were great calls. Beyond all the niceties, they were knowledgeable and did not make you feel like you were a problem for them.

On and off the phone in under 15 minutes and feeling like I had to write something about this experience.

Now if only other tech giants would give out phone numbers.