Thursday, October 5, 2023

First the Kiosk, then...?


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In the past I would always go to McDonald's in the morning for breakfast and do some reading, some writing, and start my day this way. With the advent of COVID I stopped doing this. Now my routine (if there is one) is to fill up my thermos and head for the library - of which there are two great ones in my area and so I have choices. 

Yesterday I broke with my new pattern and went to McDonald's. As I walked in there was a gentleman (I think he was gentle) filling out his order at the Kiosk - interesting, however, there was a person, standing behind a cash register, who was just staring straight off in the distance 

I walked up to the cash register where the employee was standing and they said, "Can I help you?" - no smile, no outward appearance of excitement, joy, or intrigue. I ordered a cup of Senior Coffee and the individual said, "99 cents", still no sign of recognition. I gave them a dollar bill and they said, "Do you want the penny back?", to which I replied "No". At this point, the individual gave me a receipt and said nothing else, and no eye contact. 

Was I talking to a real person? Are the employees being trained to imitate robotic communication so we will not be aware when they change over? Kiosk to Robot (the penny helps pay for the robot). 

I have done retail sales training (years ago), but it would appear the rule book has changed. The rules now appear to be:

  • Don't smile
  • No superfluous communication
  • Keep the penny
The coffee was good, the place was clean, and I did some reading. 

I will be going back to the library; the coffee is cheaper (.40¢ a pod), it is quieter, no superfluous communication, water is free as well, and I keep the penny.