MY BLOG by MATT GARVIN - + - + - ENTRY 8: RACE TO THE BOTTOM There is, and has been for some time, a race-to-the-bottom going on. We are going the wrong direction, and no one likes it, yet nothing is done about it. I am talking about the cheap crap that is made, that looks good on the shelves, breaks within weeks, and winds up in a landfill or choking turtles in the ocean. I am talking about the self checkouts in more and more stores all the time. Here is an idea: Pay your staff to scan my stuff and bag it for me. Why is this being offloaded to customers? (I know why, but I don't agree with it.) Why are people on bikes, usually with no helmets or lights, delivering food with cartoonishly oversized backpacks on. This is third world bullshit happening, right here in Toronto-the-good. Probably right here in every city, everywhere. When I am dissatisified with a product or service, why do I have to go through automated hell on the phone before I can talk with a live human. If ever. God forbid you need to cancel something. Calling Rogers or Bell to cancel a cell phone or a TV package is going to take forever, and bring tears of frustration. Why is it like this? *How* can it be like this? How did we let this happen? I had a problem with Uber Eats once, just as COVID really got going, and wanted to complain. They literally did not have a phone number I could call. I had to contact them through their App, and it tried to automate everything so I couldn't even complain in my own words. I had to use some stupid menu system to piece together my grievance, and ultimately after being funneled through their funhouse menu system, the "complaint" I built did not even match what had actually happened. An hour later I was refunded 31% or some nonsense that some computer algorithm had decided was appropriate. If I didn't like it, tough. What is going on here? This is where we are at? This is progress? There is less and less human interaction as time marches on. And more and more "AI" (which is stupid as hell). And more making actual humans behave like beaten down robots. Several months ago, when I was at a Dollarama buying cheap crap (because the cheap stuff is no worse than the "good stuff" these days) there was no one working at the cash register, period. The only employee in sight was assisting people at the self checkout. I told them I preferred to use a normal checkout with an actual person, and not this half-automated BS that means Dollarama can hire less people. The minimum wage worker looked at me like I was from Mars. They helped me scan my cheap crap and said with resignation: "This is the way it is. Nothing we can do about it." It *does* feel like there is nothing we can do about it. It is so *dehumanizing*. Ha! I just checked Dollarama stock. Since it's founding in 2009, Dollarama stock has gone from around $3 to an all time high of over $59! As of... today! Now that's progress! - END OF BLOG ENTRY 8 -
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