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Hello visitors. On my blog I'm talking about my books, but also about what I'm currently working on and, maybe, some other stuff. Browse through my posts and don't forget to check out my older posts in the archives. If you are interested in my books, please, visit my website Fictitious Tales for more information and a few excerpts. You'll find more excerpts in my old website Herbert's World. Also, take a look at my second blog Herbert Grosshans, where I talk about fun-stuff and things that concern me.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Computers make life easier but make morons out of some of us

My last post reminded me of another incident years ago. I went to the wholesale to buy an item I needed for a job. The clerk checked out his computer and told me they didn’t have it in stock. I happened to look at the shelf behind him and spotted the item. I said, “Sure, you have it. It is sitting right there on the shelf.”
Not bothering to look the clerk said, “No, we don’t have it. It says so in my computer.”
I insisted that he had the item and told him just to look on the shelf. He did. “You are right. That’s the one,” he said.
“Good,” I said. “How much is it?”
“I don’t know. It is not marked.”
“Check your computer.”
He did.
“Well?” I said, “How much is it?”
He gave me the number, so I said, “I’ll take it.”
“I’m sorry, but I can’t sell it to you,”
“Why not?”
”Because according to the computer we don’t have it.”
“You’re holding it in your hand.”
“I still can’t sell it to you.”
“Is it sold to someone else?”
“No.”
“Then what is the problem?”
“It’s not listed in the computer, which means we don’t have it. I’d have to order you one.”
“Okay. Put in the order. I’ll take the one you have in your hand. When the new one comes in you’ll just replace the one you apparently don’t have but was sitting on the shelf behind you all this time.”
He scratched his head. “I can’t do that, because then it is in the computer as stock.”
“So? It means you can sell it to the next customer because now you stock it and you’ll have gotten rid of the one that’s been sitting on the shelf for who knows how long because you didn’t have one in stock.”
“That’s too complicated and doesn’t make sense. If you want it I’ll order it for you and that will be much simpler.”
Well, I needed it so I ordered it. They probably still don’t have any in stock according to the computer, but the one they have in stock is still sitting on the shelf as unlisted and cannot be sold.
Such is the complexity of real life living with computers who were supposed to make life easier.

1 comment:

Don said...

Unreal. But there are so many workers out there now that just do what the computer says. I was in the Sals. one day when the power went out. The cashier couldn't figure out my change. It's like having to deal with customer service and they are all 1-800 numbers.