02-16-2016 Journal–New & Annoying Technology!   1 comment

Are you a technology lover?  Some people just put up with all of the new technology but really aren’t all that into it. I’m just the opposite. I love any and all technology and do my best to keep up with things as they progress. I never thought it could happen but I came upon some technology yesterday that annoyed and irritated me more than I thought possible.

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My better-half and I were out and about enjoying the single digit temperatures and decided to do lunch at Applebee’s before returning home. Normally I’m an Applebee’s fan but they’re doing something now that just makes me a little crazier than usual. They’ve decided to put their customers to work by placing a small computer at each table. It just sits there and flashes advertisements and screensavers  the entire time your ordering and trying to eat.  They attempt to entice you to play some stupid trivia games so they can add $1.99 to your bill and keep you occupied while waiting for your food to arrive.

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The place was very busy and there appeared to be a serious shortage of waitresses. We were made to wait much longer than normal for our order resulting in a barrage of apologies from the nearby bartender and a roving manager. We sat patiently for quite a while but then I began to get a bit annoyed. Eventually the food arrived and thank God it was delicious.  Just as we were finishing our meal the bartender stopped at our table to ask the obligatory question they always ask, "How was everything?"  At the same time she nonchalantly dropped the bill on the table and quickly walked away.  Little did I know that they expected us to pay the bill using that little terminal at our table.

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I’m a firm believer that people working in restaurants should earn their TIPS. If you’re rude, annoying, and slow you won’t get a TIP from me. If your on top of your game and do everything just right I’ll fork over a 20% TIP every time.  I’ve been told that TIPS is short for "To Improve Personal Service" and I expect decent service before donating any of my hard earned cash.

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I was then directed to just swipe my credit card through the terminal at my table and follow the menus to pay my bill.  As the final bill was displayed I noticed a 20% TIP had been automatically added on.  I found that magic menu button that allowed me to dial back the TIP to only 10%. While the food was delicious the service was slow and I had to do all the work of checking myself out therefore no 20% TIP.

Then the stupid computer asked if I wanted a receipt printed out or to have one emailed to me. The last thing I need is another company adding me to their email list so they can pelt me with a stream of unwanted food alerts. I indicated I wanted a printed receipt so I could verify the amount I’d paid before leaving the restaurant. I was then required to visit the bar to the only register where receipts were being printed. I was made to feel like some sort of primitive Neanderthal who still needed an actual paper receipt and couldn’t handle the technology.  Since I’ve seen too many errors on bills over the years I don’t assume they’re always correct. This Neanderthal needs to see any possible discrepancies immediately and not a couple of hours later in an email.

I have a proposal for all of these so-called progressive restaurants.  In the future I will enter, seat myself, and order my meal from the computer on my table.  When it’s ready I can be alerted by the kitchen staff on the terminal, walk back, and retrieve my food. When I’m done I can take my dishes to the kitchen, pay the bill on the computer and have my receipt emailed.  Then I would certainly expect a 20% reduction on my bill for all of the fine service I’d rendered.  I’d never have to talk to or see any semi-interested employees or gushy and  insincere managers. I’d just eat my food and get the hell out.  What do you think about that?

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I now have to admit that there is some technology that just plain sucks. There I’ve said it, once and for all. And for all of those Chili’s restaurants out there, I see you’ve also started this same nonsense as Applebee’s with your cutsy table computers.  You’ll probably be seeing  much less of my business as well.

The customer is always right or have you just forgotten that.

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One response to “02-16-2016 Journal–New & Annoying Technology!

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  1. Smokey Bones have the table computers also. I too find them annoying.

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