Saturday, May 12, 2007

How on earth can a store get this wrong?

I'm going to segue in a minute. Just hold on.

First, the day started out very nice. My husband and I traveled to the last place on earth (that we know of) which makes Dutch Babies. I am totally stuck on them right now. Not quite a crepe, and not quite a pancake, but they are delicious.


Then we decided to go to Fry's electronics. The parking lot seemed pretty empty. I needed memory cards. My new camera eats them. Those raw files are enormous, and we're going to Maker Faire. So I needed to bulk up.

Usually most departments are an "ooh" moment. Oooh.. look at that flat screen TV. Oooh, look at that computer. Today was just "meh". I was more thrilled by the magazine aisle. They had a bunch of geeky magazines I hadn't seen before.

People were really rude. Somewhat normal for that store. So we decided to get our roomba battery, 5 magazines, 2 beakers and checkout. Yeah.. I don't know what I am going to use them for either.

If you've ever been to Frys' before.. you know how the system works. 50 checkers, and one person who mans the line to tell you who is open.

We get checker number 7. He goes to get my memory cards, and then starts ringing our items up. This is where things get super screwy. It is taking him a super long time to ring items up. Like maybe a minute per item. No exaggeration. He would scan my Dwell Magazine. Hit the enter key like 5 times. Wait. Fidgit. Then apologize for it taking so long.

Finally after he got to the third magazine (Electronic House) I started asking why it was taking so long, because to tell you the truth I thought he was stalling for security. A Fry's employee had shut me down for taking pictures in the television department. Something that has never happened before. I had tried again in another department and found them very edgy about my camera. So I figured I was going to get the security bum rush. They would want to look in my giant camera bag, and see what photos I had taken.

Finally, after I was starting to get really irritated I asked him again "why it was taking so long". I'm pretty sure it might have taken close to ten minutes for him to ring our stuff up. My husband just wanted to leave everything and go.

This is when the checker said the following "our computers are slow". What?!? This amused the guy being checked out right next to us - making him ask the guy how that could be. "You are a computer store" he says.

I know they want to keep track of their inventory and stuff... but hell, why are they are running everything off one 1980's mainframe? How can every grocery store in town have computer systems that can scan items as fast as the clerk can grab them, but the Bay area's largest computer and electronics store have a checkout system that takes a minute per item?


  1. I used to work at Equus Computer Systems (a white box manufacturer). Some of the computers used in the warehouse were so old they had ISA slots. Most of the other systems were in the 800mg range. Our network was a real dog, too. The VOIP was so overloaded you only got syllables. It was that way at my previous job that sold computers, too.

  2. Good to see you Warrior Knitter!

    Thanks for the comments. I'll try to remember them next time I'm at a retailer that is slow.

    Oh - no I won't.. thats a lie. I'll just try to find another store that tries not to waste the customers time.