Saturday, June 15, 2019

When I heard this I laughed....

All Target registers are down and shoppers are abandoning their carts. Here are some scenes from the #TargetDown apocalypse.

Because I was just having a conversation on this post (in the comments) about not being able to use cash when the power goes down or just even if the stores servers are down. It is just not possible.

8 comments:

Rob said...

How long do you wait? Everyone expects "whatever" to come back soon.

she said: said...

I think I try to calculate how long it will take me to go somewhere else. I'd probably tap out around 15 minutes.

Eric Wilner said...

Yeah, brittleness.

That goes for a lot of household high-tech fripperies today, too. I was looking at video doorbells (having three of them for the new place seems like a good idea, plus some networked motion sensors and video cameras), and eventually realized that all the ones I could find are utterly dependent on cloud services - so if the specific cloud service for the gadget is down or discontinued or you didn't keep up your subscription, or if your Internet connection is down at the moment, your flippin' doorbell doesn't work.

There's also a case to be made for still having a personal library printed on real paper, so it's not dependent on continued 'Net access. Life nowadays just has too many single points of failure, and relying on YouTube as the repair manual for your old-enough-to-repair tractor seems inadvisable.

There's an attitude thing here: to someone with an MBA, redundancy is wasteful and should be eliminated, and the world is full of young whippersnappers with MBAs and no experience with the things they're managing. (Hello, Boeing! Ignoring a redundant sensor input saved us... well, it didn't save us anything, really; it's the principle of the thing.)

If power and communication are, generally, fairly reliable, there's probably a good business case for department stores not to be able top operate offline; if the offline plan is "we're closed until power and comms come back", it saves a lot of training of low-level employees and/or logistics in deploying and maintaining point-of-sale tech that can operate offline and sync up later.

Eric Wilner said...

"... able *to* operate offline..."
Always see the typo *after* hitting Publish.

she said: said...

Yeah. The Camera situation is not ideal. I like having ownership of my content. You could probably do a NAS, but you'd need a good power brick in the case of a power outage. I only have a 15 minute backup on mine. We get more hits than outages.

I think the real reason they can't operate under no power is the inventory system. The checkers could be trained easily to take cash in emergencies. But making sure the supply chain knows it isn't as easy.

Ruth said...

EVERY time they upgrade our register system I wonder about things like this.

We do have a great big honking generator that's capable of running about half the store and most of the register system.

The bigger issue is when parts of the computer system go down. I wasn't in store the last time that happened, but I do know that they managed to keep most sales going, though I'm given to understand that lines were way slower. At least partially due to the cashiers having to call in each and every credit card sale. Yet another reason NOT to switch to more self checkout lines.....(I got confirmation a couple weeks ago, they plan to change out the garden depart registers for some version of self checkouts, can you picture? I'm SO NOT AMUSED)

she said: said...

I am ashamed to admit that I would watch that for a while. Especially when they got to garden bark or a large shrub. I would be in the back saying - let's see how this goes. Home Depo does man their self checkouts extremely well though. Not like the supermarket. You guys are top notch.

Ruth said...

The self checkouts would be a horror story for a store like this if they didn't. But still. My supervisor said something about having a hand scanner at each station for the customer to use, and if thats correct that would help. But I'm still not enthused.