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Really Out Of Touch With The Concept Of Reading

, , , | Right | CREDIT: isol8id | November 20, 2021

I work in what used to be a catalogue retailer, but recently the catalogues have been removed from the shop front and replaced with tablets that essentially run the website with a few bells and whistles. I’m getting fed up with people downright refusing to use them or learn how to use them even though they’re literally touchscreen tablets covered in instructions on what to do.

Yesterday a woman, maybe in her early thirties, came in and stood looking as clueless and flustered as possible to attract my attention.

Me: “What’s wrong, ma’am?”

Customer: “I want to buy a dinosaur toy but I have no idea what to do.”

I pointed to the screen that she was standing in front of.

Me: “Start by tapping this large box that says, ‘Tap here to start.’”

Customer: “How?”

Me: “With your finger.”

She tapped it, and a digital keyboard popped up with the text, “Type in what you’re looking for.”

Customer: “Now what?”

This wasn’t my first rodeo.

Me: “Use your finger to press the letters on the keyboard.”

Customer: “But what do I do?”

Me: “Type in ‘dinosaur toy’.”

Customer: “But I just want to buy one!”

Me: “Great. You just need to find one you like the look of.”

She started sighing and tutting like I was ruining her entire day. I backed off because she seemed to have realised how fingers work, but she called me back over with the song of her people:

Customer: “NOW WHAT?”

I literally read the screen word for word to her because, at that point, I was thinking maybe she couldn’t read.

Me: “Tap where it says, ‘Tap here to pay.’”

There was more huffing as she punched the screen with the tip of her finger. I read the screen again.

Me: “‘Tap the card reader with your card for contactless pay.'”

The woman pulled out her card.

Customer: “This is ridiculous. Can’t you just do it?”

In silence, I robotically took the card from her hand and moved it about ten inches to the reader before rotating on the spot to slide it back into her hand.

Customer: “The old way was much better.”

Then, she took her receipt and skipped off to collect her item at the counter.

I’d say this is weird, but it’s a daily occurrence. People ask for help because they don’t know what to do on the screen where it simply says, “Type in your name,” and it’s like reality has collapsed for them.