Bloody self-service machines

For someone supposedly full of the milk of Christian kindness and charity, I’m getting more and more swearbloggy as time goes on, the inanity of life these days.

Just having railed at the utter disgrace of the young journo who attempted to write on Amelia Earhart, on the AFL footballer who’s decided to turn the game into an Aborigine war dance versus whites piece of theatre … well on anything Julia, CM and Mike expose, now there’s another.

Bloody self-service machines. What wankery, what tosspottery, how lazy, how greedy, how anti-people are the major firms and arms of govt?

#  Katey S, Belfast:

Weighing letters has been the worst move ever from Royal Mail. Gone are the days when one could simply buy a stamp from a newsagent and post it outside, no – everything has to be weighed now just in case people like me posting to a relative overseas just try to stuff a xmas food hamper inside the envelope and get away with paying just £1.10 for a stamp.

Now we have to get in line behind people doing all manner of business except for posting a letter – taxing their cars, buying insurance, submitting passport forms, arguing over currency exhanges….and you can double the waiting time when they are elderly and assume everyone behind them has all the time in the world while they tell the staff about their week.

I used a self-service once and once only – it tried to charge me an exhorbitant amount to post a parcel, I left it and went to the counter where I paid £4 less. And don’t get me started on counter staff who ask ‘and what is in the parcel?’ None of your damned business!

I don’t like them, I don’t want them, I run from them. I hate them and why employ that woman to help us use them when she could be on a till and processing vastly greater numbers of customers?


#  Save the Badger:

If you can’t use self-service tills you are an imbecile. On the rare occasion that I go to the Post Office I use the self-service till because nobody else does. It seems that everyone else would rather queue for twenty minutes, which, quite frankly, completely baffles me.

The only imbecile is you, you imbecile. You obviously know nothing of human interaction. If I go into the PO, I want to be served by a human [within the loosest definition of the term] behind the counter, to make pleasantries, to ask questions I’ve had stored up for ages, to generally make shopping a human activity.

I do NOT wish to do battle with a poorly organized and malfunctioning self-service, we don’t give a toss about you machine. Hesse had things to say on the phenomenon in Steppenwolf.

Having said that, I do most things online now – all the basics, that is – and it is only the tricky bits which I’d go into the PO for, things requiring questions from me. Therefore an inanimate object such as one of those machines is a waste of space. It may well give the eventual answer after pushing this button and that, getting it wrong, breaking down temporarily, asking me to start over – I’d rather queue for that time and then talk to a human.

#  I don’t understand the comments about it being because he is old. I am 21 years old and used to technology these machines are not simple and they are not fast. I put coins in one and they didn’t register and the manager was very snide not believing I paid until he opened the machine and found my money. I mean come on I was hardly going to be trying to scam the post office out of what was about £3.

#  Can anyone tell me what the hell is going on with the post office? My particular local branch has in the past year started the routine of always asking “for safety reasons what’s inside the parcel”. I’m never sending anything interesting, but I object to telling them and the entire queue about my latest ebay junk sale.

Since other post offices don’t usually ask, I popped an email to them suggesting my local PO was being a bit over-zealous, but just got a standard reply back about customers expected to answer questions when asked. Now I find out their stupid questions are even more stupid because they let people bypass them with self-service!!!

I welcome our robot overloads to save us from PO assistants who think they’ve become a branch of the security services.

18 comments for “Bloody self-service machines

  1. May 30, 2015 at 11:08 am

    I agree completely, BAN THE SELF SERVICE MACHINE.
    We tried one time in the post office to us one of those fecking things, mainly because the queue was round the block and back, and the machine was USELESS.
    It had a nervous breakdown because I wanted to use a BFPO number, you could see it searching it’s software for the PROZAC option. In the end the woman came over and said “May I help you” she tried and tried and tried after having assured us it was easy, she could not get it to function either. The queue had abated by this juncture so we politely said “thanks but I think we will use the counter” AN HOUR A WHOLE HOUR the queue was only half an hour wait! NOT QUICK NOT BETTER AND ANYWAY I too like a chat.

    • May 31, 2015 at 6:06 am

      I’ve always found them easy to use, and far preferable to talking to the ‘service’ staff they employ.

  2. Ed P
    May 30, 2015 at 11:28 am

    My PO used to have six tills, occasionally staffed fully (really!). Then a few years ago one became “just parcels”, then another became enclosed in a makeshift tent (presumably so idiots could mumble their needs without being seen).
    Now there is seldom more than one harassed jobsworth at a till, with a roving “helper” irritating the ever-growing queue with inane questions. The self-service machine is usually either broken or jammed, but no-one wants to use it anyway.
    This all seems like a deliberate attempt to destroy the PO – I wonder if Cameron’s chums have shares in Fedex?

    • Furor Teutonicus
      May 31, 2015 at 12:28 pm

      XX then another became enclosed in a makeshift tent (presumably so idiots could mumble their needs without being seen).XX

      Ahh. I KNOW why those are there. It is for certain “Women” who have forgotten their Buhrka.

  3. May 30, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    I flew out of Gatwick on Wednesday and noticed that easyJet have installed self-service check-in machines…

    based on a sample of the couple of people in front of me they are a complete disaster….

  4. wiggia
    May 30, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    .and you can double the waiting time when they are elderly and assume everyone behind them has all the time in the world while they tell the staff about their week.
    Not of course confined to POs or elderly, the supermarket where “friends ” of the cashier tell all at an ever slower pace so that the amount of items crossing the bar code machine slows to a crawl as they discuss little tommy’s school play or whatever.
    Even when it is finally noticed that the queue has backed up into the aisles they carry on as if connected by an umbelical cord backing away very slowly with the trolley still telling the tale no one wants to hear whilst we all inch forward in hope, swearing under our breath.

    • Brightside Bob
      May 30, 2015 at 8:19 pm

      Yep! I moved from an area where the staff at the local shop were ‘pig ignorant’ (got through the queue in no time!), to a much nicer area.

      It is as you say – everybody seems to have a half hour chat with the checkout person. Trouble is, now they recognise me as ‘a local’ they try to strike up a conversation with me. I compromise by smiling warmly & nodding (whilst quickly loading my bags).

      Seems we’re damned either way. 🙂

    • Furor Teutonicus
      May 31, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      That is your problem “Swearing under your breath.”

      A good deep breath and at full volume:


      Works every time.

      • Custard Cream
        June 1, 2015 at 11:28 am

        You’re not English are you, FT.

  5. May 30, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    And of course it is a proven fact that we ‘elderly people’ take our time at the checkouts because we really need to frustrate and p**s off all those behind us; just because they are healthier and more sprightly than we are, because of our arthritis, and bad knees, and all the bad news.

    Tough luck, guys and gals; live with it, or go and find another queue!

  6. The Jannie
    May 30, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    I’m elderly and get really pissed off at being lumped in with all those who are slow of mind. I drive a fast car fast when I’m not being held up by some forty year old in shopping mode doing 40 in a 60 or 20 in a 30. I’m old and grey and fast as fuck and that’s how I want my post office service too. So get out of my way!

    • Brightside Bob
      May 30, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      I try to obey the speed limits (treating the max as the mandatory speed…). Out in the countryside I catch people up who are doing 40 in a 60 zone, overtake them & build up a large gap. I then arrive at a small ‘settlement’ where the limit is 30 & duly oblige, by the time I get to the other end, the previously overtaken vehicle is now tailgating me! The process then repeats ad nauseum!

      They obviously ignore the speed limits & just drive at a constant 40mph.

  7. Stonyground
    May 30, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    Isn’t the problem with the post office entirely down to lack of genuine competition? If everyone had the option of taking their business elsewhere they would have to get their act together.

    • May 31, 2015 at 6:07 am

      Spot on!

  8. Mudplugger
    May 30, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    On a rare PO visit a few months ago to post a small parcel, I too was confronted with the irrelevant question, “What is in the parcel?”.
    When I replied, “If I told you that, I’d have to kill you. Now which way do you want it?”, the assistant meekly applied the necessary postage, accepted my payment and wished me a good morning.

    (In fact, as I was merely posting it as a favour for my other half, I really had no idea what was in the aforementioned parcel anyway, indeed I still don’t know – but neither does the Post Office).

    • May 31, 2015 at 12:03 am

      Yes! The constant enquiry as to the contents of the parcel!

      The automatic reply you suppress is, ‘None of your beeswax!’ As they are part of officialdom, you have to mute that one even when innocent.

      Last Christmas was difficult: had to count to ten and stay calm — CALM! — whilst the woman behind the counter was running off the list of prohibited items and continually finger-tapping the list on the Royal Mail booklet. My word, I’ve never seen anything like it.

      Me: ‘I’ve already said this has no prohibited items.’

      She: ‘What is prohibited?’

      Enough said.

      Did anyone here ever register for the Royal Mail surveys and forum? What a joke. They disappeared once the Post Office was privatised. What a surprise (not).

  9. May 31, 2015 at 5:58 am

    Everyday things get better and better. Whoohooharharharhahahahaha.

  10. KevinS
    June 1, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    I was always under the impression they were asking what was in the parcel in the hope they could flog some insurance (to cover you against the felons in their employ?) at exorbitant cost.

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