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And you'd be fired because no one else lives in the world you've created in your head.

And that's part of the problem.

I go to Super Duper in SF, and every time, the employee is forced to ask: "Have you been to Super Duper before?" If I say yes, "Welcome back!" if I say no, "Welcome!"¹. It is pointless. All I want is lunch. Want to see that I've been here before? You have my credit card number…

¹The exact words might not be right, the point is that there is no meaningful difference to the customer between the responses.

>"Welcome!"¹. It is pointless. All I want is lunch.

Yeesh. If that bugs you then... just lighten up. Most people aren't anti-social to such an extreme. You're the odd man out here, not the rest of humanity.

You're the odd man out here, not the rest of humanity.

Really? People like the forced conviviality? In San Francisco, one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country? With a sizable number of first-generation immigrants, unacculturated to the strange customs of the USA?

Why can't we have attentive food service, where they pour you fresh coffee the second you sign them to but not earlier, and where they don't intrude on the conversation every 3 to 5 minutes?

You can, you just have to avoid chain restaurants to do so.

rest of the US

Most of the world doesn’t have the bizarre forced scripted friendliness in customer service that the US has. People are allowed to be polite or friendly in their own personal way.

I was shocked at how obviously insincere servers were when I first went to the US - at least in my home country sure you get grumps but when someone gives good service it feels like a connection with them... not a faux polite scripted exchange.

I prefer it - but fast food countries value consistency over higher highs and lower lows.

Lol, "have you dined with us before" is the most irritating thing. I usually want to say, "no, but I've dined at a thousand other restaurants, will this be radically unfamiliar?"

In my experience servers ask this to find out if they should give the longer description of the menu or not. If you have been there before they might just tell you the specials, while if you haven't they'll tell you about some of the most popular items and anything unique about the way they do things (tapas style, etc.).

I've not once received useful information when answering this question honestly. Maybe because my face is also too honest :)

> All I want is lunch.

All they want is to know whether they need to explain to you in detail or if you already have a sense of the menu.

Not sure what you find odd with people trying to provide you good service. smh

Except in the case you're replying to.. which seems to indicate there's no difference in response from the employee.

> All they want is to know whether they need to explain to you in detail or if you already have a sense of the menu.

You missed the point of my post: they don't explain the menu to you in detail, if you answer in the negative. This particular part of their script occurs after you order to, so there isn't even an opportunity.

Their menu is also bog-standard hamburgers, with not a whole lot of options.

> trying to provide you good service

No service is being provided during this part of the interaction, is my point. The whole thing would be more pleasurable if it was genuine, and not a forced, scripted word track.

Is using your credit card number for this purpose ethical? Is it legal? Is it desirable?

Now that's just being antisocial.

Don’t worry Matthew, I live there. We can start our own company and hire each other, and we’ll never talk to customers, ever. We sell silence. Come to Matthew’s head and pay us not to talk to you. It’s like Disneyland for grown ups.

So the “real” world is one ruled by corporations where the decision maker on all policies is someone that never comes within earshot of an actual customer transaction?

I guess that is arguably the world we have been trending towards but it’s not the only viable world.

> So the “real” world is one ruled by corporations where the decision maker on all policies is someone that never comes within earshot of an actual customer transaction?

The real world is one where you do the job you're paid to do.

> The real world is one where you do the job you're paid to do.

Actually the real world is the one where the FTC has largely given up on regulating monopolistic behaviour and The Department of Labor has abdicated its responsibility of protecting workers from abusive employers. In this real world the only moral principle that anyone cares about is profit.

I get it. I know that. It’s not the cashier’s fault. It just kinda sucks that a transaction as simple as “buying some food” is now draped in this nonsense.

It does, but from their perspective, it works. Stores make more money (via numerous avenues) with stuff like this, so they'll continue to do it.

I do. I am a Prime member but when Whole Foods cashiers ask I say "no" because I just want to get the bullshit over with and get out of there.

That's not the point; you don't get awards for purposefully and repeatedly violating company policy on a hunch that the customers prefer it.

And you're actually validating Amazon's policy: you're annoyed and yet you're still both a Prime member and a WF client, which means they lost nothing by annoying you.

For business "annoyance" is like a hidden debt that keeps accumulating until it reaches a threshold where they have to pay for the whole amount.

Very true.

I just cancelled my prime account after multiple "annoyances" of packages not coming in 3 days, being dropped at the post office instead and getting delayed a day, and the straw that broke the camel's back - no compensation for missed delivery dates. I had to twist an agent's arm like crazy to get a month of prime.

No, you don't live in the world that matthewmacleod described. You live in a world where the customer doesn't want to put up with the nonsense. We all live in that world.

But matthewmacleod lives in a world where the cashier will be rewarded (rather than fired) for ditching the script and just getting on with it. We'd all like to live in matthewmacleod's world, but I don't think any of us actually do...

Yeah, I appreciate that it’s a bit of a fantasy world.

This happens at shops I occasionally use in the UK now too, and with some of them it’s bad enough that I actively avoid shopping in them if there’s any possible alternatives. Point is that this kind of incessant nagging is another metrics-driven measure that doesn’t necessarily have the expected results.

If you're so bothered to be there, why did you go in the first place? You know Prime members get an addition discount on top of sale items, yes? Do you enjoy paying more for your groceries?

Guess what? You create more business by not annoying your customers and providing awesome service. These poor attempts at annoying your customers means you will have less of them.

Customer satisfaction improvements cost money, which drives up prices, which loses customers. The highest customer satisfaction results tend to be associated with luxury brands.

The wisdom of annoyances that increase profit-per-customer yet lose some customers all depends on if it results in a net gain or a loss.

The mobile game ecosystem (pay-to-win) and the dominant web content model (ads) both suggest that some degree of annoyance is the more popular path.

Where's the evidence of that? SO you think the people espousing these programs are all drooling morons and would make more money without them? I think you're wrong.

Yes quite frankly I do think they are drooling morons that provide lower quality service instead of focusing on making their customer happy.

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