By Bill Frazer
I know that my handful of readers would wonder where I picked up the word “contemplation.” Obviously, it is not in my redneck vocabulary. Webster said that the definition is “thoughtful observation or meditation.” Well, that kinda goes beyond my mental capacity. That is a word that someone like Dimwit Fitts would use but definitely not Cooter Allen of LaFayette True Value Hardware as it grossly exceeds the ability of any ROLL TIDER to understand or “contemplate.”
Anyway, I was giving “thoughtful observation” as to what was happening down at Walmart the other afternoon. My wife, who had toe surgery, is not cleared to drive until she is healed. So when I got home from the office (notice that I did not say WORK), she insisted that I take her down to Walmart to buy a birthday card for one of the older brats. I sat there on a bench next to the self-checkout and watched the proceedings. Since she read over every card in the display, I sat there for an hour observing the scanning process carried out by customers. Almost none of the older crowd were able to scan and they had to get in long lines to go through the checkout counter. Then the thought came to me–how does the overseer know that the customer is scanning everything he puts back in his cart? This is certainly placing a lot of trust in the customers. However, I watched and it seemed that everyone was careful to scan everything. About every fifth shopper fouled up the scanning and the supervisor would have to go over and clear the scanner screen.
I went out to Tallapoosa Electric Cooperative the other day and observed just the opposite treatment of customers. TREC has remodeled all of the building complex and it is a well thought out and successful modernization of all the facilities. I went up the service desk and was greeted by a receptionist behind a thick bullet proof glass and speaking to me through a microphone. I thought to myself that the jail doesn’t have this much security. The bottom of the glass where you put the money to pay your bill, you can’t even get your finger under it. I have renamed the place Fort Watt. I guess TREC customers really get angry about their monthly electric bill or when the house goes dark and one can’t watch the latest fake news.
I won’t get into what security you have to go through at the Court House to purchase a tag, pay your taxes or obtain a copy of a deed. I am told that these offices receive a lot cash during their daily transactions and need the security. Yet the bank has a ton of more money than these offices and you don’t have to go through an electric body scan to cash a check or have to slide your money through doors of a vault such as you do in order to pay your electric bill out at Fort Watt.
Another “contemplation” to me is that the Amazon is a river in South American and the second longest river in the world. It appears that a large segment of the population is buying most of their items from the online Amazon. This just doesn’t seem fair to our local brick and mortar stores. And the news is reporting that the large internet services are accumulating data on your personally in violation of all privacy considerations.
Something just goes missing when you can’t go face to face with your sales person. Most of the time they are members of your community and you feel comfortable about discussing your purchase. I would hate it if I couldn’t go over to the F&M Bank and harass the staff.
Now, I will be the first to admit that how businesses conduct their business is no business of mine. The fact that TREC built a glass wall should be of no concern to me. The Board of Directors run TREC and not some Mickey Mouse columnist. Nor is it my job to comment on how to protect the employees of the Court House. It is just hard for us old timers to adjust to a changing world. I just need to learn to scan at Walmart to avoid standing in long checkout lines.