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Bureaucracy Will Always Trump Technology

Bureaucracy Will Always Trump Technology

I had to have my iPad replaced because the screen cracked. The local Best Buy handles this by meticulous online appointments. They were terrific, and a new iPad will arrive within the week.

The process took, however, about 30 minutes strictly because of the “paperwork” to be filled out on the computers by expert people. Why isn’t this a five-minute deal? We rave about AI and remote everything, but our bureaucracies seem to trump most advances in technology. We can use Global Entry to get into the country in 60 seconds or less, but try to mail a package overseas using the Postal Service’s online portal. You might as well fly it over yourself.

In many places voting is “choked” because, while they have enough machines to move the lines, they sometimes have only one scanner to accept the ballot.

And from pharmacies to Home Depot, the cashier is faster than the self-checkout with its endless instructions.

Then there was the one clerk who processed 12 items for me and asked if I wanted a bag. “What do you think I’m going to do?” I asked, “Juggle all the way home?”

“I have to ask,” she droned, “it’s required.”

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Comments: 1

  • Chris Law

    July 28, 2020

    “Did you find everything you were looking for today?” “Yes. That’s why I came to the checkout.” Yes, they have to ask… but who put that in the training?

    (The verbiage is so rote. They can’t add in the training a bit of flexibility of language like “I’m gonna guess you need a bag this time… paper or plastic?”)

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