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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What modern American thing irks you?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (37534points) 1 month ago

I wrote “American”, because I suspect this is not the case in other places.

For the first time in more than a year, we went to a fast food restaurant last night. There was no one at a register to take our order. We were forced to use an electronic kiosk.

It was a large computer screen with pictures of the food by category. We could customize the items, and we paid at the machine using a credit card.

We then had to stand and wait for our food. They had shelves with bags labeled for people who ordered using the kiosk and for others who used an app.

There were a number of people standing around waiting in a small area. There was noise. All of us were mildly unhappy with the situation.

I hated the whole experience. I will do my utmost to never use a kiosk to buy food again.

Perhaps it’s just fast food restaurants I dislike.

Here’s what proves I’m fully human in all my illogical eccentricities. I usually adopt new technology very quickly. I use computers a lot, all my bills are paperless and come by email and are paid automatically, and I use my smartphone for everything I can including to pay at cash registers in stores. Furthermore, I’ve used an app for a fast food restaurant to order from a drive thru.

Somehow that doesn’t bother me, but I was angry not to be served by a live person when I walked into this restaurant.

Am I showing my age? Will young people start yelling, “OK, Boomer!” at me?

What modernity irks you?

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18 Answers

chyna's avatar

Listen Boomer… no whining.
Just kidding.
I had this same complaint when I went to get lab work a couple of weeks ago. I had to check in at a kiosk! No live person anywhere. The only real person was in the back drawing blood and he would have been too busy to help me if I needed it. Thank goodness I didn’t.
But I stood there thinking that my brother could not have done this by himself. He still carries a flip phone and has never texted in his life.
This is just a way to keep from hiring living people. It does annoy and anger me.

canidmajor's avatar

What @chyna said. In the past year I have had a boatload of medical done, and the amount of it done through kiosks or answering limited Qs through an app makes me nuts. When a young woman at a lab was impatient with me for fumbling with a kiosk (Long Covid! Brain fog!) I lost it and barked at her.
So yeah, @Hawaii_Jake, like you and @chyna, that stuff really annoys me.

I mean really, look at the color of my hair! I have no facility with this stuff!

flutherother's avatar

Americans voting for fascism. Do they know nothing of history?

The restaurant ordering thing I quite like. I like being able to order and pay at the table without having to queue or wait for staff to produce the bill. I don’t think the kiosks you describe have a future however. It’s better if you can order at your seat from an online menu.

janbb's avatar

As mentioned above, I hate answering multi-page check-in questions for doctors and labs through their apps or portals. I can do it but I often pull the age card and refuse to fill things out before going to the office. The kicker was when the app from my doctor’s asked, “have you arrived yet?” as I pulled into the parking lot.

I also avoid self-checkout because I don’t want to take away jobs.

seawulf575's avatar

@flutherother Yes, I know something of history. The Democrats have accused every Republican candidate since Goldwater in 1964 of being Fascists. It gets old and worn out. All the alarmist claims never come true. It is just talking points from mindless drones that get used over and over.

I think the American thing that irks me the most is the games played by the politicians. I’m pretty sure other countries have the same game playing, but as an American, I’m focused on our particular brand of childish idiocy.

jonsblond's avatar

QR code menus. It irks me that some restaurants require you to have a smart phone to read their menu.

We are within walking distance of dozens of restaurants and sometimes I like to leave the house with only my house keys and bank card. I don’t want any other distractions.

canidmajor's avatar

@jonsblond I agree, but I am fortunate to live in a place full of pissy geezers that aren’t putting up with that. :-)

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Someones opening the microwave door instead of turning it off first.

Demosthenes's avatar

I don’t mind ordering from kiosks, but I have no respect for food establishments that ignore the people in line so they can focus on fulfilling online orders. Family Guy made fun of this with Stewie and Brian’s coffeeshop; Stewie says to the people in line “no, see, you’re actually here, so you don’t matter”. I get that online orders are a significant source of income for these restaurants, but you can put a fucking pause on them for a moment if you have a live customer waiting in line. As someone who does frequently order online, I am fine with waiting an extra minute for that text that says “your order is ready”. I am not fine with being at the front of the line in person and not being spoken to for ten minutes because you need to fulfill a DoorDash order.

Boomer rant over. ;)

Love_my_doggie's avatar

I won’t go to any restaurant that uses those handheld “Gameboy” devices instead of dignified customer checks. The screens are difficult to read. The server can’t leave the device behind, so s/he stands there, hovering, and provides no opportunity to review the amount or discuss a tip.

My husband and I went to a upscale restaurant’s opening night. The ambiance was beautiful, the service was nice, and the food was delicious; a fine dining experience in every way. Then, the server brought the electronic “check.” We both reacted negatively. On opur way out, we spoke with the owner,. He said that the e-system had been very expensive—a large sunk cost—and that he planned to continue using it despite several complaints. We told him that dinner had been wonderful, until the end, explained that we wouldn’t be returning, and wished him the best.

jca2's avatar

I went to Outback a few weeks ago and they gave us a paper invoice but then when it came time to process the credit card, it was on a handheld device and the server does it right in front of you and hovers while you think of a tip amount. I didn’t like it. She was apologetic.

If I go to McD’s or other fast food, which is rare that I actually go inside the restaurant, but if so, I wait at the counter for a person. I won’t use the kiosk.

At my daughter’s pediatrician, about two years ago, they handed me a thing that looks like an Etch-a-Sketch (for those of us old enough to remember what that is) and they wanted me to use it for check in. It consisted of scrolling through screens and screens of entering this, entering that, and after a few minutes of feeling annoyed at the whole process, I brought it back up to the counter and said “do I have to use this? I mean, nothing has changed, our insurance, nothing.” so the receptionist said no, we didn’t have to use it. I also won’t do pre-check in for the doctor when they text you a few days ahead of your visit. I really find that annoying. I also found it annoying when, every visit, they’d hand you a pile of papers to fill out asking about new tests, new conditions, having to sign again for HIPAA, etc. because you then go over the new tests and conditions with the doctor so it was redundant to have to fill out the forms.

The last time I went to the pediatrician and to my regular doctor, which, both visits were within the past two weeks, there were no papers to fill out and no electronic devices. They said “is the information the same?” and when I said yes, they just did a few clicks on the computer and we were checked in.

I did find a kiosk for flight check in last time I went to JFK airport and there, you had no choice but to use it. Extremely annoying and we were traveling with some elderly people, all who needed help with the kiosks.

LifeQuestioner's avatar

When I checked out of the hospital about a month ago, they didn’t even have a real live nurse come in to go over your discharge paperwork. A lady wheeled in a computer on wheels with not that big of monitor, mind you, and then there was somebody talking to you on the computer screen. They must have been live because they could take questions, so why not just go to the patient’s room? That was really quite annoying and I probably didn’t ask as many questions as I might have with a real person.

By the way, I don’t know if you were talking about McDonald’s in your question, but I always use the app. You don’t have to use the kiosk to order, you get better deals, and you can sit in your car and they bring it to you.

smudges's avatar

@jca2 I find it annoying to fill out those pre-registration forms they send to my computer, but I’d much rather do that than stand there while they do it in person. Their computers always seem so slow and my back kills me standing there. If there’s a person in front of me, I politely butt in and say, “I’ll be sitting over there when she’s done.”

jonsblond's avatar

@canidmajor Our geezers are modern hipsters. It’s a blessing and a curse. ;)

JLoon's avatar


But it’s actually not “modern”, or exclusively American.

It’s the recurring cycle of corruption, hysteria, denial, and decay that infects all societies & countries throughout history -And it’s boring AF.


Knock it off.

syz's avatar


jca2's avatar

I remembered what’s really annoying to me. When you call someplace and you have to go through the prompts instead of the call being answered by a person. Examples – a store, a pharmacy, the doctor’s office, a hotel to make reservations, the cable company. Press 1 if you want to make an appointment, press 2 if you are a medical provider, or press 1 if you are calling about your cable service, press 2 if you are calling about your internet, press 3 if you are calling about your phone service, press 4 if you are calling to make a payment, press 5 to blah blah blah blah blah.

Smashley's avatar

Divorced dads and their motorcycles and pavement princess trucks. Like, we can all see your hairline and fading barbed wire tat, do you really have to be that obnoxious to everybody around you to prove that you can afford Viagra?

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