That's what the pundits tell us we have to do. That's all. Just be perfect across millions of transactions a week.
Relentlessly perfect. Seamless. Frictionless. Omnichannel. The pundits use words like "table stakes" as they glowingly criticize everybody who isn't perfect.
So I go to the grocery store. In the parking lot I order pizza from the restaurant next door. Easy, quick, efficient. The omnichannel punditocracy clinks their champagne glasses, anticipating another delighted customer across online and retail.
My order will be ready between 7:15pm and 7:21pm, and I will receive a message when the order is ready.
I'm done grocery shopping, so I enter the store, where I am greeted by six customers waiting.
There is a message.
The portals are down!!
Two exclamation points.
The omnichannel system has completely broken down. This isn't seamless, this isn't frictionless. But the problem can be solved. It will be up to the "cashier" to solve the problem.
Turns out there are a lot of customers waiting in the tiny lobby because the "cashier" isn't working as a "cashier" right now ... for the $11/hour she's being paid she is fighting for her life making pizzas, trying to take care of customers. She's hustling, she's scrappy, gritty, doing what she can.
Every few minutes she pops out with a pizza and barks out a name ... "TREVOR ... TREVOR??"
Then she keeps making pizzas, fighting again for her employment life at $11/hour.
There's now nine people crammed into the small lobby and the political comments are flying.
- "NOBODY WANTS TO WORK, THAT'S WHAT CAUSES THIS PROBLEM."
- "THE GOVERNMENT IS PAYING EVERYBODY TO SIT AT HOME, SO EVERYBODY HAS MONEY AND NOBODY IS WORKING AND EVERYBODY IS SPENDING GOVERNMENT MONEY. THAT'S WHAT WE'RE SEEING HERE, SHEEPLE."
- "WHERE IS MY FREE VETERANS DAY PIZZA?"