posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 11:18 AM
I worked at Lowes for years, and we had power outages and computer glitches once in a while; there is a simple solution and one we used. It is a pain
in the neck, but works well. It is called paper and pen. There are forms, special forms, for just such situations. You simply fill the price in ( a
Telzon unit can read prices by bar code internally within the store if a price is in doubt) , or a fast trip to the isle with the shelf label can
confirm the price if in doubt, and get the tax on a calculator and take the money and make change. It takes a little longer but works well.
Most big box store have big generators that can keep the system up minimally at least..no need to turn the lights off and run the customers
off..just run half lights and keep the registers up!!
When the system is back up, all those transactions are entered into the system as a regular sale and the papers kept for the main office. We never
had a time when we could not take the customers money if they wanted to buy; there is always a way and usually the simplest works the best: the old
If any of you are as old as I am, you can recall when banks had to write all deposits and withdrawls out by hand and written records worked very
well for a long time. Sure, computers are better and faster...when they work!! Paper and pen always works, and in a pinch there are ways that the
system can keep moving. Most stores have written ( printed ) lists of all items costs and so a quick check could determine price and a fast
calculation can get the tax added.
For those who are mathematically challenged, all one has to do is take the base price and multiply it by the tax rate: for example, if the state tax
is 6% and the item is $ 20.00, simply multiply $ 20.00 X .06 = $ 1.20 Tax., total $ 21.20. Pen, paper and a hand held calculator can solve the issue
until the system is back.
Naturally, a store like a grocery store would have bigger issues due to the sheer number of items, but if a customer really wants to shop during an
outage they can darn well write down the prices on store supplied pencils and paper before they get in the checkout line; guessing and having
customers set the price is stupid and wasteful. If people cooperate and work together in situations like those mentioned the system CAN work; but it
takes a little more effort, and that is the thing we lose when computers make it so easy; we get lazy and want it all done for us and NOW!!
But simple and effective ways can be used to keep the money and goods flowing if only a little foresight is used; and some ingenuity.