As near as I can tell, consumer-facing businesses these days virtually never think about how they can make things genuinely more convenient for people. Rather, they seem almost obsessively concerned with calculating the maximum amount of pain people will put up with before they finally get pissed off enough to take their business elsewhere. * * * It's sort of exhausting. Is it any wonder that so many people are so angry all the time?-- instantly reminded me of calling B&N the other day to look for a book. I had to listen to a recording telling me the store hours. Fine.
But then I had to listen to an advertisement for the in-store cafe. No one wants to hear that. No one wants the simple call to find out if a book's in stock to drag on for 15 or 20 extra seconds for a freakin' ad. It even defeats the store's own goals, since calls in are presumably opportunities to sell something, and frustrating the caller makes some people more likely to hang up and just order the g.d. book off Amazon.
So why do that? Drum's explanation makes sense.
(The punch line is that when I got through, the clerk told me the book I wanted was out of print, which matches what the B&N website says, but Amazon begs to differ. Amazon, $12.71; B&N, $-0-. Too bad I wanted a book on Luther instead of a book by Hitler.)