Category Archives: distribution

Raising the Bar

Standard

Happy 40th Anniversary to you, Dear Bar Code! Can you believe there is even

a day of celebration for this invention? I am laughing at this!  I just saw this on

a poster at Advance Auto, where I was clocking out from work.

I used my picture badge, with my bar code, to ‘wave’ in front of the time clock.

I was trying to fathom how bar codes have made our everyday  lives ‘easier.’

I can think of how it has made my shopping experiences ‘easier.’

Besides, bar codes do help me at work, due to making accuracy much easier to

check.

Grocery bar codes, first known as GSI linear coding, were initiated in 1973

in Troy, Ohio. A year later, the UPC codes became literally a universal way

of coding products.

On June 26, 1974, the first bar codes were ‘stuck’ on Wrigley’s gum packages!

If you are the type who wishes to toast an anniversary, you may wish to try

something with Crème de menthe, since their first brand of gum was mint!

I am one who would rather have mint chocolate chip ice cream or if it were

available 12 months a year: Peppermint Stick ice cream! It has a creamy,

more vanilla-mint flavor than the strong peppermint flavor of those iconic

light green Wrigley’s packages of gum.

Or you may indulge in a cupcake with green food dye and mint flavored

frosting. A chocolate one would be my good friend, Jenny’s flavor to choose.

Mine would be to make a vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting with just a

smidge of peppermint flavoring added. Yummy!

Last, but not least, while in Cleveland this weekend, my grandchildren asked

to have McDonald’s milk shakes. Micah loves chocolate, my daughter got one

of those also. My oldest grandson, Skyler, asked for a strawberry one. While

we were ordering, we weren’t sure why they are again offering their green

minty “Shamrock” milkshakes?

We wondered what got this back on the menu, long past St. Patrick’s Day?

Do you know why McDonald’s around Cleveland, (I have not checked out

locally, so don’t want to generalize this phenomenon!) are offering these at

this time of year?

Are there some Irish festivals in the summertime inspiring the company?

Do people complain loudly, after St. Patrick’s Day, about their short term

offering of this delightful shake?

Have I gone far enough ‘left field’ that I may venture back on the path to

finding reasons to celebrate UPC bar codes?

I came up with a short list, no references need. No website that I went off

and looked this up on…

Robin’s Short List of “Why Bar Codes Have Improved Our Lives:”

1.  Self service lines in “box stores” and grocery markets alleviate long lines.

Thanks for those UPC bar code digits, we are able to scan our own products

and “go on our merry way!”

2.  Scanning codes sometimes may ‘catch’ sale items much better than using

‘human-applied sales labels.’ This is a pet peeve of mine, when I find something

that is ‘supposedly on sale’ and the clerk ringing it in, sometimes doesn’t seem

to catch the sale. But, with the ability of scanning bar codes, there have been

less ‘errors’ at some of the places that used to just stick a colored dot on products.

3. When products that are on sale ‘run out,’ I like to ask for “Rain Checks.” This

UPC bar code helps make the rain check ‘more valid’ and ‘usable’ due to its

accuracy. Also, handwritten out, most people can copy numbers from a label.

4.  A problem with our bar codes at work is, that sometimes we are needing to

check the last 2 digits and sometimes even the last 3 digits, since Receiving and

Away departments have ‘dyslexic’ workers, or so it seems to the Bin Order

Fillers who find lots of errors where we are supposed to have ‘Pick Ready’ bins.

5.  When I am up in the Mezzanine area, I am able to wear an armband held

small computer. It is called an “RF” which has a Blue Tooth scanner attached to

my pointer finger. I use my thumb to press the side button to shoot a laser at

the product’s bar code label. (Most people like it on their middle finger and

simply press their pointer finger on the scanner button.)

This is a much better device, than the one I used to have to use in Heavy Bulk.

That contraption involved listening to a operated ‘order’ where it would

give you a five numbered area to go to.

The five numbers were usually double digits, this took a lot of my brain power

Often, I had a headache at the end of the day! It did ‘like’ my voice, usually more

than my fellow coworkers who had made their template in an unnatural voice,

then using their ordinary, regular toned voice they would try to ‘confirm’ their

orders… The voice in their earpiece would say, “The number you are trying to

confirm doesn’t exist” or “Please say the number again.” I cannot even remember

the irritating repetitive words, sometimes my coworkers would give me their

headpiece, which definitely ‘would not recognize my voice commands.’

So bar codes were originally a ‘pain in the patooty’ at  my work! I did not like

the way they would tell me to go to “49-13-22-6-2” which meant row 49, look

on the 13th rack, go over 22 bins and go up to the top shelf (6th shelf) and

pick two products.

Now, when I use the Blue Tooth ‘finger scanner’ or the ‘gun scanner’ on the

tablet sized “RF” I can simply point, press and if the product is wrong, I

will ‘back order’ it. This is much to the chagrin of the Cycle Count people

who have to come and find out why someone stocked the wrong product

or put the right product in Timbuctoo! I checked the spelling on that one,

folks!

How does the bar code effect your area of work?

Do you feel it improves your shopping experience?

Is there some other area of your life this happens to help you out?

As I leave the library, I will be signing off my computer, taking my bar coded

library card to check out some movies for the week…

Happy Monday to you all!

P.S. The wedding event of my year was one of my top 3 favorite weddings I have

ever been to! I loved seeing all the grandchildren in their new and nicely colorful

‘dress up’ clothes.

I enjoyed how much fun my Mom had, with many special moments where little

ones gave her hugs, along with her being allowed to reminisce to her content.

The weather was absolutely lovely and there was a time, after bubbles were

blown, food and delicious cake from Fragapan Bakery, were eaten, faces painted

and the smallest ones allowed to dip in a baby pool, while the older ones were

escorted by my brother, designated “Life Guard” to Showse Park Beach, only

two houses down from the wedding.

Time spent with the lovely bride, my niece, and her sweet and terrific husband

was wonderful. So many memories of times where we were mentioning our

fireworks off the beach below my parents’ cottage, sparklers lit off the deck

and just so many more memories.

I am blessed that my youngest brother chose a woman with children with

ages close to those of my own. Holidays and gatherings, they could pair up

in play.

Innumerable activities since they became part of our family.

Thus, my niece was only 6 and my youngest only 4, when my little brother

married my only ‘sister’ in law.

Everyone reveled in the casual atmosphere, showing such playfulness at the

lake cottage. The ‘Tent wedding,’ otherwise labeled on our invitations as

“Come to a BBQ Wedding and Reception!”