I couldn’t believe my ears – as a frequent Target shopper, I had grown used to the melodic chimes that thanked me for my purchase and for using my card, each and every time. After my post, “your noise police at work”, I felt confident that this change from buzzer to chime was a positive one and was here to stay. Other stores had even followed suite shortly after, switching from abrasive buzzers to more melodic tones at their checkout counters. So you can imagine my complete shock when a buzzer unexpectedly demanded that I remove my credit card immediately from the machine at the Target checkout.
I was totally unprepared! I had come to enjoy the beautiful tones of the chime that would thank me for my purchase while at the same time reminding me that I had not yet taken my card back, but, not to worry, there was still plenty of time and opportunity for me to do so. It was a kinder, gentler time that Target ushered in for its’ customers with the arrival of the chime to bid us each farewell and come again soon. The departure of the buzzer had been widely heralded (meaning I noticed, did anyone else?) as a gesture of goodwill to customers sensitive to the alarming, demanding sound of the buzzer, which essentially screamed to the customer, ‘why are you still here? you are holding up the line! get your card and get out!’
So you can see why I am both surprised and confused as to why the buzzer is back? Was too much goodwill generated? Were the checkout lines slowed down because customers weren’t as quick to grab their cards and go but rather lingered to enjoy just one more chime before going on their way? It is a mystery to me – I much preferred the chime. Am I alone in this preference? This will remain an unsolved mystery for now. Perhaps faster moving lines trump sweeter sounding checkout noises? Maybe the noise police are no longer on the job to protect us from the stress caused by loud, repetitive, abrasive sounds assaulting us periodically throughout our day?
Doesn’t Target want to eliminate any possible stressors for its’ shoppers? Checkout is the final phase of the shopping experience – Target should want to send us off with a kind, melodic ‘come again’ rather than an insistent ‘get on out of here, now!’ Take heed – Target! the noise police may yet return!
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” (Psalm 98:4)
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:24)
sincerely, Grace Day