As we approach the holiday season I have a minor rant that I want to vent.
SELF SERVE CHECKOUTS
Any time I see one in any store I get a little angry. All I see is a lost job for a human being. We live in an age where more and more of our lives are given to interpersonal exchanges taking place with a machine. There are new robots that are being created that will be able to function as friends, companions, and care givers.
What are we losing and what have we already lost? I was in the grocery store yesterday picking up the last few things I needed for a photo. The checkout person had their head down and was pushing stuff through as fast as they could. This was not the first time I noticed this. It was as if they had someone over their shoulder with a timer clocking exactly how much time it took for them to scan all of the objects, take my money, and thank me for shopping and on to the next.
Why is this objectionable to me? When my Dad started to show signs of his Alzheimer's increasing my Mom's only interaction with other humans was at the various stores she visited. She didn't take up too much of their time but I do know she appreciated their service. I hate to see this vanish from what used to be a family run store, the post office, and any number of businesses.
I was in the grocery store when the new scanners had just arrived and a very nice lady asked if I would like to step right this way and she would show me how it worked... As nicely as I could I told her that I only work with humans.
Do I find machines fascinating??? Yes, do I want them to take the place of the human hand? No. All of you service providers out there I want to thank you very much for your service. It is not easy to stand there and listen to people, try to do your job, listen to complaints, and on and on it goes. I will get in your line and I will wait quietly and patiently as you wait on someone that needs your cheery hello and short visit about the weather. I know that at some point in time I am going to be that person that needs to have just that little bit of human contact to make my life worth living for that moment in time.
My shopping spree was all about chocolate!