Sunday, March 30, 2014

Unexpected Item in Bagging Area

Just back from the supermarket:
  • Interaction with people = 0
  • One-sided communication with machine = repeatedly. We don't seem to get along.
  • Workload added on me = 100%

Conclusion: my grocery shopping has become highly antisocial and the amount of work that I now how have to do thanks to auto-machines has increased. At my regular grocery store there are now more auto-checkout machine points (7 last time I counted) than ones with 'real' people (1 and only). 

Sure, not having someone emptying your basket has it has its advantages. One of which being the protection of privacy. I can buy whatever I want without getting feeling judged by the person on the other side of the checkout. (Am I the only one who feels like this when having an employee go through your purchases?). On the other hand, I am forced to unload my trolley, scan my items and then bag and remove them. I find this whole process slow and very stressful, as the breathing from the next person in the line becomes louder and closer. I feel sweat running down my forehead whenever I hear "unexpected item in the bagging area, remove this item before continuing". My hands shake every time I take more than 3 seconds to locate the scan code. Stressful!

And it is only the start of it. Machines are taking over. The other day I was in a UK airport and I had to check in my baggage by myself. You know how simple the task of printing the bag tag and sticking it on a handle looks from the outside? Well, not so much when you're doing it yourself... I had no faith at all that my bag would make it to my destination. All those instructions in a simple sticker! Needless to say that I my respect towards ground hostesses has increased significantly.

I don't know what next will robots allow (force?) us to do, but in the meantime, I be reminded that every job requires skills and that not everyone is equally prepared to perform even the simplest tasks. Oh, and please give me some time and space when I'm paying for my groceries. Thank you.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Earth, Please Swallow Me. Now.

The whole point to this blog is to laugh at myself, so I'll tell you about one of my worse kept secrets: I am clumsy. Very, very clumsy. With things - I'm known to have butter fingers -, with words and in situations.

Clumsiness. Although not too keen on the definition of the word...

· red (and very hot) face
· blank stare to the floor
· special sensitivity to gravity - frequent flat ground falls
· there have been cases reported of 'run fast and hide' immediately after an episode
· unbalance

· strong wish for the earth to part and swallow oneself
· inability of thinking anything other that 'f***!!'. Repeatedly and for the whole duration of the episode and beyond when remembering it.

Effects and Consequences
· random bruises
· embarrassment
· might be linked to losing friends

Examples of Episodes
Note: these are just a few samples from a long and growing list
  • The Cherry Tomato Incident: too small to cut in pieces and yet not small enough to bite with a full closed mouth = spilling the whole inside of one over my lunch partner :)
  • The Stairs: too many steps, too little coordination = bruised shins from falling up (yes, up!) the stairs
  • The 50/50 chance: clear "pull" and "push" signs + brain reverse processing = pushing doors that are built to be pulled and vice versa
  • The Social Network: too many information + too much procrastination = mentioning something to somebody that you only know from looking (stalking) their social network page
  • The Car: too many good songs + too little care = shouting your heart out to "I Will Survive" just to find the driver next to you staring in amazement
  • The Multitasking: too many things + too little time = finishing up a call with a client by saying, “Love you.”
  • The Name: too many people + worse memory ever = forgetting the name of someone when you're introducing them 

Too clumsy + Too many times = a lot of embarrassing situations (but good fun!)