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.