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A Short Story

 
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jeremykeys
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Joined: 19 Jun 2011
Posts: 2951
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:08 pm    Post subject: A Short Story Reply with quote

First a quick heads up. I've been into writing stories for a couple of years now. Tired of watching television. i don't get all the modern Pop references they make anymore and frankly I don't care. I'm 60 years old and would rather spend my time having fun, doncha know? Wink
Anyway, this is a true story that happened just the other day.
Hope you like it:

Would You Like Change With That?


Have you been to a MacDonalds lately? I know, nobody really wants to admit that they ever go there but we know, we all do. It's one of our guilty pleasures.

Yesterday, my wife and myself popped into one for a quick late breakfast. You know, a quick cheeseburger and fries with a diet pop. They've got these newfangled gadgets there now. It's a big touchscreen kiosk like affair. You just go up to it and touch the picture of whatever you want, pay with your card in the machine and it spits out a receipt with a big number printed on it. If you strain your neck and look way way up you'll see another tv. Up in the rafters near I think where the Mac Angels play if you wait a bit, you number will come up. Is this some kind of a hint of whats to come? When you've already lived most of your allotted time these thoughts do tend to pop into your noggin now and then.

Well, after a short bit somebody calls out your number and reads to you your order to confirm what you ordered. It's probably right, that is if you can remember just what you came there for.

They seem to have a young pretty faced smiling girl there to assist in the operation of this digital server. It's not that hard to figure out but right away I knew something was wrong when my wife, after the young girl said, you just have to tap it” and my wife said under her breath ,”I did tap it” and then proceeded to order a cheese burger with a knockout punch to the screen that would have decked Hulk Hogen. After our ordeal, the girl asks what we thought of this new idea. I told her that I preferred talking to person. She brightly replied, “I'm a person!” I said, “Yes, but how long do you think you'll be working here for?” She didn't look happy as the thought of reality hit her. But of course as soon as we had left she was back up to her sunny ways explaining this marvellous new technology to the next unhappy soul.

While I was waiting for my number to come up I was reminded of the Jetsons. Remember that old futuristic cartoon? I just envisioned long shiny metal robot arms wearing 3 fingered white gloves in the back hastily preparing food for the unsuspecting masses. Eventually your order would be popping out of a little slot onto a conveyor belt out of a little sliding door. Nary a human in sight. If you had a complaint, Alice the robot would come rolling out to deal with you.

I hate to say it but I really do think that in our future, people at MacDonalds may be served this way and the staff had better be prepared for when the robots want a union.

Or say, “Hello Dave. Would you like fries with that?”.
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If music is the food of love, play on and play loud!
Gear: Kronos 73, Triton Pro-X, Wavestation EX, Polysix, King Korg, Monotron and Monotron Duo, Minikorg, 1 Roland U-20, Hammond M3, 4 accoustic and 6 electric guitars, 1 Ibanez 5 string bass, a bunch of microphones and other very cool toys, 1 wife and 2 cats!
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Yuma
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Joined: 13 Jul 2011
Posts: 641
Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's an interesting article about this subject.

Also the fears around robots replacing humans need to be tempered with the reality that new jobs will arise as others are ceded to machines.
To date, the evidence shows that job losses as a result of Robotic Process Automation are minimal, except through natural attrition (people leaving and not being replaced).
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jeremykeys
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Joined: 19 Jun 2011
Posts: 2951
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was just my observations at the time. My main point was that I've found that in general, most "older" people; I'm almost 61; prefer to interact with other people as opposed to having to do things through a machine. We, in general, will stand in line as opposed to use the automated pay machines in various grocery stores or "Home Depot" like stores. We like the interaction and we don't get that with the machines. We mostly have and use cell phones well but will pretty much never pull them out of our pockets in a restaurant or in a social situation.
I for one don't get at all the fascination with video games. Don't get it at all. I've tried. And failed miserably.

My story is pretty much my observation of the evolution of the relationship between customer and merchant. I'm also very much aware that people not much younger than me and my wife (51) would much rather deal with a touch screen than a person. Or at least it certainly seems that way to me.

Yeah. I know. I'm an old curmudgeon. I'm quite okay with that! In another 20 or so years I'll be dead and gone so what I think really doesn't matter but while I'm here, I'm going to continue to report on things that I think people need to be aware of.

Thanks for reading my story, by the way!
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If music is the food of love, play on and play loud!
Gear: Kronos 73, Triton Pro-X, Wavestation EX, Polysix, King Korg, Monotron and Monotron Duo, Minikorg, 1 Roland U-20, Hammond M3, 4 accoustic and 6 electric guitars, 1 Ibanez 5 string bass, a bunch of microphones and other very cool toys, 1 wife and 2 cats!
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Yuma
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Joined: 13 Jul 2011
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Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand what you're saying. My personal preference as a consumer is to talk to a human being as well. Certain jobs are less suitable for the replacement of humans with robots.
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