Thursday, December 1, 2005

The View From Up There

I'm talking about the pedestal. You know, the one it's so easy to climb on and preach from, pointing fingers at how everyone else is doing it wrong.

I wrote recently about my disdain for the self-check out, and received a thesis worthy reply (do check it out). The responder waxed on about the poor cashiers being displaced by self check out machines, and the absence of caring corporations and good customer care.

The poster is right; these things are true. But they fail to look at the big picture. Allow me to color a bit outside the lines:

If I walk down the hall, I will encounter a department of people whose jobs simply did not exist fifty years ago. When the computer began it's sharp rise in popularity and use, there were dozens upon dozens of people leaping onto their pedestals, proclaiming the loss of jobs created by computers which could do the work. Yes, it's true that it's hardly necessary to hire a Girl Friday if you have access to Quicken, but did the advent of the computer simply eliminate jobs, or did it create new ones?

The word is adaptation. Perhaps the Safeway cashier, concerned for his job as he looks over at the self check out works of Satan, should consider adapting to his new environment and learning how to repair the machine designed to take his place, instead of moping about and lamenting the fact that the corporation he works for continues to seek new ways to save money.

Let's all grow up, shall we? There is no such thing as a corporation which exists for the betterment of mankind. Companies exist to make money. Period. Anyone with a problem with that sentiment should immediately quit their jobs and go live off the land.

What's that you say? You have a job? Working for a company? I see. It's okay to finance your lifestyle under the umbrella of someone else's money, but you can still turn your nose up at 'da man.' Power to the people, baby.

I can hear it now. "What about the non profits? What about teachers?" Let me sum this sentiment by asking if you refer to all the people whose salaries are dependent on tax payments and donations from other people who, you guessed it, work for corporations.

Dear Mr. F: It is naive to walk out of a store with a long checkout line, because you refuse to use a self checkout, because you are protesting on behalf of the cashiers, and spew more fossil fuel into the air as you ride up and down the boulevard searching for a retailer who will meet your lofty standards.

Take a Prozac and just buy your bread, man. Otherwise, life is going to be chock full of disappointment for you.

1 comment:

Tulips said...

Just a quick comment....you make some good points. I am perhaps more likely to agree since I am work at a job that did not exist 20 years ago.

I haven't yet read the other comments, but I'll do that.