I spent the morning hanging on to the phone waiting to get through an extremely annoying robot phone service to get to a real human being who could solve a problem for me. Familiar? We’ve all done that, been there, and even have the tee-shirt. I no longer get quite so annoyed as I used to. I suppose life has increased my practice of patience, but there are few occurrences that make me realize the passing of time as that of getting through robot phone services.
I’m not entirely certain where I’m going with this, except to express my regret that jobs that used to serve real human beings are now being outsourced to machines. You don’t have to pay machines in the same tender. They don’t get tired. They don’t take coffee breaks or cigarette breaks. And they don’t call in absent because the children are sick. There is little doubt that machines solve many problems for human beings, but I do not like the way they remove us from our humanity.
Case in point – when I was a kid a very long time ago, we hung out together and rode bikes and caught crayfish in the creek and ran around and played baseball with the neighborhood children. These days I watch teenagers gathered together in groups their heads bent over their cellphones never saying a word to each other. To make mischief, I will deliberately start a conversation. Sometimes the young people warm to it and sometimes they don’t.
There is not much of a conclusion to my blog today, except that I resented wasting a morning on an activity that could have been solved quickly had the institution I called cared enough to hire more real people. That in itself raises another point I am annoyed by. There is a lot of blame among individuals of a certain persuasion that the poor should not receive government help because they are basically lazy and do not want to help themselves, and that the real reason the middle class is rapidly declining into the lower class is because it is paying for these lazy, shiftless people. With more and more jobs being outsourced to machines, there may come a point when even these loud persons of a certain persuasion will find themselves with the pink slip and out of a job that a machine can do better.
There are many reasons why people may be temporarily, or even permanently unemployed – loss of a job, loss of health, a family member going through serious illness… I wish that we all can remain free of critical judgment for other persons whose stories we may not know, and give the other person the benefit of the doubt when their circumstances are different than we suppose or know.
Okay, rant over. To remember our connection with the Runes, MANNAZ is the Rune of humanity .