Standing in the checkout line in downtown Whole-Foods trying to buy some blueberries when I notice the eerie computer voiced line director (what are those things called?) sending person after person to a line where the transaction is still in process. Customers are pissed or confused and the poor cashiers are stressed out of their minds and profusely apologetic.
“You’ve got to get someone to fix this gizmo, “ I say to the beautiful African born cashier when I arrive at the checkout. “No, no,” she replies, “ it’s not broken. We are. They used to give us ten seconds a customer before it send another. They’ve cut it down to five. We can’t keep up.”
All the time she’s saying this she’s moving like a speed freak, as are all the other cashiers.
I tell her I’m going to speak to her manager and a look of fear covers her face. “ Don’t tell them you talked to me,” she says. “ Don’t tell them my name.” I assure her I won’t and can’t find him anyway.
And so it goes. Yet another casual example of absolute subordination to gratuitous technology, a little more evidence that we lack the moral and spiritual maturity to deal humanely with the gadgetry we are constantly improving and constantly employing to degrade each other as we engage in this a-human idiot corporate dream of ever more efficient efficiency, whatever the cost in human dignity.