The world is full of folks that mind their own business and don’t get involved, but I’m not one of them. I’m also not one of those folks who would rather run my own items over the scanner and listen to a machine drone the prices while I bag it myself. Forgive me, but I’m a little partial to a warm smile and the occasional chit-chat about how your day has been, or the way you scan slower to give me more time when I run out of line to get the milk I forgot.
Please understand that I wasn’t trying to be rude or disrespectful when I jumped into your line instead of hurrying through one of the eight automated check-out machines. It’s just that there was no one waiting in your line and I’ll always choose a friendly face over some machine that’s designed to take your place. It may seem a little strange, particularly in an age where everyone wants things to be bigger, better, and faster. But what happens when the machines take over? I don’t want to know and I refuse to be one of those folks who supports technology over hospitality. After all, I happen to like the fact that you’ve been checking me out for the last five years (excuse the pun), and I’ve gotten used to seeing you twice a week.
So please don’t get mad at me when you see sneak pass those checkout terminators and into your lonely line. I just like your style. I like the fact that you know me and don’t bust me out when I buy that Snickers that I know I don’t need. You know, the way others do, when they ask if I want it in the bag? You don’t put me on blast like that; instead you slide it over the counter so I can get my junk food fix. There’s not a machine in the world that could be a better partner in crime, so please understand that I’m doing all I can to make sure they keep you and not the machine.
You’ll always be my checkout girl.
Questions for discussion?
1.What point is the author trying to make?
2.What has been the impact of technology on jobs in your community?
3.List five jobs that are no longer around because of changes in technology.
4.Write a letter back to the author from the perspective of Rosemary, the checkout lady.
5.How many people in your community may lose their jobs because of technology? What can be done, or is being done, to address this issue?
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Edward DeJesus—President and Founder, Youth Development and Research Fund. Author and national speaker/expert on youth development and employment. Visit him online at http://www.ydrf.com or http://www.edwarddejesus.com.