Danger Danger – Don’t Go There

As has become customary here at No Facilities, today’s post has been inspired by recent events and by Linda G. Hill’s special kind of torture know as Stream of Consciousness Saturday. The prompt Linda gave us for this week is:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘passive/aggressive.’ Use one, use both, bonus points if you start your post with one or the other. Enjoy!”

I like how she adds the “enjoy” part.


Aggressive reactions may result from your speaking – if we were having a beer.

“I wonder where Cheryl is.”

“She’s probably downstairs getting stuff to restock the bar.”

“Maybe they replaced her.”

“That’s crazy talk. Replacing a bartender takes weeks.”

“Not if they replaced her with a robot.”

“OK, that’s beyond crazy talk. You can’t robofy Cheryl.”

“Robofy?”

“Hey guys. I’ll be right there, as soon as I put this case of wine down. And, what’s a robofy?”

“It’s what he…”

“Shush – don’t tell her I said that.”

“You know I have kids, right? ‘Don’t tell her I said that’ sends my antennae up, so you better start speaking the truth buster. Now, let’s have it, or someone’s getting tap water.”

“He was suggesting that maybe they replaced you with a robot. I thought it was crazy, and I’d like a Naughty Nurse, please.”

“One cold beer, coming up. You want your water in a snifter?”

“I said it was possible, not desired. I would like a glass of red wine.”

“OK, but first, I’d like to know where you come up with crap like that.”

“I read about how this new cruise ship has a Robot Bar. It sounds pretty cool.”

“Do you have a death wish? Cheryl, my contribution to this conversation was to point out that you could not be robofied. Thanks for the beer.”

“Again, I feel the need to point out that I’m not in favor of Cheryl’s ‘robofication’ – if we’re going to carry this to an extreme – merely that it is possible.”

“Here – is – your – red – wine – sir.”

“Cute, Cheryl – nice imitation of the ‘Lost in Space’ robot, but where’s the rest of my wine.”

“I – have – dispensed – the – appropriate – amount – of – alcoholic – beverage.”

“I thought the concept was fascinating. I didn’t think it would lead to a passive/aggressive bartender.”

“Fascinating? More like deplorable. More like one more way business is going to suck the life out of our world in favor of higher profits. Don’t fill his glass Cheryl. Make him spend twice as much today.”

“That’s not fair. But since it’s your turn to buy…”

“Um, Cheryl, could we ease up on him a bit?”

“OK, Dan. You seem to be on my side – I’ll do it for you.”

“I’m on your side, too. I don’t want a robot bartender, but you have to admit, it does represent progress.”

“Progress?… I’m going back to restocking the bar. Drink what’s left of that wine slowly.”

“Yeah, progress? How is removing the people out of the retail experience progress?”

“In case you didn’t notice, most retail experiences are conducted via computer these days, Mr. Technology-Worker.”

“I get it. But when I choose to avoid the online experience, I don’t want to be the only human left on the island.”

“Even if they robofied Cheryl, I’d still be here. The human experience of having a beer with a buddy would survive.”

“Cheryl is a buddy! Do you honestly think I’d come here to talk to you and a machine?”

“He won’t be here Dan. The way he’s talking, he’ll be lucky to make it to his car today. You want another beer? That one’s draining fast.”

“Yes please, Cheryl. Nonsense makes me thirsty. Maybe I should switch to Corona.”

“OK.”

“Look, they aren’t going to replace Cheryl. This place doesn’t have the volume.”

“No, but Target does. They have 18 human checkout lanes, staffed by two humans and a line forming behind the four self-checkout stations. Home Depot is heading the same way.”

“I prefer the self-checkout at Target.”

“I don’t, and I prefer it less at Dunkin Donuts?”

“How does that work?”

“You order on the app, and then pick up in the store.”

“Who do you pay?”

“The app pays.”

“How do you order?”

“You specify every stupid detail: Bagel – plain – not toasted – butter – on the side.”

“Does the bagel slide out of an ATM slot?”

“Just about.”

“Do they greet you with witty banter like ‘ooh look, a Corona has found her lime’ or just a bag with a bagel.”

“Just a bag and bagel, Cheryl.”

“Um Cheryl, you never did top off my wine.”

“And I’m never gonna. Cheryl is experiencing technical difficulties.”

“I think I may have gone too far.”

“You may have gone too far, but you definitely didn’t think.”


Today’s gallery includes some pictures taken in the first few days of April, here in Connecticut, where winter refuses to hit the road. Earlier in the week, Cheryl shared some pictures of a place where winter is unknown.

76 thoughts on “Danger Danger – Don’t Go There

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    1. Thanks Pam. I use some of the self-serve check outs, but Target seems to be forcing us into those lanes, if we ever hope to get out of the store. Our local Home Depot has the human cashiers telling us that the self serve lane is open, even if they don’t have a line. They want to get the people out of the process. We already pick our own stuff, load our own car, return their carts to the bin – I feel like I’m becoming an employee!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. When we were coming back from SC, we stopped at a couple of McDonalds for a restroom break and a hot or cold drink. Both of the stores we stopped at had these terminals set up to order your meals and then pick them up at the counter which was about 5′ away. Technology is a wonderful thing, but sometimes I think I should have paid more attention to how the Jetsons were living so I could adapt easier and quicker. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I’m not sure what it says about me that I could dream that stuff up that easily. I think it’s the subject. I work in technology, and I know where this is heading, and I don’t think it’s a good place.

      Like

    1. I’m glad you picked up on that so quickly, Teagan. I spelled it out for the folks that might not remember the show. Now I see that Netflix is bring that back, but not in the “repeat” way. I dind’t watch, but it was in my mind as I was writing this.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Winter…ackkk! Go away!

    I don’t mind the pre-order kiosks or the self checkout line, but I would draw the line at a robot bartender. What fun is that? What happens if the robot malfunctions? Do you get free pours, no pours or pours down the front of your shirt?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m guessing you get a lighter hand on the pour, a specific and finite number of ice cubes, and the occasional beer down the shirt. It doesn’t sound like fun.

      It was snowing again this morning as I took Maddie for her walk. I think it’s getting too warm to sustain it, but I want warmth!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thankfully, we’ll be back up into the 40’s this coming week and perhaps one day might sneak in a 50. I’m going to make it a point to start going for more frequent walks as long as the wind isn’t gusting in my face. Perhaps just being outside will help my attitude…which is NOT passive at this point. ;-)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Technology certainly is here to stay, but we’ll always need that connection with other human beings….and animals. I despise robot phone calls and I sure don’t want a robot taking care of me in a store or restaurant. Good grief, robots do surgery now, but at least a human surgeon is working the controls. Still…….

    Looks like Maddie has had her fill of winter too. Love the shot of chubby squirrel going over fence instead of under. Perhaps you and the Editor can locate some low calorie peanuts…….probably online!! Lol.

    Today’s conversation took passive/aggressive to a new level. Sometimes there’s just no wiggle room after you’ve said it. Great post Dan.
    🔹Ginger🔹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger. I think the persistence of winter brought me closer to the passive/aggressive frame of mind than I normally am. It was snowing again this morning. It’s not going to amount to anything, but we’re tired of wearing winter coats.

      We have a bunch of squirrels who don’t fit under the fence. Some might be moms-to-be, so we keep feeding them. The good thing about squirrels is they tend to send their offspring out to find new territory. We have enough little mouths to feed. But the snow has kept them in the trees and the cold has them pretty hungry.

      Robot phone calls are the worst use of technology – EVER!

      Like

    1. Thanks John. I had to include the breakfast. When I found myself driving to work in the snow, in April, for the second time in one week, I decided I deserved bacon and eggs. Maybe that’s why we eventually retire, to stop having self-pity comfort food meals.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my, Dan, you know me so well. Robify Cheryl indeed. 😳As IF. But with this new version world of tune out, amp up and turn on, I can see people allowing it to happen. We tried to get into no less than four bar/restaurant venues last night but were either ignored completely or treated like scurf on the bottom of a shoe. When we did hit the jackpot it was a pot of gold. Eager, friendly people and a new and innovative venue. I hope they make it. I may write a “connective” post to this one if that’s ok. Servers are only hurting their own situtaion by becoming worse every day. I blame chain restaurants, the absence of owners and direct management as well as no feeling of personal investment. They get paid just to show up, right? Who needs to do a good job. Well I do and I don’t want to be replaced by Arthur https://youtu.be/TVvGEj84y98 ! I can honestly see at least some aspect of society hedging towards a condition a bit over damatized in a recent X-Files episode. Still…it was at least philosophically accurate. I’ll always show up at the bar, Dan. As long as I am allowed. Cheers! 🥃🍺

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You will always be welcome at (or behind) this bar, and you’re always welcome to extend the story. Arthur’s got nothing on you.

      I am glad you found a good place. I remember when my favorite palce closed. I bounced around, and ended up at a not-so-goog-but-ok place, before finding my current favorite spot. You’re so right, it IS the people that make the difference. Bartenders like Skippy, don’t make you feel like you want to come back, and don’t let you care if the place goes under.

      The most miserable experience now is Chili’s. The server just brings the food. You order on the little pod, you pay on it. the server is almost just another machine. I used to like going there for lunch, but now I prefer a place that has people wait on you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. And how difficult it is for me to tip at those type of places! If you aren’t “serving” me, why do I need to tip you? I can hand you a buck for walking 20 feet to deliver my food. Geeze.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Well at least you can click zero and walk away without seeing a mad face. Of course there is likley an app that tags you as “tipping loser” so that you are shunned throughout robotic serverdom….🙄

            Liked by 1 person

  5. There’s a hip Kroger store in a funky part of town wherein, if you are over 21, you can purchase a card that allows you to go to a wall of machines and get a small sample of various wines. [Up to 3, I think.] No human being is involved in this tasting, other than yourself. I’ve never done this because it seems so sad to me. Alone, drinking by myself, in a store? Oh my, what has this world come to?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think robots are scary. Any robot can turn on you. I don’t use ATMs and rarely go to self-check out. Maybe it’s from seeing the original Stepford Wives movie at an impressionable age, and 2001 A Space Odyssey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Open the pod bay doors, HAL.”
      “I’m sorry, JoAnna. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

      Sorry, I couldn’t resist. When something really matters, I try to find a human to deal with. Machines aren’t prepared for the unexpected. People are much better in those situations. Like when the item doesn’t scan.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I will gladly opt for a live bartender every time. We have enough problems with fake humans on social media as it is. The last thing I want is a programmed device that cannot communicate at basic levels in a decidedly social institution like a bar. This situation goes directly against my mantra of ‘it will improve the quality of my drinking time !’ Even if the robot should be so sophisticated as to sense fluctuations in my mood I strongly suspect it would not deliver anything other than stock wrong answers. Now the theoretical spring thing…. that will require another round and maybe even some wings.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Warning…Warning, Will Robinson! Does it say something about my age that I remember wishing June Lockhart was my mom? Was my favorite show as a kid, and you made it all come back…along with my Saturday morning giggles! Thanks, Dan! ~ Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deborah. There’s no danger of Cheryl getting robofied, especially if she has anything to say about it. I’d be looking for a pile of robot parts near the dumpster.

      Snow always looks pretty, but I think it’s fair to say most people have had enough pretty this year. We’re ready for the kind of pretty that comes with colorful flowers and song birds. I’ll live vicariously through your photos for a few weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I try to seek out the humans, but it’s getting harder and harder to find them. I sometimes stop at a grocery store on my way to work. They open at 6:00 am, but between 6:00 and 7:00, there are no human cashiers.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Great photos! Love the walkway in the snow. That’s happy :) And equally on the sad side, Maddie’s confusion about sitting weather.
    I am not a fan of self-checkout, and The Mister is, so we have plenty of conversation about it. I do not want robotic bartenders. Do Not Want.
    I feel obliged to say that Craig Boyack has a fictional muse who is a fox pot robot and she’s awesome, but again, fictional.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I think it’s a chilling tale but one which isn’t too far off, as long as we seek out little local pubs and micro breweries we drinkers should be ok, it’s the mass market ball pool pubs we have to watch out for. I for one shudder at the thought of them. There’s a chain of pubs in UK called Wetherspoons where you can order food at your table with the app and they’ll bring it to you, cuts out unnecessary chit chat with a waiter/ waitress.
    Plus that white machine is a transformer, no doubt, it’s going to take your dog for a walk. It’s should be red, I agree

    Like

    1. My normal place is a small bar with bartenders who love to chat. We have a couple of chains with menu stations at the table. The human just brings the food. You order and pay the mindless little box.

      I’m going to avoid the block with the transformer. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Spring …. I’m hanging on with all my strength not to scream in frustration! Robots … thumbs down all the way to the South Pole. Robots cannot ever replace a good bartender. We are loosing human interactions as it is …. PALEEEZE … like we need more distance between us. Grrrrrrr …… Don’t know if you heard but the cars that have been “robotized” have been pulled off the streets due to DEATHS. Yeah …. imagine letting a car drive all by itself. How much crazier is it going to get????????? Yep, need flowers! 🌹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those cars will be back on the streets before long, Amy. And we will likely see the day when we’re sharing the highway with self-driving trucks. I’ll still seek out a bar with a human behind it, but I’m guessing it won’t always be an option.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not liking this at all. Everyday human interaction is being lost due to technology. These young people today don’t understand what it’s like to hang over a fence just to chat. So much is being lost, Dan, all in the name of advancement.

        Like

  12. My doses of Maddie have been less often, Dan! I don’t like automated service and know robots would not walk Maddie, take photos or cook up a delicious breakfast! Yummy bacon over the hash browns, butter on sour dough toast. . . Service with a smile counts! 😀
    I think the idea of robots in many areas makes sense, like my warehouse. Maybe they would pay me to watch the robot to prevent mistakes or accidents (?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Robin. They do make sense in some places but I worry that they will be judged only in the “economic” sense that they make, without concern for customer experience and the jobs they displace.

      Like

      1. Jobs are important for the economy, Dan. You make good reminder points!
        I certainly won’t advocate free range robotic services. My oldest daughter’s friend supervises paint cans being filled on a conveyor belt, at PPG (Pittsburgh Paints) here in Delaware, Ohio. She makes six dollars more an hour than I do, (has a Master’s degree she’s not using) by sitting on a stool watching that the timing performance does not go awry.
        I don’t want to work nights, which she does. But I wouldn’t mind watching a robot pick auto parts and move it down the line properly! Oh, how I would like more sitting. . . 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Love the Lost in Space reference…Danger Will Robinson…Danger…anyway…not ready for a robotic bartender…I’m ok with somethings being automated, but there is a limit to it…the way AI has infiltrated our phones and auto corrects completely wrong drives me crazy…can’t imagine that same artificial intelligence making assumptions of what you really want with ordering food, beverages or goods….ugh.
    Snow…our relatives in Cedar Rapids sent photos of the three inches of snow they just received over the weekend…I do remember an April 9th blizzard when I was a teenager there, but still. Spring will come!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It will, Kirt, but April could be about 10 degrees warmer, then I’d be happy. I’m tired of wearing a winter coat.

      As for the robots, I think we are the human test dummies for everything from spellcheck to hotel check in to self-driving cars. It will be perfected at some point, but much of it belongs in the lab today.

      Liked by 1 person

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