Sufficiently Inefficient


Ms. Drazzel:  “We ferreted out several more financial savings from our initial audit.”

CEO:  “Outstanding, let’s hear them. The Board’s gonna love this, big ‘L’. Know what I mean?”

Drazzel and Hackcommon presented their summary of discoveries.

Ms. Drazzel:  “How do you respond to all our findings?”

CEO:  “Man, who knew?”

Ms. Drazzel cleared her throat.

Mr. Hackcommon:  “Right,  the next to last item,  break rooms may be removed for considerable cost reduction.”

CEO:  “But the workers like a place to have meals and take breaks.”

Ms. Drazzel:  “The break room will be superfluous.”

CEO:  “What’s that?”

Mr. Hackcommon:  “Correct. Workers are inefficient. By far the most significant savings will be to re-invest in robots, perhaps D&H™. Retain a few of the brightest workers for clean-up.”

CEO,  “But I like coffee breaks with my employees.”

Ms. Drazzel:  “Understood, of course, you would be exempt from our cost savings calculations.”



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Faceless in Modernity


I scan and bag my own groceries. I pump my own fuel, pay both with plastic. I consult with my Doc over a medical link.  I pay up-front with plastic before she appears on my screen.

The closest person to me on Friday was the teller at the drive-through. I received a lollipop and a receipt was emailed to me. Is the lollipop a bribe, quid pro quo?

“We’re the bank with the best lollies.” Nope, it is classical conditioning –mind control.

I have been quietly trained to not have much contact with other people. I like a good algorithm and applied statistical forecasting as much as the next person still I miss chating-up the toll booth matron.

My world is full of faceless commercial interfaces, regiments of robo-calls, and spasms of spam, utilities now estimate my usage and deliver an e-bill.

On Thursday I met friends for coffee. The shop has free wi-fi. Lots of mumbling and faceless face time. I like to sketch whilst sipping hot bean-water and sharing quiet fun with chums.

Even when I go regularly to a group meeting it is mostly anonymous. Get in, get done, and get out, benign and superficial. GPS helps me find my vehicle.

Then Saturday morning I had a cell phone call from a number I didn’t recognize.

“Haven’t seen you in a while. You okay? Checking up on you.”

I reckon I’m not as faceless as I may think. Someone missed my face in the crowd.