Monday, February 12, 2007

Automation Makes Me Happy

I am so glad I live in a modern world full of technologically advanced mechanisms that make it so I can do a lot of business on my own without having to interact with people as much. As most stutterers are aware, interacting with people creates opportunities for stuttering...which, in turn, creates opportunities for stress, disappointment, embarrassment, and other such nasty feelings and emotions.

1. The Internet: I now have a whole array of friends with whom my only contact is via the written word...emails...blog posts...discussion boards. I even talk to much of my family mostly online. And the occasional phone call. Also, virtually all of my bill paying is done online. I also make a lot of purchases online, never having to interact with a real person (at least directly).

One company with whom I do business online, has a 9-5pm INSTANT CHAT feature that lets you chat with a customer service person if you have a question.

2. Text messaging: Now I can text things to some of my friends. Conversations can last all day sometimes, as we simply reply when it's convenient. And then we talk once every couple days. Maybe twice a week.

3. Post Office: I no longer have to wait in line for simple transactions. I can simply conduct my posting business at the kiosk in the lobby of the post office. It will ask me a series of questions about my parcel or letter...I input some information...it weighs it for me on the attached scale...tells me the price of the postage...I insert my debit card. Voila! Never had to say a word. (Well, except to tell the impatient guy standing behind me to wait his turn. ;)

4. ATM: It's a rare day that I will go inside a bank. I've had my accounts at the same bank for years and I can count on one hand the number of times I've had to go inside to conduct any business. I even got a new ATM card on the internet. I opened a savings account...on the internet. I embezzled $50,000...on the internet. Just kidding.

5. DVD Rentals: I get all of my videos through the mail via a pay-by-month option. I get 3 DVDs at a time and never have to deal with a real person.

I'm certain that more and more things in our progressive society will become automated like this. Eventually, you'll be able to get Starbucks from a virtual store/kiosk...maybe even fast food will go that way. As long as the quality doesn't go down. That being said, what kind of quality does fast food have anyway?

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