April 27, 2012

Have you been wondering about the cause of youth unemployment in 2012? Today, during a shopping trip to Tesco, I was inadvertently given the answer… technology.

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking but I’m sure this little nugget may make you think again.

Technology in the supermarket has advanced so far now that we have all become checkout boys and girls. At the end of a traumatic tour of the local supermarket, I am now offered the opportunity to serve myself… “please scan your item”… “please bag your item”… “please scan your loyalty card”… “please put your money in the slot”… “please take your change”… “thank you for shopping with us”… all from a very polite self-service machine. Personally, I do believe in a certain level of job creation. Despite the prompting of the lonely checkout assistant, I have the temperament to queue, so I waited to be served.

Behind me a schoolgirl started to mimic the self-service machine, then turned to her friend and said “I could work at Tesco”! As what I thought? Voice over for a self-service supermarket machine! While the machine might teach her manners, I’m not sure that our retail industry has considered employing youth to sit in the back of machines. In the vain of The Secrets of the Chess Machine, Robert Lohr‘s fictional adaptation of Baron Wolfgang von Kempelen‘s ‘Mechanical Turk‘ we could actually reverse the unemployment figures by wheeling hollow boxes into retail stores, ticket halls and coffee shops positioning an unemployed youth inside to recite instructions to the public. This could help instore security and save electricity… problem solved!

Last updated: April 27, 2012 at 7:27 pm