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People need people - or not?

Hector · 2 · 359

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Online Hector

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I read an article the other day that confirms what a number of my friends in the UK have been saying to me.  Basically, it noted the way that human being are being replaced in so many services by machines and on-line requirements.  It is so often a problem trying to contact a person to help with a query regarding a problem with almost any service.  Local councils are now inviting one to go on-line' with a query and many banks have closed local branches in an apparent effort to avoid face to face encounters.  A prime example concerns rail travel – that is, if you can find a train running these days! - no more ticket office or even staff at many stations.  Train companies are phasing out staff in favour of tickets being bought from a machine or on-line. 
During the pandemic, many companies and businesses found that they didn't need people to do a job that a machine/robot could do and that an office was often superfluous in that more people could work just as productively on-line from home.
Put together, the trend increases unemployment, puts the onus on the customer instead of the provider and reduces human interaction to an almost negligible level.  Fine, until things go wrong such as power cuts or server outages;  fine if one assumes a level of IT competence that many people may not have, although I accept that applies mainly to the elderly these days; fine if it is assumed that people will not always need people, which I believe is an erroneous assumption.
My contacts in the UK, where I have not been for four years, bemoan this lack of human interaction and even when it exists they say it is so often slower and more cumbersome than previously.
I'm no Luddite and IT does indeed make so many things a great deal quicker and easier, but I can't help wondering if this headlong dash to exclude the person isn't somehow akin to a similar rush a few years ago to create the paperless office, which never really came about.


Online Roger

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Hector YES we need people. The trend to on-line handling has been around for some time, but I seem to notice the people are often still there behind the scenes and the on-line systems complicate and make things more difficult than before.

I've been on-line banking with Halifax for a decade but they have recently been waffling on about going paperless - all this seems to mean is that I seem to receive lots of totally irrelevant emails to the point that I've dumped Halifax in 'spam' now :(

A sizeable town like Melksham in Wilts was much smaller a decade ago but had 3 banks - it now has none. I do see talk of 'multi-Bank' local branches coming in the UK which would be a good thing IMO.

La la progress   ::)
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein