The front door of the building I work in used to not have an automatic "press button to open doors" setup for handicap folks.

A few weeks ago they installed one, and when you open the door, it stays open for about 30 seconds (by design).

I like this feature because there is no more awkward interaction with humans to figure out who is holding the door open for who. Just open the door (or press the button), and it will hold itself open!

Now when I enter the building, I don't even look behind me to see if I should hold the door open, because I know it's going to stay open anyway. Less humans to interact with.
Speaking as someone who has battled social anxiety most of my life and who, quite frankly, just doesn't really like other people, I loathe the fake nicey-niceness at checkouts and the like. If we could all enter into a social pact that says we barely even have to acknowledge each other's existence while going through routine tasks like grocery shopping much of my early life would have been easier.

Which really gets to the point that, for people like "GreatestNothing", it's not actually about disliking people in general or feeling awkward among strangers. He wants the peons to bow and scrape in his presence and gets pissed when they don't. That's not discomfort with being around other people. That's just being an asshole.
I don't care if cashiers really care about me. I know their feet hurt and they are just trying to get through another day like the rest of us. What I don't like is when people have no compassion for their fellow human beings. That I find disturbing. And you get back what you put out there.
UPS and FedEx have recently adjusted their dimensional-weight formulas (charging more for relatively lightweight but bulky items) to address the fact that thousands of people are ordering Costco-sized packages of toilet paper, paper towels, etc. online and having them shipped.

That may help them recover potential revenue otherwise lost with semis full of toilet paper barreling between distribution centers, but I doubt if it will dampen demand much—and I worry about the fact that all that shit has to be shipped in corrugated cartons. A lot is recycled, but I often see two or three trash containers overflowing with flattened cardboard boxes outside the homes of well-off people near me, many with household sizes of two retirees, every goddamn week. Even recycled, it all has to be pulped and re-formed into kraft paper, then made into boxes again—an enormous waste of water and energy.
I'm pretty surprised at the support for this drone thing. In the same way, I wouldn't have taken your observations here seriously if pro-delivery-drone views weren't clearly so prevalent.
I have a feeling this has more to do with wasted time than a hatred of people. Why someone might find a checkout person "stupid" is likely because they have to have the type of mindless conversation you can fit into a 2 minute checkout, after standing behind 5 other people doing the same thing. The benefit of skipping this process is that you save those 10 minutes, potentially to have real interactions with real people.

I'm a little afraid your issue with people that want to skip this has to do with jobs. I've found that jobs you can automate aren't often worth saving. Human labor is a valuable thing, and I'd rather have minds and hands doing something creative that can't be done by a machine than driving around all day or putting items in bags. Of course, to keep full employment we might all need to work shorter hours to achieve this. Or push further into a service economy.
Checkout clerks are usually at the least reasonably efficient, make more than minimum wage in decent stores, mediate transactions that cannot be done without them for regulatory or practical reasons (alcohol, tobacco, low volume high price items), and aren't permitted by the technology to mess up your change.

Other than everything he said, he's spot on.
From Kurt the Man:
[When Vonnegut tells his wife he's going out to buy an envelope] Oh, she says, well, you're not a poor man. You know, why don't you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet? And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope because I'm going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope. I meet a lot of people. And, see some great looking babes. And a fire engine goes by. And I give them the thumbs up. And, and ask a woman what kind of dog that is. And, and I don't know. The moral of the story is, is we're here on Earth to fart around. And, of course, the computers will do us out of that. And, what the computer people don't realize, or they don't care, is we're dancing animals. You know, we love to move around. And, we're not supposed to dance at all anymore.
You want to see slow? Check out one of these tech geniuses using the self-checkout machine. They're slower than going through the checker line. Every clerk I've ever gotten knew the produce codes pretty darn well, beyond the occasional "is that a pasilla chile?" question, while I regularly see bright-looking young people fail to locate "roma tomato" in the lookup for minutes at a time.

@6, there isn't anything creative for them to do, though. Not something that pays. You'll be able to run the future tech economy with about a hundred guys (and they will be guys, just watch) while the rest of us watch our unemployment run out and then starve. Nothing very creative about that. What the world needs more of is good solid working-class jobs that pay a decent wage, not more engineers.
It doesn't make you look very smart to get your panties in a bunch because half the world's IQ is below 100.
@9 Who's going to pay you a decent wage if you're competing with machines? Jeremy Rifkin (End of Work) had it mostly right in the '90's. We're either going to need to go to a minimum guaranteed income model, or find a way for more people to share the jobs that computers can't do.

Take a step back, and it's a good thing that mankind is becoming more productive with less labor. That means if we can figure out the politics we should all end up with more leisure time and more money. We're far better off than the middle ages because of technology, and if we can keep all of the profits from funneling to the top we'll continue to head toward a better world.
Tech dude culture is obscene.

These people have been told their entire lives that they're smarter and more valuable than anyone else. In grade school, they were cared about more because of what they looked like. In college, they were praised for fitting in with engineering culture and denigrated everyone else and other fields that they weren't good at. In the job force, they get paid ridiculous amounts because the people who hand out money are older versions of themselves. Socially, they live in echo chambers in their workplaces, tech websites that they look at obsessively for positive feedback, and whole online communities like Reddit where they literally get little "praise" buttons for thinking like everyone else in that harmful culture.

It's terrible and toxic. It's hurting society. It limits who can participate in tech fields by being hostile to different types of people. It increases income inequality by devaluing work by women, immigrants, and men who don't follow their culture. The tech industry is becoming even more unethical because ethics and morality and equality and even anti-cruelty are devalued as something people outside the culture ("stupid people") care about. Entire cities and neighborhoods (like Capitol Hill) are being torn down to become their playgrounds.

It's so important to call these people out on their nonsense and not play along with them. They are not more valuable, more intelligent, and not contributing to society more than anyone else. In many cases, they're actively damaging society.

However, they do have more money and more influence than most everyone else, so it's important to actively fight back against them.
@fnarf: You'll be able to run the future tech economy with about a hundred guys (and they will be guys, just watch)

LOL. But it won't be as bad as that. Those 100 tech guys will marry good women who will set up foundations that will spend billions searching for ways to make the rest of us less useless.
some times interactions between people get messy...families, work...there's no way around it.
@7, human checkers aren't going to let you get away with entering all of your purchases as "bulk yellow onions, $0.79 per pound" on the self-checkout either. I read about a guy who was carting out porterhouse steaks and packages of razor blades that way until he got caught.
How the hell are drones supposed to leave a package on my covered front porch?
@8 - Thank you. Love KV and was thinking something very similar, but obviously less eloquent.
I don't mind having to interact with humans, but I do hate having to fake an interest in them or have them forcing their interest onto me. I don't want the cashier to genuinely want to know how I'm doing. I'm a private person, I need to know someone for years before I tell them something like that.
Dwight Moody Puddin Pop, thank you for that great story! Dying, absolutely dying, to know if you prefer paper or plastic.
@18 I get what you're attempting to articulate, but seriously? You need to know someone years before you're okay with them asking you a genuine "How are you doing?" question?
This hatred for all things tech is absurd. There are thousands of people who work at Amazon or Facebook or Google or Microsoft who are not programmers or otherwise "tech dudes." Someone has to design this stuff, manage projects, make it pretty, design materials, market it, sell it, support it, answer phones, schedule meetings and plan travel, etc.

Sure, there are arrogant assholes in tech. As there are in journalism and medicine and every other field. It's simplistic and pretty mindless to pigeonhole everyone who works for a technology company as a "brogrammer" or "tech dude."
Keep 'em isolated, reduce human interaction, and slowly they will all go slightly insane, holding increasingly polarized viewpoints, and be completely unable to band together to overthrow their masters.
It took awhile to get here, but we're well on the way.
It's actually kind of refreshing to see people today feeling comfortable enough in their sociopathology to express it so freely.
Besides possibly me, who are you referring to as "simplistic and pretty mindless?"
@ 12 makes several good points. At the end of the day the individual quoted in the post feels himself to be too good to have to wait for anything and entitled to look down on anyone who is not doing what he does for a living. It is ugly and classist in the worst way.
I've been buying shit in grocery stores fir the last thirty years, and I can count on one hand the number of times a checker was rude, very slow, or incompetent, yet I always hear stories like greatNothing's. Have I just been very lucky?

I'm going to bet that the commenter is socially awkward, especially when in the company of sub100 IQs. You can teach someone how to do just about any tech feat, but you can't teach them how to have a good personality or feel good at meaningless small talk.
@26, you're probably not a douchebag. Normal, decent people tend to get good service from service employees. If you're constantly running into rude, incompetent checkers, waiters, etc., it's almost certainly because you are an unpleasant person yourself.
It makes sense if you look at it in monkeysphere terms. We find it kind of innately stressful to interact with a lot of strangers all the time. But we also find it innately stressful not to have any people around.

So what we want is to live in a city that's full of people, but we don't want to interact with them.

Also, I hate it when clerks ask me things like "how's your day going?" or "did you do anything fun on the fourth?" Do some people like that? It seems weird to me.
Please, folks: understand that (a) employees are often required to ask how each customer is doing/how their day is going/whatever, and also to tell them to have a good/nice day when they're done, and (b) even when someone you actually know asks you how you're doing, the socially appropriate response is "fine, thanks." If they want to ask "no, I mean how are you really?" then that's up to them. You can then tell them how you're really doing, or not. It's very simple.

Cashiers, waiters, etc. are not interested in having a 2-minute heart to heart conversation with you and every other total stranger they have to encounter that day. You are no more fascinating to them than they are to you. (In fact, probably much less so - - - unless you have to deal with 400 cashiers over the course of your workday)
Constant says:

"excited about the drone program in part because it will lessen their dependence on unreliable (and often unionized) fleets of drivers."

Uh...I don't get the technology. Who says that drones will fly w/o human intervention? I am still puzzled how the drones actually interact with the close "last 50 feet" to the customer's front door.
@20- Well I guess it depends on how I'm doing at the moment. Often I'm not doing particularly well and I'd rather not reveal that to a stranger. And yes, generally it takes years of being acquainted with someone before I'll refer to them as a friend. Perhaps it was my rural upbringing where I had the same 18 classmates for 8 years in a row (and most of them for another 4 years). Perhaps it's simply some very odd brain chemistry. I'm not very comfortable (in non-anonymous settings) discussing my feelings with strangers.

@26- I very much suspect that those people who frequently have rude checkers are being extremely rude themselves and are upset when the servants aren't cowed.
@30- I get that. I also know that they're condemned to ask me "If I'm finding everything alright" while wandering the aisles (I do ask if I can't find something, it bothers me to be bothered. Trader Joe's is especially annoying about this.) But I find that here in Seattle (as opposed to in the North East) the level and intensity of engagement from cashiers is way higher. I get asked about my plans for the weekend, etc... Maybe I'm just hella good looking and they're trying to get me to ask them out or something.
@21: It was @12 that set me off. But I keep seeing similar comments about mindless tech workers bent on destroying all that is good about our world.
Who cares if some people don't want to engage others? They're out to pick up milk, not make small talk with somebody bored at work.
@33 - I think fnarf nailed it. You're not a douchebag. When you engage the people around you as opposed to having a policy of deliberate non-engagement, you really DO get so much more from life.
I've spent 4 hours this week trying to help a customer ENTER HER DELIVERY ADRESS INTO THE CORRECT FIELDS ON A COMPUTER. She literally cannot understand that where it says "address line 1" she should put in her address. So far on 6 different orders she has failed. She has tried "room 108, room 180, hartfield office, her name" and others.

I'm done with the human race. I hope we lose at everything. I mean, I'm still going to try and be nice to everyone, but when this fucker burns I'm going to be the guy watching from the tallest hill in town with a raging erection.
I get really fed up with this 'I'm so much smarter than everyone else stuff'. It's like the Steinbeck thing with Americans thinking they're temporarily embarrassed millionaires. These people think they are currently underappreciated geniuses. I mean, humans are plenty smart, the real differences come from background and education, no innate superiority. Unless there is clear, like mental retardation going on, I think 'there but for the grace of god go I'-type thoughts
I'm in favor of streamlining things with technology, but it's nice to have a little human interaction here and there. I mean, I don't approve of a Solarian system. Honestly, I deal with truck drivers, customers, managers, and my fellow grunts every day at my day job. There are all sorts of interesting things to hear while making small talk.
If you don't want the checker to ask you how your day is, or another store employee to ask you if you're finding everything you want, talk to the store manager. Or rather talk to the corporation. Because the employees are doing what they're told to do. They aren't any more innately interested in your day than you are in theirs. But even though they are told to do that stuff, they still manage to do it in a friendly manner, so stop bitching about it.
Are people still buying that lie that self checkout streamlines anything that a professional does, and is expected to do, efficiently. I don't like looking up codes, bagging my own or standing behind dolts that dodder and fritter time away talking on their phones and with their friends instead of getting to work checkout efficiently so they can LET ME GET THE FUCK ON WITH MY DAY.

But then why should they check out efficiently? It's not like they are paid to and they will never see a dime in saving from self check stands either.
This edition of shit Old Man Paul hates: People who complain on the internet, who are not him, and he's going to give a big post complaining about those complainers. All internet complainers, Get OFF OLD MANS PAULS LAWN! Complaining is his thing only...
@37: What if none of the hills in town have raging erections?
I always talk to the checkers. Good to know what the plebes are up to.
If you meet more than one asshole every day, then YOU are the asshole.
I do suspect there are some people with particularly significant issues with social anxiety, for whom this might manifest itself as a contempt for service workers. They can't deal with feeling frightened, so they respond with contempt.

I don't really feel superior to all the service people that I have to deal with every day; I just find small talk awkward and would like to avoid it if possible. I just find talking to strangers an inherently difficult thing to do. And we live in a society that increasingly enables you to focus your energy less on figuring out how to elegantly handle interactions with very large numbers of people, and more on other things. This can definitely be a good thing in some situations, but in the aggregate it's probably a little unhealthy.

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