I’ve just been to the library. When I approached the desk to have my chosen books checked out by the librarian, she led me to a machine which bore the words “SELF SERVE” My heart sank….
I have listed the word processification in the New Words section of this blog. It states that we forego the pleasure of human interaction for the purpose of expediency. When I bank on line or on the phone, I follow the commands on the screen or those emanating from the earpiece of my phone, and I tap this number and enter that code and tap out this amount and confirm that there is nothing further I wish to do and so the automated voice bids me farewell and the line goes dead… and so does my heart.
I do my food shopping at a friendly retailing giant supermarket. I consider and choose a basketful of the most diverse foods from all over the world, and no word has been spoken. I take my items to the Self-Serve checkout tills, where I assist the FRG by performing one of their more costly functions for which I do not charge, and again, no human interaction. No words were spoken.
Gone are the days of bus conductors, the cheerful ‘clippies’ and the banter.. On one memorable bus journey at every stop the clippie shouted “TOTTENHAM HALE. this one! after a number of stops one passenger shouted back “What we want is WATNEYS ALE!” We all laughed. Happy Days then.
So, to find that slowly every opportunity for a little chat or banter with a shop assistant, or librarian or official is being eroded by the processification of what used to be very human encounters is frankly disheartening. Thank goodness for Twitter. Having said that, there are millions of messages being exchanged, but even they are not spoken, are they?
As Sir Cliff Richard once sang… It’s so funny, how we don’t talk anymore. Well just to bring some sound to this silent world of words here he is…