According to some employment specialists job loyalty is dead. It doesn’t exist anymore in today’s workplace. More and more companies are hiring on short contracts, out-sourcing and / or automating their services. These trends do not install a sense of company moral and loyalty to ones employer.
It was just a few weeks ago that I walked into a McDonald’s only to find that in place of the typical pimply-faced adolescent asking me “can I help you?” I was instead standing in front of a machine prompting me to place my order.
When travelling to Mexico last month a very nice Air Transat staff member guided me to the check-in “kiosk”. I was having some difficulty following the prompts, with 2 toddlers racing around me, so the kind staff member came up and helped me with the check-in process. I asked her why I could not go to the counter to check-in like I had always done in the past and she replied “this is the way things are heading, I guess they are trying to get rid of us and replace us with cost-effective machines”. When returning from Mexico we were all herded like cattle through the lines and prompted to go to the next available automated Border Clearance self-serve kiosk. I was shocked to see this. What happened to the grumpy man or woman sitting behind the glass who interrogated you on where you travelled and what you have brought back? This is another step towards replacing real live people with cost-effective machines while telling us it is to help make our lives easier and the lines to move faster.
It is no wonder why people don’t feel secure in their employment and have little-to-no loyalty towards their employer. As a woman who has worked for the same company for the past 18 years and has a great deal of loyalty to my employer I find it very sad to see machines replacing people.
Some may call me old fashioned but I prefer dealing with a person, whether they are happy, sad, bored or irritable. I’ll take a moody person over a machine any day of the week.
That is not to say that machines have not bettered our lives, because the truth is they have, tremendously. But machines and computers were designed to help people in their workplace and with their workload, not replace them all together. I hope that we, as a society, rise up and express our dislike of being prompted by machines and return to having people in place to assist us. Maybe when companies stop looking at the bottom line and lift their heads up to make eye contact with real live human beings they will move back to employing people and not machines. Only then can job loyalty begin to exist again.