Brian Merchant
Sep 5

The restaurant industry could reduce the turnover rate by actually hiring more full time employees, paying them better and providing health insurance for them, but this is more expensive than hiring 3x the number of part timers they need to do the work (it’s not just the low wage-it’s also the low hours that makes Read more

Jul 2 2019

Because they don’t want to talk to people.

IVRs are a scourge, and some are intentionally designed to frustrate people into giving up. 

Jul 2 2019

What I don’t get is why companies don’t post the ‘decision tree’ for their call center menus (possibly omitting the ‘get an agent’ since that’s what they don’t want you to do). Back in the 1990s, there wasn’t an easy way to do this, but today? Just put it on the web. Saves the caller time, and you money (a tiny Read more

May 22 2019

What is inaccurate about the headline? Jeff was asked directly to come on stage and listen to an employee speaking on behalf of 7k+ employees. He declined. Another way to say that would be: Jeff Bezos Wouldn’t Even Come On Stage to Listen to His Employees Who Want Amazon to Address Climate Change.

May 1 2019

It seems like it would be in the best interest of a company that is still expanding its warehouse footprint and perhaps looking for significant tax breaks/other incentives to make it seem like the jobs coming from them might last much longer than they actually will.

Apr 8 2019

Bezos plans on living on the moon. Musk has claimed Mars. So if I actually want to get away from this bullshit I have to develop an FTL drive.

Mar 28 2019

I grew up in the heart of those protests and in the center of the English cotton industry.  I’m glad to hear a more nuanced view of the Luddites as something other than ignorant peasants smashing the tools.  I think (personally) it’s as important to focus on the shift in personal autonomy as it is to look at the Read more

Mar 28 2019

I don’t know either but I will say the standard Democratic response of “Meh... whatdayagonnado? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ “ isn’t it. 

Mar 28 2019

I don’t know what the solutions to this are......
My own company is heavily investing in more domestic production, YET, more and more automated production.
The machines are out there to do this. And they are a mostly 1-time cost over the revolving door of low wage workers they strive to bring in today, yet in smaller Read more

Mar 28 2019

It’d be interesting to see this applied to farms. One hundred years ago the Midwest was very different politically. But as farms are becoming more and more automated and more corporate, I’d imagine Trump support is pretty similar. Nebraska even had a Democrat senator till 2013, and gave Obama an electoral vote in 2008. Read more

Mar 7 2019

I use self-checkouts almost exclusively. The only time I need a human employee is one I try to buy air-duster for my computer or super glue to fix a broken cup or NyQuil cause I have a cold and have to have someone there verify that “Yes, I am, in fact, over the age of 18". Read more

Mar 7 2019

There are fewer better poster children for shitty automation than self-checkout. I have literally never, as in not one single time, successfully completed a checkout at a self-service station in a grocery store without having to call a human employee over. And it’s not because I’m an idiot. Or not entirely, anyway. Read more