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(Peoria Journal Star)   Workers vs. smart machines: THEY TOOK ER JERBS   (pjstar.com ) divider line
    More: Sad, AWs, information need, big data, machines, technological change, MIT  
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10241 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Jan 2013 at 4:01 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



305 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2013-01-28 04:28:10 PM  

Reverend Monkeypants: Ya know what?
fark this guy.
Making 67 grand a year for reading farking numbers?
I don't care how farking long you've been doing it.
It's as bad as the $40 an hour assholes who attach bumpers to cars in Detroit...
The $50 an hour construction site flag wavers.
fark all y'all.



Exactly.Anybody making more than you needs to have their wages cut, so those people who are already wealthy can become even more wealthy. Because YOUR job is important and you DESERVE to be paid what you make!

/not really, there are probably a billion people in this world who will do your job better and more cheaply, and the Mitt Romneys of the world will give them your job soon enough. And you will cheer.
 
2013-01-28 04:28:24 PM  

The My Little Pony Killer: ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.

Get used to asking if your customers want fries with that.


That will be automated, too.
 
2013-01-28 04:28:38 PM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Actually the socialist answer would be to kill all the smart people (those they have the training and the money) and put untrained uneducated people in those places. That way in a few years everyone is in the field working the crops with their bare hands. It would be perfect. All of us equal and no one better than the other.


i.qkme.me
 
2013-01-28 04:29:03 PM  

Polyhazard: Automation and outsourcing are part of the reason I get a kick when someone snarky comment about my Liberal Arts degree.


Did that "Liberal Arts degree" include sentence structure, parts of speech, proof-reading, or grammar?
 
2013-01-28 04:29:15 PM  

ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem?


soylent green
 
2013-01-28 04:29:54 PM  

durbnpoisn: Didn't this happen to Charlie's father in "Charlie and the Chocalte Factory"?

He did okay after a machine replaced him. He simply took a job repairing the machines that took his job.


Listen, Mr. Reagan, those were MOVIES you were in, it wasn't real life!
 
2013-01-28 04:30:37 PM  

meat0918: The day software can be efficiently designed, implemented, and tested without human intervention is the day machines no longer need people.


I hear they made a few movies along those lines.
 
2013-01-28 04:31:10 PM  

give me doughnuts: Let robots and smart machines do all the work, and have a Star Trek economy.


Just read an economist's report about this looking more and more real by the day, and that America's at the brink. It's supposed to be a painful transition.

If robots are taking all the menial jobs and will support the entire population (destitute and wealthy, all), then will those who support the robots (programming, maintenance, administration) be the ones truly in control?
 
2013-01-28 04:31:26 PM  
I remember a fundamental moment in my childhood was watching George Jetson from a rerun of the TV show The Jetsons. All George had to do was push a button all day long. Well, in one episode the machine broke and the button didn't work. That was the moment that I realized that learning the technology that everyone uses is pretty farking smart.

/and that's how I met your mother got into IT
 
2013-01-28 04:32:02 PM  
Reeks and Wrecks
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-01-28 04:32:30 PM  

meat0918: Oh, and I HATE the idea of robots getting my books. I find a lot of interesting reads (and a few stinkers of course), just browsing the aisles.

Yeah, I know, I can browse a virtual bookshelf with search capabilities more efficiently, but damn it, maybe I like my library meandering time!


Search will only help you find things you already know you want.  Browsing is where the addons come from.
 
2013-01-28 04:32:48 PM  
About 70% of my job could be done by machines that exist right now. It's a menial, unskilled retail job. The only reason it isn't currently done by a machine is that it would probably still be slightly more expensive than my meager wage. But I bet that cost is creeping right down in line with my wages.

Many of the people I work with have qualifications but simply can't get jobs in their specialist areas. There aren't always enough skilled jobs to go around. So when the machines become cheaper, educated or not, most will be out of work. 1 machine could probably replace 20 of us and that 1 machine will probably only require maintenance by 1 guy. So 20 jobs lost, 1 created. And once that change takes place, thousands more will also loose their jobs. And that's just in my area of retail alone. I can understand why people are concerned.
 
2013-01-28 04:32:52 PM  

durbnpoisn: Didn't this happen to Charlie's father in "Charlie and the Chocalte Factory"?

He did okay after a machine replaced him. He simply took a job repairing the machines that took his job.


Yeah, but Grandpa Joe sat around on his ass because he "couldn't walk", then when Charlie got the Golden Ticket, all of a sudden, he's up and dancing around, WTF is that?
 
2013-01-28 04:32:53 PM  

oh_please: Did the Obvious tag get replaced by technology?


lulz
 
2013-01-28 04:33:05 PM  

Another Government Employee: The My Little Pony Killer: ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.

Get used to asking if your customers want fries with that.

That will be automated, too.


They've got the order taker interface in some places.

Plus it already is for burgers..

At many McDonald's the fries are already partially automated, and the drinks are as well.

Pizza too
 
2013-01-28 04:34:53 PM  

mama2tnt: azmoviez: cman: Is losing a job to a machine really such a bad thing? I really dont understand why people are pissed off of technological progress.

If you had made a career out of being a travel agent, I could imagine you'd be pissed that your livelihood is gone in a matter of just a few years. There's really not much of a grace period when technology just overwhelms the industry that you work.  Ask Borders.

I see the change happening with major grocery and retail workers right now in a big hurry.

I used to be a typesetter.


What do you do now?
 
2013-01-28 04:35:31 PM  

oh_please: durbnpoisn: Didn't this happen to Charlie's father in "Charlie and the Chocalte Factory"?

He did okay after a machine replaced him. He simply took a job repairing the machines that took his job.

Yeah, but Grandpa Joe sat around on his ass because he "couldn't walk", then when Charlie got the Golden Ticket, all of a sudden, he's up and dancing around, WTF is that?


Part of the 47%.
 
kab
2013-01-28 04:35:32 PM  

jonnypeh: So those unemployed people have to find other things to do.


Only because society is stuck in the mindset of everyone 'earning their keep'. But eventually, this is simply going to be an impossibility, if it isn't already.

We have a situation where the population continues to rise, life expectancies rise, employed folks stay working longer, and industries get by with fewer employees thanks to automation, and tech. Outside of some giant natural disaster, war, or epidemic, none of these trends are going to change anytime soon.

The solutions?

1) accept the fact that our society can absorb and uphold a growing number of unemployed people
2) create busy work for unemployed people

Take your pick.
 
2013-01-28 04:36:04 PM  
It's called symbiosis folks! We just leave all the heavy thinking and decision making to the robs and keep the electron furnaces filled. We receive Crossainwiches in return... very fair.
 
2013-01-28 04:36:53 PM  

ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.


Reduce the standard work week, say to 30 or 35 hours, but keep the annual compensation the same.

More people working, more money circulating through the economy, and more free time to spend it.
 
2013-01-28 04:37:17 PM  

cman: Is losing a job to a machine really such a bad thing?

I really dont understand why people are pissed off of technological progress.


Yes, most people would upset about losing a job, most of the time it doesn't matter what the cause.
 
2013-01-28 04:37:51 PM  

ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.


The same solution that always fixes this problem. WAR

Basically there will have to be a really big war that kills millions of people or a virus. It makes me wonder if we should start causing trouble between India and China. Probably the quickest and most efficient way to remove 100s of millions of humans from the work force, reduce over population etc etc

both are nuclear armed. They just need a reason to help the rest of us out.
 
2013-01-28 04:38:00 PM  

ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.


This is why developing a genuine skill set is important. Unfortunately, no one developed a machine that can replace middle managament yet.
 
2013-01-28 04:38:03 PM  

dj_spanmaster: If robots are taking all the menial jobs and will support the entire population (destitute and wealthy, all), then will those who support the robots (programming, maintenance, administration) be the ones truly in control?


God I hope so! Then I can finally put my devious plan into action!
 
2013-01-28 04:39:15 PM  

meat0918: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: What's really going to be fun is when the "safe" jobs start to be lost to automation: engineers, IT admins, programmers, etc...

That's when the real butthurt will begin.

The day software can be efficiently designed, implemented, and tested without human intervention is the day machines no longer need people. And we've already got automated testing suites as it is.


A computer program that can design, implement, and test a computer program?

userserve-ak.last.fm
 
2013-01-28 04:39:35 PM  

J.Shelby: Polyhazard: Automation and outsourcing are part of the reason I get a kick when someone snarky comment about my Liberal Arts degree.

Did that "Liberal Arts degree" include sentence structure, parts of speech, proof-reading, or grammar?


Robots ate my verb.
 
2013-01-28 04:39:36 PM  

kindms: ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.

The same solution that always fixes this problem. WAR

Basically there will have to be a really big war that kills millions of people or a virus. It makes me wonder if we should start causing trouble between India and China. Probably the quickest and most efficient way to remove 100s of millions of humans from the work force, reduce over population etc etc

both are nuclear armed. They just need a reason to help the rest of us out.


Why do you think we're letting the opium trade go relatively unopposed in Afghanistan?
 
2013-01-28 04:39:53 PM  

rustypouch: ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.

Reduce the standard work week, say to 30 or 35 hours, but keep the annual compensation the same.

More people working, more money circulating through the economy, and more free time to spend it.


Try persuading any business owner to do that. I don't think they'll react well to the idea of allowing their employees to work less hours a year but paying them the same money.
 
2013-01-28 04:40:27 PM  

azmoviez: If you had made a career out of being a travel agent, I could imagine you'd be pissed that your livelihood is gone in a matter of just a few years. There's really not much of a grace period when technology just overwhelms the industry that you work.  Ask Borders.


What most travel agents were doing was just typing into a computer exactly what I told them. And taking 30% for the privilege. It was shiat and I'm glad they got replaced with us doing it through a browser.

But... there's still a travel agency in my town, but the difference is that they were the agency that did certain specialisations. If you want to do a ride on a special train journey or a cruise, they'll put the whole thing together for you.
 
2013-01-28 04:41:09 PM  

Polyhazard: J.Shelby: Polyhazard: Automation and outsourcing are part of the reason I get a kick when someone snarky comment about my Liberal Arts degree.

Did that "Liberal Arts degree" include sentence structure, parts of speech, proof-reading, or grammar?

Robots ate my verb.


Ahh, OK, my apologies then, Please carry on."

/Damn bots!
 
2013-01-28 04:41:19 PM  
Meter readers make $67,000.00?!?!?

I need a new job.
 
kab
2013-01-28 04:41:26 PM  

kindms: Basically there will have to be a really big war that kills millions of people or a virus. It makes me wonder if we should start causing trouble between India and China. Probably the quickest and most efficient way to remove 100s of millions of humans from the work force, reduce over population etc etc


You're also reducing demand by those same 100's of millions, so really you're not accomplishing anything other than temporarily hiring a lot of grave diggers.
 
2013-01-28 04:41:53 PM  
The upshot of the story is, that day I called my parents, my father was fired. He was technologically unemployed. My father had worked for the same firm for twelve years. They fired him. They replaced him with a tiny gadget, this big, that does everything my father does, only it does it much better. The depressing thing is, my mother ran out and bought one.
 
2013-01-28 04:42:18 PM  

The My Little Pony Killer: Get used to asking if your customers want fries with that.


static.fjcdn.com
 
2013-01-28 04:42:32 PM  

meat0918: kindms: ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.

The same solution that always fixes this problem. WAR

Basically there will have to be a really big war that kills millions of people or a virus. It makes me wonder if we should start causing trouble between India and China. Probably the quickest and most efficient way to remove 100s of millions of humans from the work force, reduce over population etc etc

both are nuclear armed. They just need a reason to help the rest of us out.

Why do you think we're letting the opium trade go relatively unopposed in Afghanistan?


Because westerners like their Smack ?
 
2013-01-28 04:42:45 PM  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.

Well, we could educate our citizens better so they could compete for jobs in the new information based economy, but that's socialism.... so, no.


People are not machines that can be programmed for any task.
 
2013-01-28 04:42:52 PM  

xynix: jobs like this one should have never existed


Why not? It needed done, and at the time there wasn't a machine to do it.
 
2013-01-28 04:42:58 PM  

StrandedInAZ: For me, it's seeing how entitled today's kids are. I don't imagine I'd be able to raise a kid the way my parents raised me. I got hit when I acted up and deserved it. If I'd been born 20 years later, CPS would have probably taken me away from them, even though I never thought I was abused. My parents couldn't afford brand name clothing or sneakers, but we didn't care because nobody else in our neighborhood had that stuff, either. We as kids understood mom and dad were doing the best they could and wouldn't think of asking our parents for something we knew they couldn't afford. My parents didn't believe in buying things on credit (except for the house, which had a mortgage). If you couldn't afford to buy it with cash, you didn't need it. I've worked since I was 11, starting with a paper route. If I wanted designer sneakers, I could buy them with my own money.


I spanked my son until it hurt my hand more than his ass which was at about age 9 1/2. Now I just threaten to take away his iPhone (which he earned by the way) and he does what I ask. He has a 4.0 GPA and if that slips at all he loses the phone. It's really not that hard to discipline a child these days it's just a different technique. Grounding a kid has become mobile or electronics based.

There aren't many jobs a 12 year old can get paid for these days so he earns money by doing chores.. Lawn work, etc. I don't buy things on credit either and my son knows this and I explain almost every time I make a transaction that cash (debit card) is how we buy things. If you can't pay cash you do not buy it with the exception of major purchases and then those are only to be within your means.

The major difference between my youth and his is that I grew up so poor my mother washed our clothes in the bathtub with generic bar soap and a washing board. No I'm not 80.. I'm 39. I'm pretty well off though and it's hard to make him realize that we don't always get what we want which is why I randomly tell him I'm broke when he asks for something. It could be as little as a bag of skittles or something and I'll say I have no money until I get paid on X day.. Etc. Creating an illusion of poverty even though we live in a mcmansion.
 
2013-01-28 04:43:09 PM  

ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.


you kill off the population us off via disease and war.

------

Eddie Adams from Torrance: ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.

Well, we could educate our citizens better so they could compete for jobs in the new information based economy, but that's socialism.... so, no.


First world citizens will not be able to compete for jobs in the new information based economy, when third worlders can do the exact same thing for much cheaper. So you'll have First world citizens who are 'overqualified' (they'll need to be paid more) for the manual labor of third worlders, and who will need to be paid more for the sit on your ass jobs which can be exported to the Third World for cheaper.

Economies will flip, yes?

The answer is war and death.

finalapocalipse.files.wordpress.com

And imprisonment.

/most of these discussions are just about keeping the status quo for the First World, anyway, right?
 
2013-01-28 04:43:49 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: Eddie Adams from Torrance: ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.

Well, we could educate our citizens better so they could compete for jobs in the new information based economy, but that's socialism.... so, no.

People are not machines that can be programmed for any task.


My children are 8 and 11. The experiment is ongoing but I should have results to report in 10 years.
 
2013-01-28 04:44:49 PM  

jaybeezey: ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.

This is why developing a genuine skill set is important. Unfortunately, no one developed a machine that can replace middle managament yet.


Even developing a skill set doesn't solve the problem completely. Say there's a factory that employs 200 people. They then bring in 10 machines that can do all the work. So the employees learn how to fix the machines. But it's not going to take all 200 to maintain 10 machines. Maybe 5 guys at the most. That's 195 people out of work. And learning another skill wont really help either because most skilled jobs already have plenty of competition.

Once machines start taking away all the unskilled labor there will just not be enough skilled jobs for everyone.
 
2013-01-28 04:45:47 PM  

StrandedInAZ: You can't just bury your head in the sand and pretend progress isn't happening.


I disagree with you.

www.fireandreamitchell.com
 
2013-01-28 04:46:58 PM  

Another Government Employee: azmoviez: cman: Is losing a job to a machine really such a bad thing? I really dont understand why people are pissed off of technological progress.

If you had made a career out of being a travel agent, I could imagine you'd be pissed that your livelihood is gone in a matter of just a few years. There's really not much of a grace period when technology just overwhelms the industry that you work.  Ask Borders.

I see the change happening with major grocery and retail workers right now in a big hurry.

It would have happened already if customer acceptance had been better. The software is out there.


Automatic checkouts as they are SUUUUUUUCK. For whatever reason the UI is crap compared to what actual cashiers have. BUT, its a stepping stone. Give it a few years for the RFID tag to replace the UPC and stores wont even HAVE checkouts anymore, youll just bag up your shiat at the front of the store and walk out, everything in your cart automatically being totaled up and charged to your card. Sure you still need stockboys and a few people on the floor, but thats hundreds of thousands of entry level no skill cashiering jobs that will just be GONE.

The only thing holding back automation in tons of industries is that its still cheaper to pay someone $8 an hour to do it. But automation will always get cheaper, and the benefits of being able to work 24/7 without a break, or needing health care, or even training make it a very attractive option.
 
2013-01-28 04:47:09 PM  

jaybeezey: This is why developing a genuine skill set is important. Unfortunately, no one developed a machine that can replace middle managament yet.


I do tech support. I used to do upholstery, and I was a baker and a chef, and a fielder in a textile mill, and also been a lot of other things. If you want to live, get a hobby. If you want to survive, learn to adapt.

If you banked your soul on being one thing only and can't do that now, well, the world needs ditchdiggers, too.
 
2013-01-28 04:47:52 PM  

kab: 2) create busy work for unemployed people


There's plenty of "busy work" to be done in this country. Repairing our infrastructure, cleaning up our cities, etc...the problem is that we, as a society, call it "busy work", and nobody wants to do it, and everyone looks down on that kind of thing. Bullshiat. What we need is a culture change to make this kind of work honorable again, because it is, indeed, honorable.
 
2013-01-28 04:49:02 PM  
When the gas meters in Chicago switched over to WIFI, they sent a dude with a WIFI enabled tablet to walk down the street, picking up the account numbers and usage stats.
Last week I noticed that now they just have a truck with antennas that simply drives down the street at 20 or so, picking up the signals.

I wondered how long it would be before they removed the foot patrol. Knew they had to phase it in so as their employees would not see that their jobs were in jeopardy...
 
2013-01-28 04:49:31 PM  

cman: Is losing a job to a machine really such a bad thing?


Gosh, I don't know, Einstein, is cancer really such a bad thing? Are you this obtuse IRL, too?
 
2013-01-28 04:50:05 PM  

The sound of one hand clapping: Once machines start taking away all the unskilled labor there will just not be enough skilled jobs for everyone.


1802 called, they want their fear mongering back.
 
2013-01-28 04:50:16 PM  

xynix: I spanked my son until it hurt my hand more than his ass which was at about age 9 1/2. Now I just threaten to take away his iPhone (which he earned by the way) and he does what I ask. He has a 4.0 GPA and if that slips at all he loses the phone. It's really not that hard to discipline a child these days it's just a different technique. Grounding a kid has become mobile or electronics based.

There aren't many jobs a 12 year old can get paid for these days so he earns money by doing chores.. Lawn work, etc. I don't buy things on credit either and my son knows this and I explain almost every time I make a transaction that cash (debit card) is how we buy things. If you can't pay cash you do not buy it with the exception of major purchases and then those are only to be within your means.

The major difference between my youth and his is that I grew up so poor my mother washed our clothes in the bathtub with generic bar soap and a washing board. No I'm not 80.. I'm 39. I'm pretty well off though and it's hard to make him realize that we don't always get what we want which is why I randomly tell him I'm broke when he asks for something. It could be as little as a bag of skittles or something and I'll say I have no money until I get paid on X day.. Etc. Creating an illusion of poverty even though we live in a mcmansion.


It sounds like you're the exception to what I've seen. None of my friends who have kids spank their kids. None of them. And, believe me, you can tell. Most of them say they would, but they're so afraid of their kid going to school and reporting them or calling CPS on them or something.

My girlfriend's daughter dropped an f-bomb on her recently. When my girlfriend told me what happened (we were on the phone), I asked my girlfriend if her daughter still had all her teeth. My mom would have KILLED me for that. Hell, I still don't swear when I'm around my folks, and I'm 40!
 
2013-01-28 04:51:37 PM  

xynix: ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.

In fairness .. jobs like this one should have never existed. A guy who's sole duty is to walk around and look at a meter and then write down a number. It's mindless and unskilled work. There is also a scaling issue in that the more people who have electricity the more expensive per house this type of job becomes. The problem for me comes with the fact that the power companies are just increasing margin. They're not passing savings on to consumers even though they're getting less overhead. I also don't understand why they don't have remote locks that turn the meter off or on. Why does a human have to walk up to the meter and make a change? I understand this with water or gas to an extent.. especially gas but even water could be remotely turned on and off. Waiting a week to get some dude to turn a valve so you can have running water is simply stupid.


And he's getting paid better than most schoolteachers to do this mindless and unskilled job.
 
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