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Auntie Svetty’s Astrological and Life Advice - Sunday March 3rd, 2024

Please enjoy this Slap in the Face.

In 1993 I was nineteen years old and I worked part time at the front desk of the Holiday Inn Hotel in Yakima, WA as well as part time for Mesa Airlines at the Yakima airport. At the Holiday Inn I answered reservation calls and checked people in and out of their rooms. At Mesa Airlines I answered calls to book your flights, check you into your flight in person, and I also had to flag down and park the plane, load and unload the luggage. When I came back inside I’d help you find your luggage if it had not arrived on your plane with you and I would arrange for a cab to deliver your luggage to you at the expense of the airline to your hotel room or home. It was a small airport with only six flights per day so It was me or no-one to help you. I did it all. Prior to nine eleven, you and your bomb and your luggage full of cocaine need only show up at the last minute for me to take your luggage directly from you as a courtesy so you could bypass security because you were late and I wanted to help you get onto the plane on time. No metal detector if you were late. Your need to get on the plane surpassed our safety concerns. The internet did not exist yet. If you wanted something you called a person on the telephone. A person from the same region of the world as you answered the phone and in the same dialect you were used to hearing provided assistance land line to land line directly to you. Sincere or not, we put a smile in our voices back then. When telephones rang, people answered them. You asked if you could, before you placed someone on hold.

Nowadays, thanks to the internet, you can make your own reservations, book your own flight, and god help you if you need any help with that. Download the app and do it yourself. Ringers are silenced and people think you are crazy if you call. If you fly a crappy discount airline you can also check in your own luggage and use an app to pay the required fee. Not sure you’re doing it right? At Spirit Airlines and probably some others, you’d be lucky to find someone to spit on you, much less assist you, and if you asked them to spit on you there is probably a fee you can pay yourself after you download an app.

Have we really improved the world? Is this the world you want to be living in? Do you like being your own cashier at the grocery store? Do you prefer the ATM to the teller in the bank? Is the ATM kind to you and helpful when you want to dispute a charge or don’t understand a statement? When you’re drunk and trying to get home late at night, how do you call a cab if the battery on your iPhone ran out? Do you enjoy the walk? When you order internet at your new apartment do you find the phone tree and the artificial intelligence driven texts to be more enjoyable than a real human providing real information? When the AI text tells you that “your technician will arrive today sometime between 9am and 5pm please be available”, do you smile and think “that’s reasonable.” When the next text says “you may or may not see your technician when they arrive,” do you simply think “I’m happy to stay home regardless if it was necessary.” These AI texts are everything I need to know. I choose Century Link and look forward to continued service through phone trees and AI robots.

People say “no one wants to work anymore” but do you realize that we have created a society where you are now doing the work of many? For free? These savings are of great benefit to corporations. Is that enough for you to delight in doing everything yourself at the expense of your own time? My nineteen year old dreams of becoming a travel agent were scoured by the invention of the internet. My ability to efficiently operate Sabre Systems for Airline Reservations and a multi-line phone system for Worldwide Hotel Systems are dinosaur skills useful to no one anymore. There’s an app for that. You can do it. I hope your phone isn’t lost. I hope the battery isn’t dead. I hope you can afford a phone. Homeless? Good luck. Hungry? There’s still customer service workers at McDonald’s, but think of all the money McDonald’s will save if we all start ordering our own food using an app instead. Another nineteen year old can be out of work. When AI robots do all the work at your favorite restaurant I hope you can figure out how to tell them if you want extra ketchup and no pickles. If you start to choke on your sandwich will the AI robots know you need the Heimlich? Will they call you an ambulance? Will they realize you’re dying from a pickle allergy?

How are you enjoying our corrupt government? Perhaps we could get rid of all those people and change to an app? When you can’t pay your rent and an app is the only way you can contact your landlord I hope that the app has an option for explaining that your rent is late because you couldn’t work because the AI robots put a pickle on your burger because you ordered it wrong on their app. How much technology do you need between yourself and other people on this planet? How disconnected from the human intelligence of others would you like artificial intelligence to provide for you? How much work do you want to do without compensation that humans used to receive compensation for? The world is changing quickly. Is it going the way you want it to? Would you prefer AI robots to human police officers? to school teachers? to soldiers? to your health care professional? You don’t seem to mind that it’s currently replacing artists and writers... why not?

You know, if you’re interested in the astrological weather, there’s an app for that.

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