My husband wished to deposit some money in the bank today. The Automatic Teller Machine could only deal with withdrawals, so he walked into the bank building proper. He was 17th in line waiting….. 17th!
Half an hour later, he emerged. The actual transaction had taken less than a minute.
Last week I was waiting in line at the Post Office to post a package. I was lucky and only had 11 people who had to be served before me.
Several days ago, I popped into the supermarket for four items. There was one checkout open, with a queue of people, all with full trolleys waiting their turn.
I glanced at the ‘8 items or less’ counter; Closed. (And it should read ‘8 items or fewer’ I fumed, in my pedantic grammar mood!)
My only option was the ‘self serve’ checkout thing.
Partly because I was in a hurry, partly because I was cross and partly because I have a problem with arthritic fingers, I let all four items slip to the floor before I could scan them.
“What happened here, Love?” said the store helper, as she assisted in retrieving my purchases from the floor. I hate being called “Love”, and my grumpy self really took over.
“This is an appalling system,” I commented. To which she replied, “You could have gone to the counter.”
There was no use pointing out that there was no one manning that counter and the only other checkout had a hundred people with a million items in their trolleys.
I grumbled, paid and exited.
On Tuesday we were on our way for a great night out for dinner and the Ballet.
Deciding to catch the train into the city instead of the tedious and stressful drive, we arrived at the railway station to be confronted by a closed ticket window and an automated ticket machine that would not take coins and would not accept anything small than a $10 note. And, no, we couldn’t ‘top up’ both our cards with the $10, but had to put in $10 for each separate ticket. So, an unexpected $20 was added to our outing.
As the train sailed in and out of stations along the way, we saw queues of passengers at each automated ‘gate’ , pressing cards and sometimes faltering and trying a second time, before the desired effect of causing the weird contraption to open.
And throughout that hour long train trip, I mused on the News item of the previous day, which announced the dire straits of our young people who are unable to find employment.
‘It’s a real problem’, we’re told. ‘It’s a tragedy’, say some.
I say: Where are the young bank tellers? Where are young staff members manning the Post Offices? Where are the young people on the supermarket checkouts? (Or, for that matter, working as shop assistants?) Where are the Station Masters and young railway ‘porters’?
Where are the factory jobs for the young and willing in a no-longer-manufacturing Australia?
All gone in the pursuit of money for investors and “Big End Of Town”.
Yes, It’s a real problem AND a tragedy.
Sorry for the whinge.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.