Call centre workers, and the nature of the job

From a slightly cynical, and possibly jaded view, are we rather like robots?

Lets face it, we sit at a computer each working day, wear a headset connected up to computer and telephone, and repeat the same few introductory words more than a hundred times in a working day. Alright, the calls might vary slightly from there forward, but not greatly it must be said, most of the words are the same, and just flow accordingly. So yes, its pretty mindless stuff, just perfect for a robot! And yes, its fair to say there are times you just slip into that mindless, robotic state, and…

But equally, current robots just couldnt cope with the variation in calls, however slight, because as we all know, current automated services can offer you various options, but in the end, anything more complex still has to be put through to a human operator. So yes, at present call centre workers are safe in their jobs, but in the future…

Mind, there are times when we call centre workers might be better off if we could just switch off, and go over to automatic robot-like mode at times. I know, I’d enjoy it far too much, especially if we had to undergo some for of mental processing pre-shift, but all the same…just imagine it,

“Welcome to ………, you are through to Stevie, how may I help?…Bleep!”

LOL!

What does the future hold?

Yes, I’m going to relate this to human robotisation and the like, but lets start by looking back, and not that far either.

If, 30 years ago, someone had told you that in 2010 we would have had an internet service like we have, that most people in the first world at least would have access to powerful computers, and that you would chat by messenger and forum to people you’ll never know other than through this internet world, you’d have laughed your head off.

And going back a little further, remember those telecommunication devices in Star Trek, and how futuristic they looked, well compare them to modern day mobile phones lol! Basic, arent they? I’m also old enough to remember the introduction of colour TV, and there only being 2 channels to choose from on the TV! Whereas nowadays…

Oh, and go on, say it, cyborgs living on Earth with humans wont happen for years? Think about it, its all about human body enhancement, so what does that make anyone with a cochlear ear implant, heart pacemaker unit, or even replacement knee and hip joints? Laser eye surgery as well technically, but that is a bit more tenuous I guess?

Logical assumption is that human enhancement isnt going to stand still, its going to move even further in the next 30-50 years, thats a fact. The other fact is that at my age, I probably wont see much of it! Will humans actually be transformed into the mindless robots of MC fiction, probably not generally, but in the distant future (40 years or so minimum I guess?) I suspect that certain groups of prisoners may be ‘brainwashed’ into obedient service, even if robotising the body (especially internally) will prove a lot more complex. But I suspect ‘mental robots’ will certainly exist by 2050 or so.

One thing I am sure of, people will look back at our current computing capabilities, and wonder how we coped. Hey, I do that now thinking back to a computer I owned 10 years ago!

All my NFL team needs is…

On the weekend the pre season games get under way, and the night a certain North NY state team have their first game, lets take a look at their chances for the season.

………..

………..

Oh dear!

………

To be fair, Buffalo are unfortunate to be stuck in the same division as the Patriots, though back in the late 80’s, when I first really got into the game, they would probably have said the same thing about the Bills! The snag is, that since Kelly, and dare I say it, Reich left the scene, we havent really had a decent QB to speak of. Flutie was OK, Fitzpatrick may well prove to be OK, but otherwise…oh dear! Last year’s 4-12 record doesnt look good, but several of those defeats were either last play things, or indeed in overtime, so 8-8 could well have happened. Not great, but better than it was. Lets just say I think this season will be better, but still think playoffs are probably beyond us. Hopefully next season I might just get to see them live, but I’ll count no chickens before then, I’m practical that way.

So what do Buffalo need, some machine that turns Smith, Thomas, Tasker, Reed and Kelly back to youngsters would be handy lol! Good luck to this years team, I think you might need it!

Nothing to do with robots! Shock horror…

But entirely to be with somewhere I shall be visiting in just over 5 weeks time, well alright, 5 weeks tomorrow! I could make some witty comment about MIT working on a plan to robotise me, but as I promised not to mention robots, thats it!

I have been to Boston before, and what I remember of the place, I really liked it. Snag is, that was 23 years ago, now I’m showing my age! So my memories of the exact details are rather vague to say the least. Funnily enough that was also in September, but no idea what date it was lol! My partner at the time had an aunt living in Groton, so the main purpose was to visit her, though both of us also planned that the main part of our 2 week trip would be just us, and so it proved.

2 Firsts happened then, though neither in Boston. First ever Ice Hockey match in Hartford, though neither of us knew anything about the game, we got invited, said yes, and well, I dont remember much. All I know is that the Hartford Whalers are now in Carolina, hope that wasnt anything to do with us! Other first, and of more interest to me, my first ever live game of American football, a college game at Yale, against Columbia. All I remember is Yale won, seeing the public parts of the college beforehand was interesting, and Sheila’s fascination with the guys shouting, and selling ‘Soda’! Nothing like that happens in our country, even now!

Oh, alright, Boston. We spent the first few days there, before heading down to Groton, and saw a lot of the sights. The topical one at the time was the ‘Cheers Bar’, though as we saw it at 9 in the morning or so, we didnt go in! Memories otherwise are very vague, other than the Heritage walk, and Feneuil Hall to be honest, so it will be more like a first time visit I guess? Saw somewhere called Fenway Park from the observation platform somewhere, I think it was the John Hancock Tower, but could have that totally wrong? Been told I might see more of Fenway Park this time lol!

It seems 2 ‘Gardeners’ seem to want to meet up with me this time around, one of whom is a lovely guy I’ve ‘known’ most of my time at the Garden, and hey, I even know what he looks like! Pretty much fitted my image of him too in all honesty. Hopefully he will be able to get across at some point, if not I might be doing an Amtrak trek to meet this wonderful person, but that wouldnt be the biggest hardship in the world, other than it would mean an overnight stay away, and I’d hate to be a hardship on him.

The other is a lady I know far less about, certainly have no idea what she looks like, and to be honest, no great image in my head either. Oh, and she has a dog named after a famous baseball park, or is that the other way around? 😉

Guess they might sound familiar to some?

5 weeks from now, I should be in bed, as I’ve got an early start the next morning, but here and now, I can blog about a trip I’m really looking forward to.

Fantasy v Reality

Yes, there are times when even I wonder if there would be a difference in my attitude to the concept of being turned into a mindless, obedient robot if it was about to become reality, or indeed could become so. I dont think there is, but I guess its one of those things that, until its really about to happen, you just dont think too deeply about it.

As a fantasy, it really works for me, indeed its something I find the concept of to be a very hot, and exciting one. Sat (or laid) there, very restrained, very wired up, and either a helmet, either arcing electricity, or just about to, straight into my brain to brainwash, and/or robotise me, or by using an electrode cap to do the same, a very exciting one. And no, I dont think I’d feel any differently if it was about to happen for real, but…

I dont think I would resist in the slightest if it was going to happen for real, but at the same time I do wonder if some sort of survival instinct would kick in, causing me to try to resist, however futile it was. I guess the safest way to find out would be some form of roleplay, where I dont know whats going to happen next, and I have no control over events, which I assume to be a robot transformation scene. Yes, theoretically at present I know technology doesnt exist for turning humans into robots, but if someone could really set up the scene, and get inside your head that it might just be real, it would be fascinating to see how I reacted mentally to that. But lets face it, the chances of finding someone prepared to do that are pretty slim to say the least! I know it still wouldnt be reality, or I assume not, but…

And yes, alright, I do tend to get a fit of the giggles when I go to the hairdressers, and go under those hairdrying devices. Sadly none have made any attempt to brainwash me as yet though, lol! Well not that I’ve noticed at least! But again, the fantasy of being brainwashed, and the reality of it happening to me might just be 2 different things anyway.

But for now, I’m happy to go on dreaming, and fantasising, and maybe one day this question will truly arise. Hopefully one day I can at least be in a roleplay scenario that feels so real, that I can make a call on that, but wont hold my breath for even that happening.

Unless you know different…?

Its NASCAR, but not as we know it!

Apologies for the play on the Star Trek thing, if any trekkies get to read this! Ironically its not quite Jim that provides a lot of the entertainment, but its close, being James.

Alright, this posting only really works for Garden members who read this, but I suspect the majority are anyway.

Most weekends, generally on a Sunday, there is soimething called NASCAR racing in the US, I know its car racing, but beyond that my knowledge about it could be written on a postage stamp! I have a handy website which helps me to be competitive, but I’m not giving away trade secrets here lol! Without it, I wouldnt have a clue, and couldnt pick out one driver if they stood in front of me. Mind, they are so well clothed (much needed) that I suspect I might not be the only one.

In theory there are 11 of us in this, though 2 seem to focus on picking via the lucky dog method only lol. So that should leave 9 trying hard to win it? Nope, leaves 7 trying to win it! And 2 trying their hardest to be, err, well, last! Give James credit, he’s got this off to a fine art, much as Freeze Frame has got picking good drivers off to the same fine art. But this year James has had competition on the bad driver front, much to people’s amusement. Trouble is, Rosie isnt so good at it lol! Good enough to be well and truly one but last, but nowhere near as bad/good as James at it.

I like James a lot, and plan to write more about this great guy sometime soon. But yet again this week, James seems to have stopped his driver, and Rosie hasnt! Its probably just as well the drivers dont know about all this! My driver yet again seems to have run well for most of the race, then drops right back when it counts. I’m not competitive, but all the same…

One day I must watch one of these races lol!

Turn me into a mermaid!

The other big fantasy of mine

Certainly currently no more feasible than turning me into a robot, to do this properly, and in some senses at least, probably more tricky, as being able to breathe underwater in comfort definitely sounds a complex physiological change lol! Not that I suspect turning internal organs into internal wiring and the like would be easy I suspect, well not without nanotechnology and the like!

The big difference is, whereas a really good robot outfit doesnt seem within the standard fancy dress realm, the mermaid one definitely is. Why, because I guess the latter is cute in a sense, whereas in films at least, the former just tends to be intimidating I guess? Also I suspect the likes of Ariel, and Darryl Hannah in Splash created a more romantic image of mermaids than there used to be. She used to be the so called siren of the sea, luring sailors to their death etc, something Ariel would never dream of doing lol!

The long wig (used to always be blonde, but has Ariel changed that too?) is fairly compulsory, unless you have very long hair anyway! So does the ‘seashell’ bra, which I suspect has varying degrees of comfort to wear somehow, but tends to be fairly standard in look. The big difference is generally the tail. These can be anything from something so wispy that you could probably walk in it, right through to a tail so strong and rigid that a girl would need to be carried everywhere! Funnily enough, the latter would appeal to me more.

A camera shoot dressed as a mermaid would be great fun, though clearly, the stronger and more rigid the tail, the better for me! The ability to swim underwater woiuld be even better, but very unlikely shall we say? Thats not to say I wouldnt mind a photo shoot in a really good, silver, metallic robot outfit, but suspect the former is more viable somehow?

Cost is a major reason why neither is likely to happen though lol!