Examples where our robot overlords have made life better:
Self Serve Gas: There was a time when all gas was full serve. A friendly and professional guy in a spotless service jacket would pump your gas, wash the windshield, check the oil, and put air in your tires. You know where I remember that from? The movies; probably “Back To The Future”. In real life you didn’t get a gas bellhop. You got a surly hassled sleazebag that had better things to do. Lets assume you got Gladys’ grandson Spike.
Spike was trying to hammer out a dent in the rocker panel of a 1972 Travelall. He was getting nowhere. Why? Because assholes like you kept showing up and interrupting his work to buy $10 worth of gas. He’d glower at you while shoving a hose in the tank and filling it with leaded gas that was apparently making everyone stupid. (Which explains a lot.) He’d smear a greasy rag across the window like a homeless guy at a stop sign. He wouldn’t check the oil. If you asked, he’d open the hood, do nothing, and then slam it shut and say “it’s fine”. He’d do that even if the engine had run out of oil an hour ago and was a white hot molten mass.
If Spike was a go getter, he’d size you up to see how stupid you really were. “Looks like you’re dripping transmission fluid, want me to look at it” he’d say. “That’s the tailpipe.” You’d respond. Nice try Spike.
Then you’d try to pay with a check and Spike would get indignant. “I haven’t got time to go to the damn bank.” At which point you’d drop the clutch and peel out of there because you really really didn’t want to hear more of Gladys’ stores about cats.
One day Spike was replaced by a soulless machine. I was delighted. Spike was too. He finally got the time to fix that rocker panel. You know what the soulless machine does? It dispenses gas. It doesn’t try to up sell you for a new air filter or make fun of your heap of a car. I can get gas for my motorcycle in 2 minutes flat without ever lifting my mirrored visor. It took Spike that long to crawl out from under a car. The future is now.
There is an exception to self serve gas. All residents of Oregon, by statute, are too stupid to pump their own gas. It’s a law. It probably has something to do with legalized pot and organic arugula. It’s tragic. I feel for their plight. Someday, possibly with rehabilitation and training, citizens of Oregon will master the technology of self serve gas like every other human being in the civilized world. Until then, Spike lives in Oregon. He will spill gas all over your hot motorcycle engine and drop your credit card in a mud puddle. He smells funny and hates you. If it’s Sunday, or an evening, or too early in the morning Spike won’t be there and the gas station will be closed. You will run out of gas in the desert and die. Spike still doesn’t want your damn paper check.