Thursday, December 12, 2013

Robots to Replace Liberal Arts Majors

Where do most liberal arts majors go?

The service industry.

That's not a joke.  I'm sure a statistically disproportionate number of liberal arts majors end up in the food service industry.  Just ask any 24+ year old waiter what they went to college for, if they did attend, and I'll bet you it ain't electrical engineering.

But uh oh!!!  What were those mean nasty evil engineers building in addition to roads, cars, computers, and everything?

Tablets!

Tablets that can replace human waiters and waitresses!!!!

Oh sure it masked as some kind of "way to get people the bill faster," but don't believe it for a second.  You drop $5,000 on tablets and you can easily replace 2-3 people who no longer need to take payment or run bills out to people.

So yeah, clamor for that increase in the minimum wage.  See what happens.  I can't wait.

18 comments:

Southern Man said...

And if the minimum-wage people have their way machines will soon replace burger-flippers. And a machine won't spit in your food before serving it.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm! And here I thought they all went to the gooberment payroll.

Winston, with a PhD in the sciences.

PS I'm no row bought.

Anonymous said...

What would Applebee's and other major chain restaurants of average size need with this new tablet setup.

One server to deliver the plates, and one dishwasher to clear, clean, and sanitize the tables during the slow hours. Then during the rush hours, have two or three servers and an additional dishwasher for part time status(no ObamaCare).

That Liberal Arts degree will carry them far in life(snicker, snort, gaff, and hahaha)

Anonymous said...

You are talking about employees with positive value. As a former employer, let me tell you: many employees have negative value. It is a shock to many when I tell them this.

Because of benefits etc. an employee who does nothing already has negative value. Then come issues such as damage to premises and movable property. Back in the days of smoking I knew one restaurant owner who was burn out after a waitress threw a lighted cigarette into the garbage (as was figured out by his fire insurance people). And then we have employees who are indifferent or rude to customers. They can kill a retail business just like that!

There are more subtle problems. A local food store, family run, offers frozen dinners which they make in-house. These are popular partly because they have only normal salt levels, whereas most frozen food is heavily laden with salt in case it becomes defrosted. well, I told the proprietor that his idea is very nice but it will only work so long as he and the other co-owner are in the store much of the time. Otherwise one of the oh-so-charming clerks will "not notice" when one of these dinners is taken out of a cooler and then not purchased; and thaws.

I suspect many retailers and restauranteurs hate their employees, and with good reason.

Nick uk said...

My brother graduated in Economics and is a waiter for all of his career. So I don't know if Economics and Law are really worth studying either. But you can tell us.

Ecclesiastes said...

It's not a "labor cost" saving device because Applebee's only pays those employees about $2 an hour.

But talk about a TIP saving device! I don't tip the UPS guy or assistant at Wal-Mart that brings big items from the back to the car. Delivery can't be enhanced.

The reason *I* tip is I am paying the waiter to work for me and get me what I want from the kitchen in an orderly and pleasant manner, and I happen to pay pretty good. When a waiter only acts as an employee of the restaurant, delivering what the restaurant wants to push at me, I don't tip. When it's a "service team" and no one of them takes responsibility for the job, I don't tip.

aerodawg said...

i'm just waiting for the day that the cost of labor outweighs the cost of a burgermatic 5000 for McDs. Thats the day every McDs in the land will have 1 employee to unload delivery trucks and feed the bm5000. you order on a touch screen and get it delivered by conveyor...

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JoeAmerica said...

What is driving this is the the lowered cost of tablets and the open source revolution, that is Linux and the many apps. (all mostly built by guys). As I type this I am using an OS called Zorin Ultimate it is a version of Ubuntu. At this point in time it is actually significantly better that Windows 8.1. At this time, that is today, it is being integrated and tested in cars, refrigerators and of coarse menu tablets for restaurants to name a few.

Guys bring economic growth by doing more with less as opposed to doing less with more. See the welfare state for that one.

The problem is this sort of stuff will affect guys too, like self driving trucks which is in development now. Make work jobs which women heavily populate are immune to this kind of thing.

As far as tipping there is no law forcing you to tip anything, especially to women. Shitty behaviour is not improved by tipping. In my experience it has the opposite effect.

Herb Nowell said...

What does an English major say to a Mechanical Engineering major a year after graduation?

Would you like fries with that?

Herb Nowell said...

@Ecclesiastes

Employees paid the server wage must make minimum wage. If their tips do not bring them up to minimum their employers have to make up the difference. Also, various other costs to employers such as unemployment insurance and payroll taxes are based on what they bring in with tips and wages.

Most places only require you to declare tips up to minimum so they don't have to pay the difference. By cutting it off there both the employee and employer avoid a host of taxes on the remainder.

Mr. H said...

I say let them automate. Let them use machines to replace human labor. Isn't most work already obsolete and useless anyway? By the way Captain you should make a post in your blog on the impact automation will have on the market and how to generate income without a job. Because once automation is set in place most of the people in the job market will lose their jobs. And no jobs means no money and no money means, well you know. This is the future. Automation is a double edge sword. On the one hand automation frees us from work, on the other it prevents us from generating income because you need a job in order to generate income. What we need to do is to automate work and generate income from stocks that pay high dividends and live off the stock market. Because I don't see any other way people are going to make money.