Seamless shopping and the future of work…
…said the BBC in an article about “Just Walk Out Shopping” and the potential impact on the future of the retail industry. Despite the obvious claims by Amazon that “Amazon Go” will revolutionise shopping this new idea will actually have little impact on shoppers’ habits. It won’t catch on and like Alpha One Airways and Apple’s Game Center app the concept will quickly die a quiet and unreported death.
But the one thing that struck me about the article was the use of language such as “low skilled work” when referring to check out assistants or Uber drivers. And therefore inferring that other jobs are superior in status, like perhaps a BBC technology news reporter (or “correspondent” as the corporation so grandly refers to their news’ employees) ?
Where is the line that determines “low skill” versus “high skill”? Is a doctor or surgeon the latter and a bin man or road sweeper the former? Where do bankers, estate agents, steel workers and police officers sit in this supposed hierarchy and who determines this?
So where does that put writers? If you work for BBC news reporting and writing articles for such a prestigious company does that make your job “highly skilled”? If you write other articles, like blog posts for example, what does that make me? After all I’m only writing words am I not? Other than having the ability to write there’s no other skill involved is there?
If I complete a novel or a screenplay does that then change the descriptor by which I become known?
I would suggest that all jobs consist of the use of some skills. The checkout assistant has a special set of skills that a BBC news reporter does not. I’ll leave you to work out what they are.