One of the many reasons I decided to get into PR is because I like people, like interacting with people and fancy myself at communicating well with people. Prior to getting into PR, I waited tables, worked at a call center and a spa in a four-star hotel, and while several of these positions paid better than others, I always got along well with my co-workers and clients on a daily basis. What can I say; I’ve got the gift of gab!
I’m also somewhat of a computer geek and love learning about and using new technology. The growth of social media is fascinating, and somehow, I’ve actually learned to “like” Excel, and yes, I pretty much love all things Apple. I do try to make sure though that I don’t sacrifice my real-life relationships and daily interactions for my digital addictions.
That being said, many times throughout the day, we are offered the choice of interacting with a human or interacting with a machine. Think about it — at the grocery store, you can go with a grocery checker or check out your own groceries. At the bank you can make a withdrawal through a bank teller or the ATM. And even when calling into a company to schedule an appointment or to have a question answered, you can go through an automated system or press zero to speak with a person at any time.
When given this choice, I always choose the human interaction. The reason is the convenience of that machine isn’t going anywhere, but that person’s job just might. That machine will still be there at 3 a.m. when you need to grab cash for the bar tab, buy diapers at the grocery store or you remember you need to schedule a package to be picked up, but if you also choose that option in the morning, afternoon or early evening, that business may elect to choose that machine over that employee.
In a city where the unemployment rate is 10.7 percent and only 23 percent of residents hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, these service sector jobs are important to our city. I don’t know about everyone, but for me, those types of jobs helped me earn a living through high school, college, a time-out, and back to college. Those people have lives, families and bills, but not that unmovable machine.
So the next time you’re out running errands, take a moment to think about it — what’s more important? Saving a few minutes or helping to ensure your neighbor has and keeps his/her job?