AI and a Terminal Workforce….my rant
Super Set: Rack Pulls, Good mornings and Sand Dune (1 minute). I took a while to warm up with lots of small jumps so I probably had about 8 sets of warm up. Then I did 3 working sets of Rack pulls with 275 lbs x 5, Good mornings with 115 lbs. x 5 and 1 minute on the Sand Dune Stepper
1 lap of prowler with no weight
Super Set: Sand Dune Stepper and KB swings with the 28 KG bell. For 20 minutes we did 30 seconds on the Sand dune/30 second off then 15 swings with the KB. That was 10 rounds of that in 20 minutes.
Push-ups on the Sand Dune (basically these are just partials at the top end of the push-up) 5 sets of 10. These will really blow your boobies up
Ran/Walked 2 miles and some change. Did the 2 mile in about 21.5 minutes. Not bad.
30 minutes on the Sand Dune alternating with 30 second on/30 seconds off
2 laps walking outside
My father reads the Drudge Report every day to get his news. For the past few years he has been keenly interested in articles published about AI (artificial intelligence) and what the projections are for how it will take over so much of our industry in the coming years. (No, my father has probably NEVER seen the Terminator movies so he has not been terrified of SkyNet for 30 years like the rest of us.) My father is in human resources and one of the things that interests him so much about AI is the idea that it is going to be replacing jobs in the service industry like automation did in the manufacturing industry so many years ago. We have always believed that the human interaction from the service industry was a necessity and that it would never be supplanted by something as cold as a machine. But you can begin to see that it is. Our local McDonald’s drive through now has you drive up to a kiosk, pick your items off a tablet and pay with your credit card. The only time you interact with a human is to pick up your food. If you take out that person who stands and takes orders all day then each McDonalds is probably losing 2 or 3 full time employees. Multiply that by all the McDonald’s in the country and you have a significant reduction in work-force and JOBS. That model is already in use in grocery stores and other big retailers in their self check-out lanes.
On the other side of the coin, we own a small business and have to deal constantly with the hiring and firing of employees in the eternal pursuit of crafting the right team. In all that we have to do for our business, this seems to be the hardest, most demoralizing and most time consuming. If you listen to our politicians we have an excess of a trained workforce just waiting to be put to work if only “they” (the politicians) can create the jobs. I find this to be a grave fallacy. In the past few years we have had to close 2 of our highest grossing stores because we could not find people to work them. That means that our community lost 2 full time jobs and 2 part-time jobs because we never had enough people who wanted to work. It is for this reason that I feel like we are heading, as a country, into a crisis of work force. I think that we will very soon have a dearth of qualified candidates to work in middle-management on any level – from big companies to small businesses. Some how (and I have my thoughts on the matter) we are not preparing our young people to be able to handle the responsibilities of any type of management job. They are not taught skills like: time management, critical thinking, leadership, team building, pride in your work and accomplishments. This isn’t a “kids today are lazy” rant. This is a “kids today have no skills to build on” rant. I have no idea what our corporations are going to do when they can’t find qualified people to work in their management positions? How is that going to work? We are in the same boat. We have really, really, really good people working for us right now but we have had to kill ourselves trying to find them. For every polished apple there are a whole lot of rotten ones.
What we do have a ton of EVERY time we post a job is resumes from people with lower skilled jobs who are desperate to find something better. They want to work. They want to have a better job. They want to be valued in a company because they are valuable to that company. They are willing to do what it takes. However, most of them lack the necessary education it takes to make the leap. This is crushing to me whenever I go through resumes. I see good, honest hard-working people who want a chance but it is a chance that I can’t give them because to succeed in my job you need at the very minimum a solid grasp on basic biology, nutrition, chemistry and physical exercise. It is just to hard to learn everything you need to know if you don’t have at least a basic understanding of all of these studies.
Personally, I think this is going to be one of the biggest crisis of our country in the coming years. We have an “educated” workforce that is not prepared for (and doesn’t really care about) the responsibilities of management. And we have an “under educated” workforce that wants to make the leap but doesn’t have the skill set required to do so.
Maybe this is why AI seems like such a viable option. Maybe this is why companies are chomping at the bit to come up with mechanical and/or technological ways to accomplish the needs of their workforce. In the end, I think this will only help some. AI will take away jobs from that part of our workforce that wants to work and NEEDS to work but it won’t be able to satisfy the needs of management and supervisors and vice-presidents and regional directors and all those hard, time consuming jobs that take hard work and dedication.
I don’t know what the answer is but I think we need to try to figure it out before we run out of options.
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