Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Letting machines do the work (London)

Trying to find out when electric pumps first came about at petrol stations, so typed in Google box: "electric petrol pumps when did they first come about".  Back came a prompt from Google: "Did you mean: car electric petrol pumps when did they first came about".  Note: They italicised and emboldened "came" in case I missed it!

On a separate occasion, first spotted on Sunday 08 January 2017, FaceBook asked me:  "What did you study at SOAS, University of London, MA Linguistics in 1994?"

I won't be totally redundant soon then (as a human / teacher / translator / proofreader).

(London, 2017)

Update, 12 Jan 2017:  Hahaha, another one from FaceBook:

What is your position at Spouter's Corner, Wood Green?

Team Leader
Customer Service Associate

Lecturer at a pub??

Time warp (Isle of Skye, Scotland)

On a self-drive tour of the Isle of Skye (N.W. Scotland) in 1984, I came upon a petrol station with a hand pump instead of the electric ones which had by then been in common currency for a few decades.  When I remarked on this, the owner told me that a power outage on the island a year back had seen his station inundated by drivers, as it was the only place on the whole of the Isle of Skye that could dispense petrol manually.

The shop itself was like a film-set for a 1940s film:  built-in wooden shelves lined all four walls straight up to the ceiling, sparsely stocked with tinned food and packets of dried foodstuff.

The shopkeeper was chatting to the lone customer in Gaelic, the latter’s pile of shopping sitting on the counter, with a spanking new Casio cash register machine beside it.  Since I was waiting to pay for the petrol, the shopkeeper broke off the conversation to tot up the customer’s purchases, which he did mentally, then entered the final total into the Casio.  Old habits die hard indeed.

(Isle of Skye, 1984)