Change Isn’t Always Easy

McDonald’s Restaurant in Des Moines, Iowa

My favorite cartoons growing up were the Looney Tunes; Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and all the rest.

The older ones were great; I learned about life from the 3 minute shorts, but what really intrigued me were the cartoons about the future, particularly the one about the House of Tomorrow. It was supposed to be funny but it sent my imagination into overtime, and made me wonder if that’s really what the future held.

Looking back at it, I think the writers from the 1950’s had some insight into what to expect from the 21st Century, though most people just saw it as goofy entertainment.

Though I have been keeping up with the latest technology, I am sometimes take back by how much technology is changing all of our lives. We have an Echo Dot that plays our music whenever we want and of course, my computers, and cell phones, and tablets.

I see people walking down the street or sitting in coffee shops and restaurants, their eyes glued to their devices instead of talking to the person in front of them.  My own adult children have their phones out as I am trying to have a conversation with them. I don’t feel like it’s my lace to say, “Hey, put your phone away.” They aren’t 10 anymore and should know better, right?

But the changes aren’t just socially; they are starting to hurt our livelihood, as well.

I took my grandson, Thomas, home last weekend. He lives in the Des Moines suburb of Johnston. He was hungry, so we stopped at a McDonald’s close to his home. We walked in and I was expecting to see a long line of customers. It was just past 1 on a Sunday afternoon, after all. Instead, just a few people milled around the lobby, looking a little confused, including us. I started toward the counter to order.

“No, Grandma. We order over here,” he told me nonchalantly.  He pointed to a kiosk off to the side with a large sign hung above it that said, “Order Here.” I looked back at the counter (which had shrunk significantly in size from our last visit) and saw a sign above it that said “Pick Up Order Here.”

Wow, I thought. McDonald’s is losing it. Sure, it’s more convenient for the customer, but it’s missing the personal touch. It’s one of our basic needs as human beings. Why even bother going out to eat if you order your food from a kiosk?

It’s happening all over; the lines to the self check-outs at the big discount stores are starting to be longer than the regular check-outs. Jobs are being eliminated, one by one. Who will be next?

Those who are graduating high school may want to think about where the job market is heading and pick a career more suitable to the changes.

Sure we have the technology, but when are we going to realize that maybe crossing that line between convenience, and changing the way we live, is not always a good thing?




Three things I learned today

Ever have one of those days when you want to write but can’t really think of anything exciting to write about? It’s Monday and I’m nearing the end of my 13-hours day, and I want to write something. But what?Monday

My work is done and I have 30 minutes to kill.

This is what I learned today:

  1. If people don’t want to be bothered, they will avoid eye contact with you. My boss, Jennifer, thought it would be a great day to set up a table and try to sell the discount cards that is this year’s fundraiser for the district; 10 bucks for an assortment of discounts to businesses, not only in the Czech Village/New Bohemia neighborhoods, but businesses outside the district, as well.  All the proceeds go back into the district in the form of revitalization. It’s a win-win situation, right? While some people were interested in what we were doing, others did their best to avoid us all together, afraid to even enter into a conversation with us, for fear they will get hooked into buying something they didn’t want. What happened to a simple, “Thanks, but no thanks”? Their reactions started a conversation between Jennifer, who is 30, and myself, 52 and young at heart, about the differences between the generations regarding socializing. Besides the awkward social graces experienced by people her age and younger, she admitted that she entered into a world where she didn’t have to sit through commercials or wait very long for something to cook like her parents. I already knew there are quite a few differences, but it was interesting coming from her. She didn’t offer a solution. It was just an observation, but semi-entertaining regardless.
  2. I learned that the average human can consume 400 mg of caffeine and still be okay. I got this information from an article ( that explains the effects of caffeine on the human body. It was interesting, but caffeine consumption has its pros and cons, just like anything else. I’ll take my chances. Besides, I was told by a reputable source that I should drink a cup of coffee before I sit down to work so I can focus better. Know what? It works.
  3. The Stock Market. Scary, isn’t it? This is nothing new to me. I don’t play the market, but my boyfriend does. He told me a long time ago this was going to happen. Last year I commented on the low price of gas and he said it was because the economy was doing “too good.” It was a good indication that the market would eventually have to correct itself, which is what it did. And maybe it’s not quite done. But the way it was explained, for those who have been investing wisely, they should have no problem making it up before they hit retirement age.

Twelve minutes to go. Not bad for a Monday.