Where is everybody?

I’ll admit that plenty has been written about loneliness in the digital era. You can feel quite lost and alone when you try to complain about cable, financial transactions… anything really. Tellers are unmanned, phone calls unanswered (unless you are one of the lucky ones and you get connected through to the call center in India) and shops are all closing down and transforming into eBusinesses. So you feel a bit of sweaty anxiety about that. Only being able to connect with ‘those from whom you purchase’ through computer screens or phone-menus is somewhat frightening. Perfectly understandable. But perhaps you should just learn how to deal with it okay? Thanks. 

I won’t add to the considerable pile of eComplaining that’s already out there. I do have one related question for you though? Where on earth is everybody!? We’re supposed to have made the switch from production economies to the much more sophisticated services economies, or so your economy teacher tells you. But then why is there no one actually providing any form of service? We’re no longer in factories and we’re no longer engaging in personal contact with customers. We can’t all be sitting in offices not communicating with anybody can we? What does anyone do to make a living?

What are all these people doing?

Office buildings
Seriously, have you ever driven past one of those really large office building that belongs to a financial institution? Citigroup or Barclays or whatever. Did you ever wonder what it is all those people are doing? They’re not building or assembling.  They’re not answering your phone call. Or replying to any e-mail you’re sending. So what are they doing? Thousands of people in a big building, sitting on top of this big pile of money (well, they don’t actually own any physical money. They’re just playing around with a very large number that somewhere, somehow represents money). But what do they do? There are some people making advertising campaigns. A couple that are ‘protecting’ your money.  There’s a guy in charge of  salaries. But what does everybody else do? Everyone in that building plus their families are living off the money that they are making by doing… ‘something’. And that something is not producing or selling anything.

The Yen drops
There’s a job out there where you take advantage of the time it takes for information to travel from one geographical position to another. Say the Yen drops a percent (I have no idea what that would mean, but let’s just say it does…). In Milan they would know one second earlier than in London, because that information would take a little longer to travel to Britain than to Italy. So for a second there would be a difference in the triangular economical relations between Japan, Italy and Britain. And by using fast computers, there are people getting rich off that. And they are considered respectable citizens.

For everyone who  is making money without contributing anything, there is someone contributing who is making no money at all.


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