Sunday, February 7, 2016

Why I look forward to robots as waiters

I am somewhat guilt ridden. Should I have tipped more? It has been quite some time since a person seemed to be so desperate and pleading for more tip. It wouldn't have mattered to me but may have made a difference to him. But it brings up the same dilemma of giving to a beggar. I may help a person and feel good about it; but I may actually be contributing to the preservation of a bad and unjust social setup.

It was the last leg of our trip to Kerala. We took the Trivandrum Rajdhani from Ernakulam to Margao. It was painful to watch 3 attendants sleeping in the corridor outside the compartment - one on the proper berth and the remaining two on the floor.

I wondered why was there a need for three attendants and whether they were actually employed by the contractors.
  • Was it just the easy option of hiring extra people at a very low cost in order to 'improve' service? 
  • Could it be that railways insist on the extra staff to make sure that one person is not overworked for the long journey? 
  • Wouldn't it be desirable and better to have the staff change midway?
  • Or does the actual employee outsource his job to desperate youngsters for no wage but tips?
Since I can do little about it, I would rather not have to think about whether to tip and how much to tip. That would be easy if the server were a robot.