La Voz de Galicia – September 25, 2020 →

Cristina PatoI only wanted to pay a bill. On the paper was printed something along the lines of «make a payment in any of the collaborating financial entities,» followed by a list of banks. So, as the bill was my mother’s, and as there are as many banks as there are bars around her house, I thought it would be more convenient to pay it in cash in one of those «collaborating entities.»

I went to the first bank, and a human told me that now this kind of operation had to be made at the ATM. And I thought, Well, I am quite outdated. They explained to me that even if I were the only person in the building (as was the case), the operation could not be simply completed as it had always been (something along the lines of «here’s the money, here’s the bill, stamp it, thanks»). And because the ATM was outside, on a very busy street, and it also had a line, I decided to go to another bank. And in the last bank on the street, a human explained to me again that I needed to make the transaction at the ATM. But this time, I decided to remain at the bank because the ATM was inside, and there was no line. And because my relationship with machines has never been good, a friendly human (let’s call him Manuel) made the transaction with me. We paid the bills, but the ATM did not take coins so when we finished the transaction and paid in bills, I realized that the change, all in one Euro coins, overflowed my hands. Because the ATM only gave change in coins… And then I asked Manuel, «And now what do I do with them?» and he replied, «you could go back to the counter and ask one of the tellers to change your coins for bills.»

And so, counting change with another human, at the same counter where I could not pay a bill, I thought about how sad it is to call dehumanization, progress.

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