The Jobs We Don't Get Paid For

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4 min read

As time passes, the rapid spread of technology is changing our lives and most of the time we don't even realize what we get ourselves into. We get a lot of applications that make life much more easier, but also put us to work. I'm going to show you a few examples that demonstrate how we are doing other people's work without getting paid for it.


Mobile banking is a blessed invention as it can save you from a lot of time wasted and headache. A trip to the bank every single time you want something is not needed anymore, no staying in line, no waiting for your turn. Mobile banking is available to anyone with a mobile phone and internet connection, it's open 24/7, ATMs are also open 24/7, you can deposit, withdraw, swap currencies, pay bills, transfer money day and night.

For this to happen, some jobs have disappeared, people were laid off as their jobs are done now partly by machines, partly by others. We are the bankers now along with ATMs and apps. In other words, we do their job but do we get paid for it? NO! Does banking became cheaper because those jobs don't exist anymore? NO! Transaction fees are pretty much the same and the fluctuation of fees has nothing to do with the fact that banks don't have to pay cashiers and clerks anymore.


Buying tickets is mostly done online these days, we're the one carrying out the transactions, picking the place where we want to stay, adding extra options in case of a plane or train ticket. You can also order your commute pass online and so many other tickets as well. These services are available 24/7 and don't need a trip to the company office anymore.

But are tickets more cheaper? I don't think so. Eliminating cashier's wages has not affected ticket prices.

Car Wash

This is even more interesting than the others I mentioned above. Car washing has also gone through a lot of changes lately and now you have more than one option. You can opt for the traditional service, have your car washed by professionals, while you can enjoy a cup of coffee and spend some time on your phone, or do it yourself, wash the car yourself.

DIY means pay, get some tokens that guarantee a defined amount of you time, water and detergent and it's up to you how fast and/or efficient you can hoover, wash and clean your car. If you're good, you can fit in the estimated time frame. If not, you pay extra to get more time to finish the job.


Most of the supermarkets in developed countries are set up with Self-checkout machines that provide a mechanism for customers to complete their own transaction from a retailer without needing a traditional staffed checkout. Cashiers have been laid off or reassigned to do a different job and we have to do the checkout ourselves.

Do products cost less because the checkout is done by us and cashiers don't have to be paid anymore? NO! Price fluctuations are influenced by other factors.

One benefit to the retailer in providing self-checkout machines is in reduced labour costs: one attendant can often run four to six checkout lanes with the work of the cashier now being assumed by the customer. The size of a self-checkout machine is also smaller than a traditional checkout manned by a cashier; thus, a store can save space, which could be used for more shelves, display cabinets, or additional checkouts. Self-checkout can also sometimes be faster than using a cashier lane. This can reduce the length of checkout lines and wait times. source

In some countries some shops are staff-free. Sweden, the country behind some of the most recognizable global brands, is an example in this case. Embracing new technology in this Nordic country is very different from the rest of the world.

Lifvs i Frösundavik.jpg source

This is a staff-free shop, set up in a wooden container, that is placed where it is needed. There are remote areas where keeping a staffed shop open has not been cost-effective, there fore many are forced to drive to the next town for shopping.

There's a wide assortment of groceries available, from fresh fruit and vegetables to Swedish household staples like frozen meatballs, crisp breads and wafer bars. But there are no staff or checkouts here.

You open the doors using the company's app, which works in conjunction with BankID, a secure national identification app operated by Sweden's banks. Then, you can scan barcodes using your smartphone and the bill is automatically charged to a pre-registered bank card.

The store is part of the Lifvs chain, a Stockholm-based start-up that launched in 2018 with the goal of returning stores to remote rural locations where shops had closed down because they'd struggled to stay profitable. source

This wooden cabin can be lifted and moved anytime if it's not needed at the current location. Having even a tiny shop nearby can mean a lot to locals, saving them from hours of driving.

Lifvs has opened 20 new shops in rural neighborhoods in the past year, which means the concept is good and the plan is working.

The Jobs We Don't Get Paid For

With all the new technology and mobile apps available today we're doing more than we used to in the past, all this for free, not to mention the knowledge we have to acquire and experience we have to have in order to do it right. This is just the beginning, I believe in a decade we're going to see more changes and do much more for free.

However, every coin has two sides and we have to look at both sides. We have to see the advantage we have now using all these services, doing the work ourselves and do a comparison between the two. The term unmanned looks strange, some may not even understand what it means, but we need to get used to it, as this is the future.


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