Maximum Efficiency

2 min
at 10:43 PM
Drawing by Steve McMoyler

Maximum efficiency rules today’s business world, but Steve McMoyler is no robot.

I’m headed to my job in Silicon Valley. I’m currently hemmed in on 680, with others in this daily collective. We are one. “Packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes,” as Sting would say.

Did you know traffic jams are caused by the inefficient pace of our cars? If we were all perfectly synchronized, there would be no traffic jam. And this is what autonomous driving will roll out, literally. It’s called “platooning,” and we’ll speed along with our bumpers just inches apart.

Me? I can’t wait for autonomous driving. Especially right now. That guy in the UK that put his Tesla into autopilot mode, and hopped over into the passenger seat? He’s not crazy, he’s a commuter. I’m about to jerry-rig my own autopilot using cruise control, GPS, and some duct tape.

Efficiency. Like the drive-thru burger restaurant I visited last week. The poor girl is grabbing napkins, straws, all while she’s handling the next order. She’s being driven to maximum efficiency, working robotically, making minimum wage, feeding the hungry maw of an endless platoon. I asked for a ketchup and she gives me seven of them. Is that a cry for help?

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The ultimate business model for efficiency is the contract manufacturer, where the workers eat at the company, live at the company, pay rent to the company, and are driven to ever higher levels of output. “Continuous Improvement,” my employers say proudly. And U.S. productivity continues upwards. Sure, there’s an occasional outlier that cracks and throws himself off the roof. But we have nets for that!

Sorry, but the bar has been set by the machines. I know the robots are coming for my job. We can’t stop evolution. But you know what? I’m gonna throw a wrench into this whole efficiency imperative. Right now. I’m gonna stick it to The Man! Cause guess what? Today, I’m taking the long way to work. Ha ha!

I might even stop and get a donut.

With a Perspective, I’m Steve McMoyler.

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Steve McMoyler is a Bay Area native working in Silicon Valley.

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