Rendered Obselete

Radio has been watching its own navel and wondering if it will disappear – not the navel but the industry – for as long as I have been in it. 

When I started, every radio station had a live announcer (and perhaps an accompanying newscaster) every hour of every day, including holidays.  To air a pretaped program was a big hairy deal.  Then station owners and managers started piping in hosts from other markets and eliminating the jobs locally to save money.  That concept was generally poorly executed and listeners demanded local hosts who were feeling the same weather, walking the same sidewalks and experiencing the same lifestyle as they were.  So now we’re swinging back to localization again.

In the meantime manyother types of jobs have truly disappeared.  Imagine trying to explain a telephone operator to a kid with an iPhone.  Yes Billy, people used to have to dial…well Billy there were no push buttons on phones so you would move this rotating wheel to make the phone number and then a woman would answer and she would connect you to the person you were calling.  Yes Billy, it does make the frustration of occasional dropped calls pale by comparison.

Where have all the dictaphones gone?  A dictaphone is a recording device that was used by executives to record memos and letters.  Their secretaries would then listen back and transcribe the document.  Quaint, huh?  Now a computer can take what you say and type it for you.  Bye bye Marjorie and her excellent dictaphone skills.

I remember the days of pinsetters.  After you bowled, a kid would run out and reset the pins by hand.  Now a fancy gizmo does it for you.  There’s a summer job for a student that no longer exists.

Do you remember any other jobs that are now done by technology?

1 thought on “Rendered Obselete”

  1. Elevators at one time were manually controlled, now you simply press a button. Buses at one time had conductors to call out the stops, now that’s handled through a GPS system. Trains such as our LRT use to have drivers and conductors, now except for a couple of minutes each day that’s all handled by computers. Check outs at your grocery store all use to have cashiers, now you can do it yourself at many locations. Commercial plains use to solely rely on the crew to fly them, now the majority of the flying control is handled by a computer and GPS. Many hotels in the past would have a doorman to help you with your bags and the door, now doors all open automatically and you can deal with your own bags, thank you.

    … and there is likely a long list of other things and more to come.

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