Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Waiting to pay for my groceries

Automation for all
London, ON
December 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram

I’m still taking pictures that say “pandemic” to me.

Because someday we’re going to look back at this overly long moment in history, and strange as it may sound now, we’re going to want to remember what it looked and felt like.

So photos like this - of changed landscapes, and maybe even changed people, or both - end up littering the archives. Mine, specifically, and I’m guessing if you think about it, yours, too.

When the first lockdowns were first implemented in March of 2020, our local Loblaws grocery store set up a velvet-rope area where shoppers would line up and wait for an employee to direct them to the next available cashier.

Eventually they replaced the traffic-cop employee with this automated system. Which saddened me then and continues to sadden me whenever I return.

I’m all for technology, after all, but replacing a human with a talking screen, especially now, just feels wrong. It’s a sign that somehow we’ve lost something along the way, an opportunity to connect in some tangible manner with someone at a time where we could all use a little more (safe) connection.

In the bean counter-driven pursuit of bottom-line efficiency, they made the experience less human.

So on a quiet Friday night in an almost empty store, I felt the need to shoot this scene. Because it’ll probably change yet again without warning. And it seems wrong to not do more to freeze it as it currently is, mundane as it might seem at first glance.

On further reflection, nothing is mundane anymore.

#PandemicPics #ldnont #london #ontario #canada #grocery #store #loblaws #shopping #retail #random #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Up, up and away, September 2006

1 comment:

Tabor said...

Reminds me of our Dept. of Motor Vehicles.