The dreaded work birthday celebration — for a robot
Store robot getting a one-year celebration while being used as an alibi
Corporate America (and Retail America) can already make life awkward by forcing coworkers to celebrate their frenemy coworkers’ birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers and last days. (OK, the last one probably is a celebratory event you’d be happy to go to.) But apparently retail stores have decided we need to make “I, Robot” come to life and be weirder than we already are. One store chain is now planning to celebrate robot birthdays.
According to Business Insider, big-eyed robot Marty (who can be found at 172 Giant Food Stores and 325 Stop & Shop stores) has reached his one-year “birthday.” And the Stop & Shop stores plan on having a “birthday celebration” for it tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Seriously. There will even be cake (that the robot can’t eat), activities (that the robot can’t participate in) and a full party for the 6'3 robot. It makes as much sense as taking your pregnant friend to a beer tasting.
Recommended Read: “Target Chose Human Workers Over Robots — Here’s Why”
In all fairness though, I’m not knocking technology. It has its productivity perks and reduces busy work for employees. As someone who has worked in retail for three years (cashier for two years at Walgreens and photo technician for almost a year at Walmart), I can understand the enthusiasm. But what I respect more than birthday parties for metal parts is robots who can potentially be used in the criminal justice system.
Oddly enough, Marty is also linked to a woman who was charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Her alibi in a Stop & Shop location and taking a photograph with Marty will apparently be used, reports Business Insider. But the woman’s bigger problem may be that Marty is not designed to take videos of people, only still photographs of store floors. Marty’s goal is to clean up spills and store hazards. Although the robot can detect when people are around to avoid bumping into them, the store chain confirms that Marty is not a “crime fighter” and those big eyes serve absolutely no purpose. I must admit, I’m a wee bit disappointed.