Big Brown pulled down our street the other day. That’s what we call the UPS truck.
It’s a common sight. If it is not delivering a package to our house, then one is being unloaded to a neighbor.
You could say our neighborhood tries its best to keep the economy stimulated.
As Big Brown made its daily appearance last Monday, I couldn’t help but think if there’s one job this Labor Day that is safe from vanishing in the future, it belongs to delivery drivers. So many people are now comfortable buying so many things on the Internet that those driver’s must have a job for life. Then I went to work and a story that moved on the Associated Press wire changed my mind. It reported the Federal Aviation Administration granted Amazon approval to deliver packages by drones. It joins UPS and a company owned by search giant Google that are allowed to do so.
Amazon has been working on drone delivery for years, only to be slowed by regulatory hurdles. Now the sky really is the limit. Amazon already has self-piloting drones that are fully electric, can carry 5 pounds of goods and are designed to deliver items in 30 minutes by dropping them in a back yard, the AP reported.
It’s that word “self-piloting” that stuck out to me. It is a polite way of saying many of those delivery jobs will go the same way as the telephone switchboard operator, gas station attendants, file clerks, typists, seamstresses, school librarians, postal mail sorters, TV repairmen and the old milkman.
It’s also a way of saying never believe your job is safe. Things change. Even a fast-food cook’s job isn’t safe. Before the decade is out, robots could be flipping your burgers and stirring the cream and sugar into your coffee.
So where does that leave us this Labor Day?
Scared for one.
It’s all part of the Technological Revolution we are experiencing, an age of change that dwarfs that of the Industrial Revolution more than 100 years ago. Remember that old cartoon “The Jetsons”? Well, George and his boy Elroy have now arrived on Main Street. If you are waiting for them to return to Orbit City, forget it.
Change has arrived.
Oh, yes. Anyone want to take bets on how soon we’ll have Amazon Prime Air?
ROSES AND THORNS: A troop of senior citizens come walking through the rose garden.
Rose: To Rosemary Craig, of Wapakoneta, who turns 100 on Saturday. She was born at a time when many people still traveled by horse and buggy, trains had opened the continent, and ships the world. Only dreamers imagined a day where there would be air travel, but no one would guess a local boy would one day walk on the moon.
Rose: Four area couples celebrated more than 60 years of marriage:
• Jean and Duane Boyd of Lima celebrated 70 years of marriage on Sept. 3.
• Mary and Donald Davenport of Lima will be married 70 years on Thursday.
• Arlene and Robert Bendele of Ottoville celebrated 60 years of marriage Saturday.
• Mary Ellen and Ron Staver of Lima were married 60 years on Sept. 3.
Rose: To Miles Hefner, 98, of Lima who received a Quilt of Valor for his service during World War II from the Quilts of Valor Foundation. He was a welder in the 339th Fighter Bomber Group, helping keep the Army’s planes in the air.
Rose: To the many volunteers who have been walking Lima encouraging people to vote.
Thorn: A man described as tall and fit with a tan-colored complexion and a scruffy brown beard has allegedly been impersonating a police officer in Mercer and Van Wert counties. He has been seen driving a black or dark-colored Crown Victoria with police-style decals.
Thorn: Three teens who were victims of shootings in Perry Township have not cooperated with detectives concerning the incidents.
Thorn: A recent trip to Ohio’s Amish Country saw a number of crafts with stickers on them that said “made in China.”
PARTING SHOT: “You can only have so much of me.” — The words from millennials this Labor Day. They value their free time (should’t we all?) and their “connected devices.” However, they’re finding that connectivity can keep them tied to work all the time, turning 8-hour shifts into 12-hour shifts.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.