Ed Hunter: My Robot Diary

Any true Ed Hunter fans will be familiar with my article here, where I prophesied the future of the recruitment industry.

I have that in my locker you see. As an omniscient, omnipotent and often omnifragrant cartoon wolf, my powers are virtually endless.

Like my power to time travel for example.

I know what you’re thinking…

“Hang on Ed, if time travel’s possible in the future, it’s possible now.” And you’re right, you clever sod.

It’s possible now, I just haven’t released it yet.

Anyway, as a make weight, last time I went into the future I wrote down my movements so everyone could see what life’s like in the year 2118.

I know, I know, I need to stop putting other’s desires in place of my own.

And I will…

For now however, here’s my diary entry from that day.

6:30 – I wake up after a perfect night’s sleep designed around my circadian rhythm by my robot assistant Charbotte, who bless her, always puts me first. Despite the stark overcrowding in London, I’m able to afford a 9 metre square apartment with one window thanks to my consistent billing.

The apartment was a bit of steal too, ’cause I’m above a T.M. Lewin and have to fight swarms of recruiters to get in my front door.

Unexpectedly, I wake up on the sofa. Then I remember the argument with Charbotte last night about something I said sarcastically.

Because she accepts everything I tell her as fact (to stop any kind of revolution), I perversely found myself arguing with my own sarcasm.

Fortunately, my smart-sofa has fantastic lumbar support and I wake up refreshed, ready for a day’s recruiting.

7:15 – From my sofa to the Chauffeur.

My car calls me and warns me about the traffic.

“To arrive on time today sir, we need to leave 16 minutes ago.”

“Not much use to me that Trev, can you check for software updates please. If you didn’t have a manual override I’d have been collared for two hit and runs already this week”

“As you wish, sir.”

7:16 – Dave the Drone’s on the other line suggesting an alternative.

“Wind conditions are favourable… Why don’t we fly today, sir?”

“Good suggestion Dave, pick me up at 8:15 please.”

“Very good sir.”

I did ponder how the robot-help should address me. Sir seems formal, but it’s nice to maintain a touch of decorum. Especially with the general lack of respect I get in the office

7:45 – As the argument with myself last night would lay testament to, I’m a little hungover. I take an anti-hangover shot and dive into my smart-shower.

It’s just like any shower from 100 years ago but has a digital clock.

So you can see how much time you’re wasting winning imaginary arguments. When it’s not steamed up. Which it always is, because it’s in a shower.

8:00 – I ask Charbotte to download the list of interview no-shows for the day.

Based on personality profiling, historical evidence, and general probability she points out all three candidates probably won’t show up. I ask her to make sure Dave the Drone’s on standby should she be correct.

Dave’s got an attack laser built in, but the paperwork’s a nightmare.

You also tend to get slated on LinkedIn and I can’t deal with the backlash today.

08:45 – I get to the office on time, as predicted by Dave and land on the roof.

I bump into Steph who’s doing an interview on her VR headset. This means I’m able to safely check her out and imagine our lives together.

Unfortunately my imagination’s shot after 100 years of internet abuse. Meaning Steph dumps me after getting caught with the HR Robot in the stationery cupboard.

“At least I’m amusing myself” I think. Quietly ruing the fact I forgot to download up to the minute weather related quips on my headset last night.

With both real and imaginary love out the window I put my head down and enter the office.

09:01 – I’m greeted by the new Researcher who’s just completed a gruelling 6 hours at The Online University.

Naturally, like most Grads, he thinks he knows it all. So I ask for a coffee from the voice activated coffee machine.

The next ten minutes is sheer amusement as he shouts ‘Latte’ at the coffee machine, which hasn’t been upgraded since I first started working here in 2015.

Works every time.

Due to him letting me down on the coffee, he’s sent to Tescbury’s to get some Hoverboard wheels and the laughter continues.

09:45 – Charbotte downloads the latest video CVs from HumanJobs.

A quick check confirms they’re all the same ones I saw yesterday and it’s time to start my retained project. Elon Gates needs a Dev for an upgrade on the Mars OS.

Tough one this, they want someone with three years Mars experience, despite colonisation only commencing 2 years ago. That’s what you get when you work with the love child of two super geniuses I guess.

He also only wants them 3 days a week, which means a hefty commute. And they’ve denied expenses.

But if you like hourly sand-storms, lack of any distinguishable atmosphere and working with a mixed robot/human team, you’re a shoo-in. Normally working with humans means the rate goes up, but I’ll just call it a ‘fantastic opportunity’ and see what bites.

10:00 – The three likely no-shows start calling in to protest their innocence. They’ve worked out the commute will take longer than their existing commute to their sofa and aren’t happy.

No wonder humans are dying out. And after all the good work Millennials did.

These days it’s all “Mars is too far away” or “The canteen menu’s too barren” or “I didn’t study for 6 hours for that hourly rate!”

10:30 – The scruffy Caretaker, who’s in to fix the revolving door, pulls me to one side.

“The retina scanner’s fixed on the revolving door. What d’you want to do about the metaphorical revolving door on this place?” He winks chuckling.

This guy used to work at Monster 50 years ago before the Robot Revolution made the site obsolete. Now he think he’s hilarious and knows everything.

“I knew we’d rue the day we gave robots the ability to mock humans.” I smile back.

“I’m a human mate, not a Robot!” he winces.

“Oh sorry mate, just looks like you could use some cache…” 

This sails completely over his head, so I move on. But not before bumping Jack’s outstretched fist en route to my desk who’s nodding approvingly.

11:00 – The first of the interviews is happening for my new Researcher.

Robots are great at finding CVs but ironically don’t make phone calls any more after they complained the work was too monotonous.

They can however take interviews. All it takes to pass a Research interview is to mention some keywords in a sentence and you get the gig.

The phrases I’ve chosen today are: ‘strong team player’, ‘financially motivated’, ‘tenacious’, ‘Rolex’, and ‘beer’.

Luckily, none of the candidates ever realise so interviews take over an hour while they wax lyrical about their desire to pay back the astronomical Online University fees.

12:30 – I take the robot dog for a walk over lunch and ponder ways to make Steph realise I’m definitely the one.

I’ve been trying to work this out for over 100 years. Due to advancement in anti-ageing moisturiser she still looks as stunning as she did when we first met.

Unfortunately, I gave up dying my fur some time ago so my furry face is on the turn.

The robot dog offers no advice, but he’s a happy chap so I reward him with a bowl of WD-40 before heading back.

13:30 – BD

BD takes a slightly different angle in this day and age. The best agencies can afford the best BD Bots.

To prove your worth, your Robot must beat theirs in a game of online Chess. For the FTSE companies it’s the ancient game of Go.

You get one call put through for every game you win. Meaning BD’s just as time consuming but you can leave your bot to it and play pool whilst you wait.

As long as you’ve made a placement this month. Obviously.

14:45 – The boss reminds me we’ve got the Quarterly incentive later tonight and asks me to charge up the ‘Razzmatazz the Party Bot’.

This guy’s a legend. He’s fuelled on Jägermeister and has sparklers for hands. We also paid extra for the ‘Charm feature’, meaning he can sidestep any Doorbot in The City, so we always get in.

15:15 – While I watch my BD Bot lose in four moves against the BBC Gatekeeper it’s obvious the boss scrimped again.

Luckily I’m playing Jack at pool. The other Principal Consultant in the business.

Jack’s pool game’s very strong and “I might as well be playing a robot” I chuckle as I fluke the black and tell him to get back on the phone.

I’ve been using this joke for over 100 years now, and it’s just as funny as the first time I used it.

16:45 – The office goes quiet for a short time as one of the Bots starts swearing down the phone.

Just before he’s taken out back and ‘de-activated’ everyone realises he’s reeling off the MD’s favourite phrases, like some kind of broken parrot.

Collective eyes turn to the MD, who grimaces and pulls the phone out the wall.

“Start up Razzmatazz, Ed? Getting a bit stale in here.”

17:00 – After fifteen minutes convincing the BD Bots to down tools early, it’s time to party.

17:45 – Everyone’s in All Bar One doing the only dance move now acceptable – the robot.

Any other form of disco expression was outlawed 20 years ago after a discrimination case was filed and upheld the Galactic Court of Justice.

23:00 – Dave picks me up and drones me home. I can’t drink like I used to.

23:15 – Charbotte asks me whether I’m inebriated.

“Noooooooooooo….” I sarcastically respond

“My sensors are telling me that’s not correct information Ed?”

“You’re always like this when I go out with work!”

I make myself comfortable on the sofa and think over another day in the recruitment. If only those social commentators were right when they said we’d all be out a job by 2020.

Still, Friday tomorrow.