This past weekend, Walmart spokesperson Patty Ellis announced the company’s plans to replace its Greeters with remotely-controlled drones. The proposition calls for a dozen unmanned aerial hovercraft to wait at the entrance of every store and inform customers of current promotions and sales.
“Drones are the next big thing,” said Ellis frankly. “Walmart has been trailing behind in the technology game, so it was either this or finish installing automatic doors in all of our stores.”
The drones will be operated by certified pilots in an off-site location, safe and far from any real customers. For many Greeters, this means unemployment.
“I’ve given my life to this job,” says Sheila Duncan, a life-long Walmart Greeter who died at her post twenty years ago before being revived by a customer who had just purchased a defibrillator. “Now I have to decide if I should leave my job or go back to drone school. No one should have to make that choice.”
Walmart is the fourth multi-billion dollar company that wishes to implement drones into its business, following Amazon, Google, and Facebook. Facebook has been using drone technology since its inception in 2004 in the form of its users.
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