If you’ve ever lived in New York city you’ll be familiar with the concierge/doorman service in many buildings.
These exist for not only businesses but for many of the upscale high-rises in mid-town and the upper west and east sides of Manhattan.
Doormen are well-paid
These doormen (and they usually are men) pull in a decent salary and many of them pull down six figures depending on their role and seniority.
I recently got a call from someone at a company called Virtual Video Services and what they do is offer the same benefit of accepting packages, letting people in or preventing unwanted people from getting in, all for much less than the cost of a flesh and blood doorman.
And they can easily be replaced
It occurred to me this service could well cost the jobs of many a doorman in New York city and many of these unionized workers could find themselves out of a job.
Sad but true. It’s happened to tailors, shoemakers, milkmen, secretaries, journalists and more. Not to say that doormen will go the way of the dinosaur; they won’t because their’s enough prestige tied up in having a real live doorman in your lobby that the very wealthy will foot their bill to keep up appearances. But it’s not inconceivable that many of them will go away.
My question is what will these people do? When you’re expecting to retire as a doorman and you lose your job, what do you do then?
Of course you’ll say that’s what unions are for: to protect those jobs, but I don’t think unions can or should protect jobs that are becoming obsolete. Their jobs (the unions) and indeed the job of everyone one of us is to prepare for that change.
Your job can disappear also
What would happen if our jobs become redundant, obsolete or can be done with fewer people? What if it happens tomorrow?
Are we prepared? Are you?
This is what we should prepare our children for: how to continually reinvent themselves, how to anticipate and adapt to change. At least they will survive, and if they are well-prepared they might even prosper.