From hard worker to low productivity robot

Often when I walk to my local shopping centre I see a young cleaner busy cleaning the floors and handrails. When I first saw her I noticed she was exceptionally diligent, she chatted to lonely elderly shoppers. She enjoyed working.

Then after a break — as if she’d left and then come back — I noticed a change. I can only imagine she had been told off by the shopping centre management “we are meant to be invisible, unnoticed. Just get on with your work — no chatting. And don’t spend too much time on a job — it’s not like you are cleaning your home”. Anyway that’s how I imagined it.

So now they have a dutiful automaton. She cleans sparcely. Doesn’t talk to elderly passersby. Looks unhappy. In 12 months — they have turned a happy hard worker into a demoralised low productivity robot.

This story is happening across the UK.

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