TIL There was an elevator driver strike in NYC in 1945. Up until then people were afraid to use automatic elevators but the strike drove their mass adoption. The elevator driver job driver demand started to decline which ultimately meant their job is lost forever.

TIL There was an elevator driver strike in NYC in 1945. Up until then people were afraid to use automatic elevators but the strike drove their mass adoption. The elevator driver job driver demand started to decline which ultimately meant their job is lost forever.


Reminds me of the NYC bagel bakers union. Historically they had frequent strikes and generally were very successful. Inflation adjusted, a baker back then would earn the equivalent of $65,000 USD plus full benefits, pension, vacation, and two dozen bagels daily to bring home to their family. Eventually bagel making machines came about along with mass producing bagels in a single factory and the rest is history. Hand rolled bagels can still be found today but part of it is a resurgence of “traditional methods” though I don’t believe there are any unionized bakers in NYC anymore


kramer in seinfeld was a bagel man on strike throughout the series


Holy damn so that was the strike, I remember a bunch of striking references but couldn't remember why very cool


They’re day-olds! Even the homeless won’t touch em.




[Bagel Baker's Local 338](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagel_Bakers_Local_338)


It is worth noting that while $65k for being a bagel baker seems like an absurd amount of money, the cost of living in NYC results in a lot of typically low paid jobs being paid wages that are far above average for the rest of the country. NYC is a place where you can make $50k+ working retail in the same stores that, just 10+ miles away you would be getting paid $10/hr in.


If you're going to go on strike, make sure that things don't run smoother than when you're not there. London cab drivers found this out. They went on strike to protest about Uber. Everyone who couldn't get a cab... well, they got an Uber instead.


Going on strike because of market competition doesn't seem like something that would ever work.


Narrator: It didn't.


"GOB. was intrigued. He also suspected he couldn’t return a completely frozen dove to a pet store and get the full refund he felt he was entitled to."


Unexpected Arrested Development.


Or the cab union in france that was bullying passengers for choosing Uber and beating up Uber drivers. Because surely the average citizen wants to get into a car being driven by a thuggish asshole.


In cancun Mexico, the cab drivers lobbied against Uber, won a court case, and beat the shit out of anyone driving tourists that aren't cab drivers. The narcos are in on the gig and do the enforcing. My aunt has a beachfront property that she has listed on airbnb, and my cousin used to pick up the tourists as a courtesy. They beat the shit out of him, told him where he and his family lived to prove they'd been eyeing the whole thing, and threatened to kill everyone if he did it again. All of this happened at the airport in front of the tourists he went to pick up smh


If anyone here plans to visit Peru, please use an old fashioned, well established cab company for the love of god. I know two women who were raped by Uber drivers, and my uncle was beaten up and left for dead in a shanty town by a non company taxi driver.


I live in Peru, friend. Where tf do you live that this is normal? Callao?


I lived in La Molina. My uncle lived in la planicie. One of the women who was raped was of a fairly prestigious family (think Miro Quesada, but not Miro Quesada). The other one was a rando from university, but still probably from an upper middle class background (given the school). I would argue that the wealthier areas tend to be more attractive to criminals. You just can't really predict how things will go in Lima. I live in the US now and can confidently say I have never felt safer in my life. I don't miss being a woman in Lima. It was horrible. Edit - you deleted your response which was fairly offensive, but in case you come back, here is what I had written: I did not say people shouldn't use taxis in Peru. I said people should not go with unlicensed taxis or Uber. Your point about how this would be similar to telling people not to talk to others in the US because of gun culture is a misrepresentation of my advice. English isn't my first language, either, since I was born and raised in Peru. I humbly offer that maybe your thresholds of safety are different as a Lima resident if you are a man. The first time I was groped (of many) in Lima(again, not a poor or "undesirable" area), I was 4 years old. This is absolutely common from my own experience and that of friends and relatives. I have lived in Europe and the US and I have never been groped or made to feel unsafe anywhere other than Peru. In mancora I was chased along with two friends by a group of ~ten men who were absolutely planning to rape us, but thank fuck we made it into a restaurant. If you're a woman I'm honestly shocked that you think Lima is safe or that telling people to use established taxis is somehow overkill or an exaggeration.


Cabs in Edmonton, AB went on strike by gridlocking downtown. Everyone basically just said "fuck those pricks" and swore off cab companies.


The biggest barrier to me getting an Uber is that I don’t have the app and have never needed one. If I were in need of a ride in a city, I’d just get a taxi out of convenience. The moment Uber was forced upon me, I’d probably just do that forever. Edit: important caveat to this is that I live in a super rural area. If and when I go to a city where I need a ride, I’ll just flag down a taxi because it’s there. If I lived in an area where ubers were necessary, I might eventually get one.


I spent a year traveling to DC each week for work, M-R. My expense people refused to accept handwritten receipts for cash rides; I had to use a credit card so they could match the receipt with a charge. I could never get a DC cab to take a card reliably and ended up absorbing the cost of cab rides for a few weeks. Then someone told me about Uber. Not only did I get a receipt, but it was in email and had a freaking map. They never rejected a single one of those receipts. I never used a taxi again.


Had a terrible experience trying to pay for a taxi in Minneapolis for a business-related dinner. Their card reader wouldn't work, so the cab driver took me away from my destination to an ATM, went to two different locations, got cash, paid in cash, was fucking 40 minutes late. Never again.


Makes you wonder if that’s just a scam to get more money.


Yes. It's a scam to pocket the fare without reporting it to the boss.


Most taxi services work by the driver paying a flat rate to rent the car by the week. The reason they want cash is so that they get paid that day and don't have to wait until they settle at the end of the week back at home base.


Also they don’t report the cash to the IRS


There's also a fee for using cards. For most things that fee is baked into the price so if you're getting cash you're getting a few % extra. That's not just for cabs, it's for everything. If you pay with cash you still pay the fee, the company just gets to keep the difference


Cash is a lot more easier to hide from the medallion holder. Most of the cabbies don’t actually own their cab license plate. There’s a duty fee of 100s of thousands of dollars for a cab license plate in major cities. Usually a plate gets passed around, making much more than 134,000 ish


Of course it is a scam. Otherwise they would just comp the ride. Boston cab drivers were notorious for this.


out of curiosity, what can one do in this situation? I don't have cabs around me or foresee myself ever being in a place to need one, but I'm curious because you could try to leave, but then they still have your card.


Get out and leave. Make a note of the cab number and time Most city cabs are required to have an operable card reader as part of the equipment needed to be considered “ready for service” so if the reader is broken, they’re not legal. If the cabbie tries to follow you, call the police, then mention it when filing a report with the taxi licensing division. That’s how the boston cabs started getting whipped into shape


“Sorry your card reader is broken, but I dont have cash” “I’ll take you to an ATM” “Absolutely not. Sorry your card reader is broken. I’ll just get out here.” “I’ll call the cops you motherfucker.” “Go ahead.” “Oh, looks like the reader is working again.” This is a verbatim conversation I had with a taxi driver in Boston about 10 years ago. They know damn well it’s against the law to not have a working reader, so you just have to call the bluff. Also the card readers are in the back in most taxis in the US. You swipe it yourself so they never have your card.


They always say their card reader doesn't work at the end when you hand them the card, but never before the ride begins. They want cash and don't want to pay the card processing fee. I just say I don't have cash (true) and take it or leave it buddy. Suddenly it's accepted. Happens in the Midwest cities too. There goes your tip bro, which normally is generous. Fuck cabs.


This is infuriating. Happened all the time in Ottawa, and one of the reasons I never took a taxi again once I started using Uber. Taxi drivers fucked themselves over big time with stuff like this.


Uuuuuugh Blue Line drivers are the absolute worse. I was downtown once and flagged one down. He asked where I was going and when I said Kanata his exact words were "Fuck that" and he drove off.


Living in NYC, approaching a cab in Manhattan with my brother, only to have the driver shout “no Brooklyn!” And drive away. That was not an isolated incident. I’ll give you two guesses on my race. Yup, the second Uber’s were a thing I jumped ship and never looked back.


People that bitch about Ubers probably never had to experience that. I have, and if all the taxi companies go under, fuck em.


Yup. In sudden pouring rain, I wrapped my jacket of scarf around my head and tried to hail a cab. I had one do “no Brooklyn!” and the other slow down just enough to see my skin color, drive by, and pick up two white women down the street. So yeah fuck those cabs. Uber and Lyft all the way.


Yep, same here. I even have that issue with cab charges (which are little cards my employer give us for travel expenses - so work gets billed, not me). I ask at the start of the trip "do you accept cab charge", they all seem to say yes. A few have tried to tell me their card reader didn't work at the end of the trip.. so I told them too bad, I have no other way to pay, you told me you accepted cab charge. They have always found a way to process the payment.


That's a common scam for cabbies to pull.


Pretty stupid scam. Nobody carries cash anymore. If you don't take my card, I'm getting a free ride because my checking account is empty too.


People just push you often just to see what they can get away with. I’ve had taxi drivers try to screw me over in some way all over the world. Most cases they back down when challenged. But there are a lot of people who are easily intimidated or afraid of confrontation.


Card reader doesn't work? "Oh well, I tried. Thanks for the ride!" And walk away.


I've had cabbies get mad at me for it *while driving me to the airport*. Like, dude, I have a fucking flight to catch. Take my card or don't get paid. There is no third option.


Yep. Happened to me in Philly a few years back. Took a cab from the train station to the airport, as we get to the terminal, I go to hand my card to the cabbie who says “Reader’s broken, cash only. There’s an ATM inside to the right.” Told him I had a flight to catch, and that I’d be going straight to my gate, and wouldn’t be heading back outside with cash. Magically, the card reader worked when he tried it “just to be sure.”


Risky game on his part. I can’t imagine an easier spot for someone to slip away than an airport.


You got scammed bro


Taxis will suffer the same fate as Blockbuster - they just never bothered to evolve.


> DC I was once in the suburbs of DC - that is, a 10 minute drive, ignoring (ha) traffic - super late at night (so actually a 10 minute drive). I called a taxi company that I happened to remember had dropped people off where I was, a previous time I’d been there. After 15 minutes on the phone, their operator confirms they don’t do pickups at my location, as thats, by agreement, another taxi company’s turf. “Okay, can you give me their name? Or number?” “No, sorry. *click*” I don’t expect anyone to work for someone else’s pay, but you’d think they’d have a reciprocity agreement given that these two locations are immediately adjacent to each other. It turns out I could’ve crossed two streets and they would’ve picked me up. But this was in the Before Time, when Internet was novel and not on phones. Uber does some awful labor stuff, but taxi management really screwed the pooch on not committing sudoku. Edit: And, I’ve had plenty of experience where “the card machine is broken” is a lie. “Sorry, dispatch said you take credit, I told them I don’t have cash. Guess this one is on them.” “Oh, wait, it’s working now. It’s a miracle.”


I have so many awful cab stories but really only one awful Uber one. My "I am never using cabs again" moment came when we were going to an event that was part of a larger weekend festival. We planned on drinking so we didn't plan on driving. We knew it was busy and called earlier in the day to try and arrange a pickup, which they said no just call when you're ready. Fair enough. So we call, and they say they're sending a cab that will be there in 15 minutes. 15 minutes passes, then half an hour, so we call again to check on the status and they were unbelievably rude about it. They tell us it's a very busy weekend and we needed to be patient, it was almost there. Another half hour passes so it's now been a full hour that we have waited. We call back and tell them to cancel, we don't want it anymore, and they absolutely chew us out about it because the cab is "almost there." We never raised our voices or anything to warrant that sort of response. They were just awful to us. Downloaded Uber and got picked up in minutes. Cab companies absolutely did this to themselves. Decades of no competition made them complacent.


>... their operator confirms they don’t do pickups at my location, as thats, by agreement, another taxi company’s turf. I'm not a lawyer, but that sounds like a dictionary definition of a "hardcore cartel", which is illegal, and not just "get a fine" illegal, but "go to jail" illegal. https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/antitrust-laws https://www.justice.gov/atr/page/file/957596/download


I don't know how long ago that was, but fast-forward to now and my current company straight up pays for our Uber rides for work. We all got an invite and we simply choose the company as a payment method. It's so much easier and faster than the taxi vouchers my former company offered us.


I’m genuinely confused how a taxi would be more convenient than an Uber, unless you’re in NYC. Taxis here are a pain in the ass. Edit: sounds like it’s an issue with safety/insurance/waiting mostly, all of which are resolved here with Uber. Edit2: seems to be very location dependent on user experience. Here, ubers are have a special airport pickup area and in cities they have designated pickup points per block on the app so they don’t stuff traffic up.


Lived in NYC for years. Never got a taxi from Queens to Brooklyn or vice versa. They were always “changing shift “ the moment they heard “not manhattan”. Uber was a game Changer.


Yeah. The industry tanked the value of their own medallions by acting like the monopoly they were.


Yup. And I’m a white dude. So they would actually stop before saying NO. Taxis did it to themselves . And taxis were never “good” in NYC.


Depends on where you are. Uber can be the competition a place needs for its taxis to improve, or to let people escape them. Some anecdotal examples from places I've lived in, YMMV: Zurich and Switzerland as a whole IMO has among the worst taxis in Europe. They're expensive, often dirty, controlled by mafia cartels, with rude and shit drivers, and make you feel like you owe them something. I've been told flat out by a guy from the taxi authority that they cannot do anything with rider complaints, he was pretty frustrated about it. Uber is a godsend. Paris taxis used to be otherworldly godawful - subject to some craxy, corrupt rules, Uber came along, taxi drivers went apeshit, often attacked Uber drivers. Since then, Uber has been heavily regulated, but taxis seem overall better, cleaner, with nicer drivers. Melbourne cabs had a reputation for rude drivers, high prices, even assaults on female passengers. Uber came along -> clean cars, friendly drivers, good customer service. The result - a lot of crap cab drivers switched to Uber, and taxis seemed to improve noticeably. Barcelona - generally decent taxis, reasonable prices, lots of cab hailing apps. Uber very tightly restricted, but who cares? The upshot - Uber has had some crap labor and business practices, but in every place I've frequently visited or lived in that had terrible taxis, their existence has been a net positive, either forcing traditional cabs to be less shit, or giving passengers an alternative. Properly regulated, just the existence of any form of competition is a good thing.


I needed a cab one day in an emergency and downloaded Uber to book a ride within 5 minutes. The one and only time I’ve used it, but now it sits on my phone forever


Yeah that was basically how the first time I ever did Uber went too, though I use it more often than you(well Lyft is my preference but same thing)


What's the difference between them?


>If I were in need of a ride in a city, I’d just get a taxi out of convenience. The irony of this sentence Uber is wayyyyyyy more convenient and almost always a better experience


And in my experience so much cheaper too


My city actually never gave Uber a license and we have great cab service for cheap so never needed it


my city doesn't give uber drivers licences, they just get it from other cities that nearby and operate anyway


If you're afraid of elevators wait'll you see a [paternoster](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgJBD1wf-YQ).


Holy shit. That thing looks like the Cornballer of lift technology.


"Everyone's laughing, and riding, and cornholing except Buster."




Soy loco por los cornballs !




Love the Arrested Development reference


that looks awesome. but no way would i want to get on it if i was high/tipsy or with groceries or with a pet/child.


I think it would be fine as long as it is run by a properly trained union elevator operator.


Yeah, I've seen way too many videos of what happens when people get stuck with part of their body outside of a moving elevator to ever use something like that.




Funny, the only time I've seen and ridden one of these was also Berlin


AKA Guillotine-o-vators.


Never seen that before, thanks for sharing. [Belt Manlifts](https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AUdL_st3FFw) I started in industrial processing facilities where belt manlifts were quite popular years ago. These things can easily get up past 100ft tall for some buildings and I’ve been on a couple with just 3 stops. One at a basement or sub grade about 10ft down, grade, and 120ft elevation. The emergency ladders are no fun to use to get up or down from them if they fail/stop. Very similar idea but like literally standing on a large book with a handle around your chest to hold on to.


My dad is a member of a social club in downtown LA that has one of these in their parking garage. I've always wanted to sneak on one when I was a kid but no way I'd do it now.


>belt manlifts Blast Hardcheese!


Chest Rockwell!


Punch Rockgroin!


Literally just used one of these in Prague while on vacation. Fun but yes quite outrageous.


Tom Scott has got to be possibly the best YouTube channel. It's the one guy I watch and wish the videos were longer.


Dang I literally just saw him pass out in a centerfuge in another thread


He really gets around, doesn’t he?


Shudders in fright


Ooh I rode one of these it Italy (I think?) years ago. Wild experience I did not care for. It's the simplest thing to just step out, but you start overthinking almost immediately.


Until about 10 years ago there was a freight elevator operator in our office building. Apparently, the union fought to keep that job classification. We would push the button to call the elevator. The operator would not help load or unload the freight. He would only keep the elevator at the floor for loading and unloading and then he would push the button for the floor you wanted. He had to push the button. We were not allowed to push the button ourselves as this takes work from a union worker. He finally retired and the job was eliminated. And it actually became harder to run the freight elevator as no one person was controlling where it was called or stopped. We would discover the thing locked out 14 floors up because someone wanted to load a desk but they were not actually ready to move it yet.


I work in construction and have worked on office fit outs where you have an existing shell and core (and service lifts) and our job is to fit it all out. The goods lifts that are used to transport materials and workmen to the various floors are operated by a lift operator inside the carriage. If he didn’t exist it would be chaos as the lift was pulled this and that way in the least efficient way for the job as every randomer pushed the call button on this and that floor.


Yep, I think this is still common in construction for the freight/construction lifts, they're run by an operator to keep them efficient and simple. Just hop in and tell him where you want to go and he'll decide if that's a good idea or if he should go somewhere first, and if he's full he won't bother stopping on the way, etc.


This is correct but more because if it's an alimak (freight elevator temporarily attached to the outside of the building being constructed or renovated, run by a crane) the operator has to manage the loads so some dickheads don't try and take 5 ton of firewall up on a 3 ton lift


That's probably true. The one I was specifically thinking of in this case was inside the building, I think it was going to become the freight elevator eventually, it was in the core and mostly seemed like a normal elevator.


buckhoist(alimak is a brand) is the name of outdoor mounted elevators, construction uses operators because the units are not connected to safety systems like life lines (even when inside elevators are running)


I've known it as a "skip"


skips are not typically enclosed and are typically for material not people and/or material


Good to know, I work in Nz and have only ever seen alimak so I assumed it was the unit itself


On every job I'm on it's the oldest or most injured guy lmao. Usually pretty cool dudes.


Elevators + stories is what the crew needs for morale!


Ya I was doing custom cabinets for a while and it was a nightmare going to the beach condos here in Florida to do work on the penthouse or anywhere for that matter. Have to use the regular elevators and since it’s touristy they are not giving you the lock out key. I can definitely see how a lift operator would be essential in a construction sense.


The job sounded so useless...until the end.


Realistically they should replace the job with one where the operator has to help you load and unload


No labor, it is a knowledge job!


In the '70s I worked at a furniture store where the warehouse had a freight elevator controlled by ropes. It was a simple 2 floor elevator so it was just a matter of pulling a rope to go up or down and I'm pretty sure there was a hard stop at each floor so you really couldn't screw it up. you pull the rope, the elevator went up or down and motors disengaged when it hit the hard stop.


I think freight elevators STILL need to be operated by a human and all they do is press the buttons. I can’t find info but the last 4 buildings I’ve worked in all had a human operator and they would not let you do it. If he had a bathroom break you’d be stuck waiting. Bikes have to use the freight elevator so if you bike to work it’s a massive pain.


Kind of reminds me of the story I saw on the back of a Little Debbie or similar box. Back when the company was still young and everything was done manually, there was a guy whose sole job was to turn a crank to move the assembly line. He called out sick or maybe just didn't want to work one day, so the boss ended up having to do the job for the day. He saw how pointless it was to have someone doing that and had a then still somewhat new electric motor installed. Not only was the call-out out of a job, but eventually numerous other positions on the line ended up automated.


Damn, now one has to worry about missing work or else you risk losing your job and any other similar jobs lol.


The key is to put yourself in a niche position that no one, especially your boss, can do without you. Once you have that leverage, you can do whatever you want.


> The key is to put yourself in a niche position that no one, especially your boss, can do without you. Once you have that leverage, you can do whatever you want. Except get promoted to a better job in the company.


That's hardly ever a good strategy nowadays anymore. Most people just try to build up a good resume at one company and then apply to a different one which will usually offer a better pay. Rinse and repeat.


Hmm, I'm trying my darnedest to find the story online, but either I'm thinking of the wrong company, or Little Debbie realized that an origin story about workers being put out of a job by automation wasn't the feel-good folksy theme they thought it was and scrubbed it all.


Imagine your job is turning a crank all day. Before headphones existed. Probably no ac either. One arm noticeably more muscular. I bet some of those people were snorting heroin all day (dr prescribed).


I'd probably alternate. Doesn't fully solve the asymmetry but it'd help significantly.


There is actually still a type of elevator operator job in existence. Ever see those elevators going up the sides of buildings on construction sites? Those are operated by people. They manually push a lever up or down and manually open the gates to let people on and off and they answer calls with intercoms. Why? It’s because construction sites don’t have working emergency systems like fire alarms etc. it’s required to have a designated person in there to respond to an emergency and yes, they are union jobs.


I was just at Niagra falls, there's an elevator that takes you to the bottom of the falls and there were people operating those.


Remember the massive strikes of Taxi drivers against Uber? I am not sure they really thought that through.


I remember one of the complaints, was that they couldn't use surge pricing. Um... That's not a good thing to complain about if you want the general public on your side.




I suspect this would have happened regardless. Technology displaces employment regularly. Think of the lamplighters!


>Think of the lamplighters! One of my grade school science teachers always referred to the Buggy Whip manufacturers, and the crippling impact the automotive trade had on their livelihood. Followed with a discussion on how many new jobs were needed for the automotive trade.


Yeah, we talked about it in school. How cartwrights were a really prolific job that was pretty much destroyed by the automotive industry. But it was in the context that business has to change with the times or be left behind.


> But it was in the context that business has to change with the times or be left behind. These days companies will just legislate themselves a future.


I live near a town that makes battleships. The shipyard is one of the largest employers in the state. The navy keeps saying they don’t need ships anymore but nobody wants to close the plant. One time we had a smart governor who said we should convert the yard to making offshore wind plants. But then another guy got elected who said wind power was dumb. So now we keep making ships to fight imaginary sea battles.


The pony fetishists gamely tried to take up the slack but alas.


Sure did make for an interesting hybrid of Farriers and Cobblers though...


> Think of the lamplighters! Think of the knocker-uppers! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knocker-up


And the knocker-upper’s knocker-upper!


what have the romans ever done for us?




Other than roads aqueducts medicine sewers education? NOTHING!!


The Romans did not invent the comma, but you’re allowed to use it.


Right, that was invented at Oxford.




You take out your sword and then talk about peace? I hate the word peace like I hate hell, all Montagues, and you.


Ok now I want to know how they woke up on time to wake up others on time


*who knocker-ups the knocker-uppers*


Not as much cuckoldry as I imagined.


Knocker-up? I barely know her!


Think of the switch board operators!


Believe me I do.


The cop or civilian assigned to answer the phone in every NYPD precinct to this day is still referred to as the Telephone Switchboard Operator.


Meanwhile I'm continually surprised to find out there are states in the US that don't allow you to pump your own gas. Granted there are idiots, but the majority know what they're doing.


What I find interesting is that despite having to pay all these gas station attendants in OR and NJ, the difference in gas prices between them and their neighboring states can be largely explained by differences in their respective gas taxes.




Yeah, NJ is corrupt as hell.


Yeah it's definitely just NJ


It was oregon too until recently.


Still is, unless you're a motorcyclist.


But who is benefiting from this? I doubt the gas station attendant lobby is particularly influential.


More like nobody else cares enough to oppose them I guess. It's just stupid you can't pump your own gas.


It's nice in the winter, though, when it's snowing sideways.


Its *almost* the same, but it's actually required for gas stations to have a pump attendant to pump your gas. Its not illegal for you to pump your own gas. The requirement is on the business, not the people. If you find a gas pump without an attendant, like late at night or far from town or both, you can pump your own gas with no risk of fines or anything.


Lamplight got replaced by Starlight


I will fucking laser you


Would you be interested in some milk?


Such social disruptions can accelerate field disruptions, though, just as many things related to remote business were things people thought might happen sometime in the mid- or late 2020s, but instead happened in 2020 due to the pandemic.


Similar to how wildfires (not the crazy climate ones) are actually part of a healthy forest lifecycle. Good fires -> crazy new life.


I was just thinking of all those ticket punch holes sticking around the floors of the old trains I used to ride. Someone was thinking about making confetti.


I learned this just the other day when Derek on Veritasium was talking about self driving cars Edit: the video in question, featuring my home town of scenic Phoenix Arizona https://youtu.be/yjztvddhZmI


I literally just finished watching that video lol 🍻


I thought you might have


Ihad never used Uber until the other cab drivers of my town went on strike to protest it. So the only cabs working were Ubers and similar... so I downloaded the app and never looked back. GG, cab strike. Saved me a decent amount of money.


Interesting post and commentary. The building where I grew up is on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and had elevator operators instead of doormen. That became unusual, as buildings moved to automatic elevators and hired doormen instead. But ours kept the elevator men. Same union, I believe. They would (like doormen) help people with packages, control who came and went, and help in emergencies. They were great.


Sort of like when McDonald's employees started striking and then every McD in my area almost immediately put up order kiosks and dropped several staff positions.


We have elevator operators at The Strat(previously The Stratosphere) in Las Vegas. They're double decker and a lot of the buttons lead to employee only areas or emergency exit floors.


Fun fact in the TV show Family Matters I believe this was the mother's (Harriet Winslow) job. But she was successfully able to pivot to a different role, she was at the same company as the TV show Perfect Strangers was based at, whole TGIF universe going.


See also the taxi drivers who striked against Uber in the UK and ended up driving lots of people to have to use Uber instead because people still needed taxis


I was doing a job up in Hell's Kitchen and sure as shit, Elevator Driver. A fucking surly one who got pissed at me for trying to ride without their help, like I was attempting a lobotomy. This was just before 9/11 happened, I still shake my head over that. Just as stupid as NJ requiring employees to pump your gas.


Reminds me of assholes in bathrooms at high end clubs or strip joints. No you fuck, I don't want to give you a tip because you sprayed me with knock off Drakar and handed me a fucking paper towel from a machine 1 foot away from me.


There was a guy who did this at a club I went to, but he was a young guy who looked and dressed fairly hip. While I was washing my hands, he gave me a small motivational speech, telling me stuff like "you got this, knock those ladies dead" except more creatively and motivatingly. It was actually pretty funny, and I left that bathroom feeling emotionally better and more confident than when I went in. That guy sure as fuck got a tip.


In the womens bathrooms, drunk girls do this for free


I had a similar experience at a club in NYC, but the guy was also outfitted with a bowl of only pink Starburst and was giving them out to everyone in the bathroom. Looking back on it, I probably should have been more wary about eating candy given to me in a club bathroom, but this dude was chill.


Their job is mostly to shame people masturbating in the bathroom.


And doing drugs/fucking in there.


Aren't they the ones that usually sell drugs?


It's like with theatres and snacks. The bathrooms make all their real money on drug sales, and actually running the bathroom itself barely contributes to their profits.


I thought they were emotional support for those struggling with constipation.


*Who is Number 2 working for?!*


That's right, you show that turd who's boss!


Number 1 obviously


My understanding is they reduce the rate of illicit activities in the bathroom. Drugs are the big one.


In the winter, gassing up in NJ is pretty nice...


Yeah, I have to drive through NJ regularly and at first I would plan my trips to avoid having to get gas in NJ because I found the whole interaction so foreign. However, as I've gotten used to it, it's kind of nice not having to get out of the car.


Work takes me in a lot of different buildings in Southern Manhattan. I found an elevator driver in a building in midtown just a couple months ago on Broadway just a couple blocks north of union Square. The elevator button was just a doorbell. Then this lady showed up looking like the bus driver from forest Gump.


This is interesting. In my country there is almost no gas station without personel to do it for you. It's not that you can't do it, it's like restaurant vs self-service. It's deeply rooted in culture of some societies to be served small things as a way of enjoying. For example look at the culture of coffee drinking in some Mediterranean countries, coffee shops are everywhere being part of daily routine, ceremony. I remember arriving really early morning to Sevilla Spain trying to kill few hours in local coffee shop. Bunch of people comming in before work for their daily ritual drinking coffee with milk. Amazing experience.


I was at a gas station and a group of very confused teenage girls asked me how to pump gas. Said they were from Columbia and they never had to do it themselves.


"What are they gonna do, learn how to operate the elevator?" "Ha! Can you imagine?"


kinda reminds me of taxi companies and their fight vs Uber/Lyft... rather than better their services, they'd rather another entity solve their problems


My great grandpa was an elevator operator. He's faced many ups and downs in his life.


Too bad his employer was constantly giving him the shaft.


Calm down. You wouldn't want to push his buttons.


That escalated quickly.


Unions are great, unless the leadership are idiots. The union at the power station I worked at engaged in a wildcat (unplanned) strike due to foreign labour. The three stupid parts? There was no foreign labour at our station, over 60% of the workforce were due to go work in the Netherlands after the outage was over (so they were becoming foreign labour) and the strike took place when the upgrades were being commissioned, causing us to miss an extremely important deadline, triggering penalty clauses. As a result all of the external contractors at that site and its sister station (including me) were immediately let go to make up for the drop in revenue. The worst part? It was 2008 and I didn't manage to get another job in Engineering for almost 2 years (I did, however, work in the video game industry to make ends meet, which was fun). Good job assholes, your hypocritical strike about an issue that didn't affect anyone at your station cost 50 of your co-workers their jobs in the middle of a recession.


My legal studies teacher in high school used to work for an accounting agency. She had to manage the account and debt of a smallish factory which employed thirty to forty people, who were struggling to keep afloat. This company was running almost non stop to keep costs as low as possible. This company was also heavily unionised. She calculated a bunch of small measures which would further bring the budget a little closer to balance, but deducted that the only way to save the company was to lose at least two workers. Of course, the Union finds out and does not like this one bit. The staff go on strike for four days to save the two jobs. In the four days they were striking, the company finally collapsed, filed for bankruptcy, and all thirty or so jobs were lost. Just to save two jobs. Although they’re usually a force of good, sometimes unions can be really stupid.


Reminds me of when I worked for a grocery store chain that still had their own distribution center, and management wanted to move away from a system where any overtime for warehouse personnel had to be offered to the person with the most seniority first, regardless of if they were needed, so you might have to bring in multiple extra people on a Saturday just to get down to the forklift driver you really needed. The union threw an absolute fit and went on strike, after which management decided maybe they didn't need these headaches after all and shifted to a third party warehouse and the whole union was out of a job. It was so dumb.


That’s part of why wildcat strikes are unprotected in the US. The other part is that they undermine the union and its bargaining credibility.


God I think frkken Looney Tunes is the only place I've ever seen an elevator operator. It's never been part of my life experience aside from that


Lawyer Rosalind Shays and Dr Drake Ramoray both wished elevator operators were still around. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mj8FIbuoWPY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUZwbUsiG0M


This is eventually going to happen to fast food workers and cafe baristas. Eventually people won’t be willing to work for minimum wage and strike and companies will learn that it’s just cheaper to cut out the middle man and replace those unskilled workers with machines. Many fast food restaurants already have MTO screens available and it would be easy to make machines that make customizable Starbucks drinks and what not. I don’t want this but this is the future.


I don’t see how this is a bad thing. Why should jobs that are unnecessary exist for the sake of existing?


Im kinda surprised that they dont have machines that automatically make food at places like mcdonalds.