You Are Replaceable- And Maybe By The “Beaner Slinger”

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August 13, 2013

You go to work every day.  You’re dedicated, right?  Passionate about what you do?  Give it your all nearly every day?  We all like to think we go above and beyond and that it is seen and recognized as value.  We all like to believe that although unsaid, that we’re somehow buying ourselves some job protection and that we’re not replaceable.  Well, that may not be the case.

Take the case of P. Stephen Potter.  Stephen, who is a lawyer by trade, moonlighted for thirty six years as the “Hot Dog Man” for the University of Nebraska.  What is a hot dog man exactly?  Well, Mr. Potter would dress rather eclectically and wander around the stadium on game day throwing hot dogs as high up in the stands as he could.  People then wrapped their money in the hot dog wrapper and threw it back to Mr. Potter.

After so many years and becoming an icon at the stadium with the Nebraska fans, he was told his services were no longer needed.  Some think it was because he had asked to bring his granddaughter on his back, without a ticket.  But some think it was because of….The Beaner Slinger.

From the Daily Nebraskan News

About four years ago, another hot dog man showed up with The Beaner Slinger, an air gun (of sorts) for shooting hot dogs farther and higher into the stands.

Call it technology or maybe declining performance of the man throwing hot dogs manually.  Either way, Mr. Potter lost his job.  So, the next time you are going about your daily routine, remember the hot dog man.  Are you doing all you can to keep up with technology and bring new and innovative delivery to your job?  Maybe you should.

 

 

2 Comments

  • It’s one of those sad facts of life. VHS replaced by VCR replaced by DVRs replaced by HDRs and the saga goes on. Everyone wants a big share and that makes everyone else and everyone else’s priorities replaceable. If organizations and people are less greedy then it would SLOW down the replacements.

    Of course there are situations where people/companies have to make tough decisions but if GREED is taken out of the equation – I am sure most situations would not make so MANY people replaceable.

  • I agree. To both you Trish and AADI. More and more physical jobs are being replaced by new and more effective features. My sister and the rest of her section lost their jobs recently, because the company she and her colleagues worked for found out that it was much cheaper to close the whole section and instead invest in some kind of robot. Same thing happend to one of my friends a couple of years ago. He worked at one of the factories of BMW in Germany. The management decided to dismiss 90% of the workers and replace them with robots…

    The technology has taken over a lot of jobs which used to be occupied by humans. To keep your job, you have to be outstanding. Literally. Having or devloping skills which a computer or other techonological features can’t replace is the key to keep employed in the future.

    But is it even possible to learn and develop faster than the technology improves? Probabaly not, but it is definitely worth a shot! Well, I don’t wanna end up like the “Hot Dog Man” or like my sister or old friend – unemployed. I have to kids to take care of, and decided therefore to supplement my education with something called Mini MBA. It is a further education here in Denmark, but I’m not sure if it exists in other languages…

    I’d rather fight for my job, with the possibility of keeping it. And today, I’m still employed 🙂

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From the Daily Nebraskan News
From the Daily Nebraskan News
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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.

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