I could feel the heat of my anger in my ears and cheeks as I approached the kiosk for the fourth time in less than two months. I hated being in the mall, I hated dealing with the bots, and, above all, I hated the obvious lack of effort put forth by companies to provide work for actual humans instead of bots.
“Are you sure about this Jake?” Stephanie asked. “Last time you were ready to destroy the bot. Why don’t you let me exchange the Yogle for you?”
“This little thing has been the bane of my existence for the last six weeks,” I said as I shook the tiny device in front of her. “I spent nearly a week’s pay on one, and I have yet to have it work properly past the first day. I need to do this, or get my money back, I don’t care which.”
“Welcome to Yogle,” The bot said, its eyes squaring up to me. “How can I assist you today?”
“I need to exchange my Yogle for a new one,” I said watching Stephanie raise her eyebrows at me.
The bot gave of a series of beeps and moved in a manner suggestive of a robotic shrug, “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you’re asking. How can I assist you today?”
I growled before clearly enunciating every syllable, “I need to exchange my Yogle for-”
“Make an exchange,” the bot said cutting me off. “Please state the reason for the exchange in a few words.”
“My Yogle doesn’t work,” I said.
“Malfunctioning Yogle. I’m sorry to hear that,” the bot said, its facial expression shifting to one that was supposed to calm people, but only made me want to pull the silicone skin off it. “Have you been here before?”
“I’m going to kill this thing,” I muttered to Stephanie, “YES!”
“Please tell me your ID number.”
“I found you in my system,” the bot said. “How can I assist you?”
“This is the twenty-third century, right?” I said turning to Stephanie. “You’d think that they’d either put people in this job or have better bots to deal with-”
“I can’t help you with that,” the bot said. “Please try your request again later.”