Time to scrutinise a WINZ Drone

By Kate Stewart


Move over Gareth Morgan.

This week I have ventured way out of my comfort zone and into what many would describe as hostile territory, to bring you the first in a two-part story of a species that really does need culling.

This grossly overbred creature, the Civil Servant, has many sub species. The one I will be exploring today is the WINZ Drone.

Their natural habitat, the concrete jungle, is rugged terrain. Access via the lift was impossible on the day I visited. As I climbed the stairs I spotted other visiting species with walking aids, struggling to reach their destination and wondered how anyone in a wheelchair would cope.

It is protocol in the jungle to inform the drone of your arrival. I waited in line, two people ahead of me and two drones positioned on the frontline. Shouldn't be a long wait. Yeah right.

I noticed a large screen device that gave five views of the drone's habitat, running in real time. But as I viewed it as I waited, it was more like a slow motion replay. It didn't exactly make for riveting viewing and I am really not sure why anyone would want to highlight the lack of activity in such a way.

Was is arrogance or some bizarre animal ritual?

I can't say that the welcome I received was a warm one. Although they say they are there to help I was left feeling like I was a burden, an interruption, and that they would prefer I wasn't there at all.

I was given the label of a WALK IN, someone who has not made an appointment, and directed to wait with others who shared the same name. We would be seen on a "first in, first served" manner.

The habitat was sterile and comprised of two open areas that were separated by the waiting area. Another big screen was in front of me with the same five split screens that I described earlier. There were maybe 20 desks, each manned by a drone. For the most part chairs provided for visitors at the desks were empty.

Very few drones appeared to be interacting with the visiting species.

I watched as drones drifted almost aimlessly from one side of the jungle floor to the other, some clutching empty plastic folders, others the odd piece of paper. Their faces showing little, if any expression. Eye contact was minimal. Many of these hostile creatures spent a great deal of time congregating around a copy machine. Creatures from the opposing Private Sector could have handwritten these documents in the time it took a solitary drone to make one copy. It was pitiful.

While most creatures continue to evolve and adapt to their environment the WINZ Drone appears to be devolving. Where many species would be grateful for their position in such hard and challenging times, these drones seem to be devoid of all life and enthusiasm. Some seem almost resentful as they trudge back and forth, doing their best to look busy but achieving very little.

The time is 3.15pm and all of a sudden there is a flurry of activity. A small herd of the drones appear out of nowhere, powered by a real purpose, they all head for the door that will lead them to their sacred smoko room.

It's like a mini stampede and for just a second fear grips me as I think I will be trampled in the rush. Then just as quickly as it started it's all over. There are no stragglers left behind.

I have been here 20 minutes now and despite the fact that the drones outnumber the walk-ins at least two to one, just one of us has been invited to experience interaction with a drone. With cobwebs beginning to form around me I am regretting my earlier decision not to bring a picnic. More walk-ins are arriving; soon there will not be adequate seating for all of us.

At 3.30pm the same herd that stampeded out with real purpose and determination return. Their body language, however, has changed dramatically. Eyes are downcast, shoulders are slumped and where upon their exit was marked by a speed and spring in their step, the drone returns to its trademark trudge, moving with all the speed and grace of a snail on lithium.

It's just too painful to watch. I am left wondering if this creature is missing the very DNA that brings life and spirit.

A second stampede occurs as the next herd of drones take their place at the watering hole. Clearly the almighty smoko room waits for no man. I on the other hand am still waiting as I watch a drone too lazy to venture further than necessary, as she escorts the latest arrival to her desk. So much for first in first served. My hackles are up and I audibly make my point. Finally, my time has come.

Join me next week as I get up close and personal with one of these freaks of nature. Trust me when I tell you that you won't want to miss what happens next. Until then smile loudly and keep the feedback coming.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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