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NYC Chicken Shop Replaces Cashier With Woman in Philippines On Zoom

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the viral photo of a Zoom cashier working at a fried chicken shop in New York City, highlighting the unusual remote work setup and the reactions of customers.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] The Zoom Cashier

1. What is the unusual remote work setup at the fried chicken shop?

  • The fried chicken shop, Sansan Chicken, has a separate setup with a Zoom worker who takes orders from customers, in addition to a touchscreen ordering kiosk.
  • The Zoom cashier is located in the Philippines, with a 12-hour time difference from New York, and usually changes shifts around 3 pm.
  • The setup uses Zoom, a webcam, and a separate pair of speakers for the remote cashier.

2. How did customers react to the Zoom cashier?

  • Customers found the experience "pretty weird" and "a little alienating" to have an everyday in-person experience mediated through a screen.
  • Some customers were taken aback by being greeted by a computer screen instead of a human cashier.
  • The lag in communication when checking out was also noted as an issue that customers are not used to.

3. What was the rationale provided by the store manager for using the Zoom cashier?

  • The manager stated that using the Zoom cashier helps control costs, as labor is cheaper in the Philippines compared to New York City.
  • The manager indicated that as a business owner, they need to think about ways to reduce costs, and the Zoom cashier setup is "very useful" for this purpose.

[02] Outsourcing and Remote Work

1. How does the Zoom cashier setup relate to the broader trend of outsourcing work to the Global South?

  • The article suggests that the Zoom cashier setup is an example of outsourcing underpaid cashier labor to the Global South, in this case the Philippines, for cost savings.
  • This trend of outsourcing work to the Global South has been a recent topic of discussion, as seen with the case of Amazon shuttering its Just Walk Out checkout system that relied on remote workers in India.
  • The article notes that this outsourcing is usually invisible to Western consumers, but the Zoom cashier setup makes it more visible.

2. What was the reaction of the NYU student interviewed regarding the Zoom cashier setup?

  • The NYU student, Alex Tey, commented that the Zoom cashier setup "totally makes sense" if it is a "dumb start-up outsourcing cashier labor, which is already underpaid, to the Global South for cheap."
  • Tey stated that this is something that is usually invisible to Western consumers, but in this case, it is visible, and the store is "not even claiming it's an AI or algorithm before outsourcing it to the Philippines."
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