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I feel technology has its place, but nothing can replace a real live human being on the other end when it comes to any transaction that requires an exchange or negotiation between two parties. By Fareeha Qayoom

By Fareeha Qayoom



am tech challenged. In other words, I don’t like dealing with machines if I can possibly help it.

banking 2

I’d rather stand in line for a few minutes and deal with a human teller at the bank than with an ATM machine any day of the week. Even though, it costs me double – (yes, I have to pay a service charge for using a human teller for each check I cash and they still charge me for the ATM services which I never use.)

I’d rather pay via credit card while shopping than use the ATM machine to pay cash (since again, I deal with a human being on the other end of the counter who in turn deals with the machine on my behalf).

Many people make fun of this character quirk in me. I feel technology has its place, but nothing can replace a real live human being on the other end when it comes to any transaction that requires an exchange or negotiation between two parties.

Remember the frustration when you forget your pin code and you need to speak to a live human being and the tape (telephone) keeps telling you to press 1 and then press 2 and then press 3 and hold? You have to hold for hours before you can get to a live human being who can sort your problem out.

Remember the frustration when the ATM machine eats your card? And you have to go through the hassle of getting a new one? Nothing can make you feel stupider than yelling at a machine. 🙂 I know because I have witnessed a few friends go through precisely this a few times. (No, I have never used an ATM card.)

Why am I telling you this? Well the other day, one of the bank tellers asked me precisely this question when I handed over a check for five thousand rupees to him to cash– why was I waiting in line to take out a small amount of cash when I could use the ATM machine? I smiled and said, “I just prefer dealing with human beings.” Then, I asked him to hand me over 10 hundred notes and two five hundred notes and three 1000 notes. He did so and then he replied smilingly – “oh, I get it. No ATM machine would hand over the exact amount of change that you need.”

Yes, technology can never replace a live human being.


Friends: Chandler trapped in ATM vestibule






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Fareeha Qayoom
Fareeha Qayoom
Publisher and editor-in-chief of and former print editions of The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review (tkfr), a trade newsletter for the textile and apparel industry of Pakistan. In short, Publisher, editor, and a blogger. In addition, she has served as Managing Editor of MIT Technology Review Pakistan, print and web editions (2015-16). Total of 7 editions were published under her leadership by ITU, Punjab's first public technology university under the license of MIT Technology Review (USA). She has also managed Value Mag in the same capacity, a real estate and lifestyle magazine for Value TV - 2008-9. Published freelancer for The News on Sunday 1994-96. Fareeha has over 21 years of solid management experience – of managing brands (like Harley Davidson, Munsingwear, Chaps, Chaps Ralph Lauren etc.,), Retailers (like Target, Mervyns, Kohl's, Marks and Spencer etc.,), customers (VPs, Product Managers, Unit Managers, and Buyers), and products (apparel - woven, knits, men's, women's, children's, Print and online publishing units), projects, teams, and processes, information, content, and data, staff, vendors, and time. Versatile and adaptable with international exposure, communication and language skills (oral and written), and a consistent track record of achieving company targets and objectives, plus a MA in Political Science from Punjab University, a MSc in Economics from La Salle University, Louisiana, USA, and a BA in Economics from Kinnaird College for Women.

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