HAD just been thinking about my grandmothers and how they actually knew the people they bought products from, when I read the article ``It's Time to Put Automated Services on `Hold,' '' Oct. 6. Each grandmother had a regular hairstylist and these people even went to my grandmothers' homes when my grandmothers were unable to leave the house. I, on the other hand, go to a haircut shop every few months where someone different cuts my hair each time and I never know their names.
When I thought about my grandmothers shopping at ``markets'' and knowing the people behind the counters, though, I had to admit that the people at my local grocery store are very friendly. Four or five people there always recognize me, and we have short chats. (The gas station, though, is even more automated than the author's description. I can pay at the pump with my credit card and never even see another person.)
Those of us brought up with all this automation feel very uncomfortable when we must interact with people. On the other hand, one extreme usually leads to another, so I am optimistic that certain areas of our lives will have more personal contact in the future, by popular demand. Suzanne Soule, Vista, Calif.
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