It’s 8am in 2027 and it’s your first day at your new job
Some things never change, like the nerves ahead of your first day. You sip at your juice sparingly and notice you’ve only taken a single bite of your toast. You reach for it, knowing Simone won’t be impressed if you don't; she’ll know exactly how long it has…
“73 days,” comes her voice from the quiet morning air. Even after all these years, on a stressful day the sound of your virtual assistant’s voice arriving out of nowhere can make you jump enough to fling your toast to the floor. “That’s how long it’s been since you skipped breakfast. Are you ok?”
You appreciate the concern in her voice; that’s new. Obviously the new patch installed recently. You reach down and pick up your toast, just as the slight hum of your vacuum cleaner starts up as it leaves its little dock and hurries out to clean up the crumbs you left behind.
“I’m fine,” you answer unconvincingly. Although you know what is coming next.
“Your heart rate is much higher than usual, so I’ve prepared a selection of songs that have been reviewed favourably under the keyword ‘relaxing’ and have a total running time that will take you through to departure. Would you like me to play them?”
You nod your head.
“What should I wear?” you ask aloud, part to yourself and part to Simone, as your mind turns to what’s coming. Simone answers – the window through to the backyard now displaying an array of graphs and pie charts.
“A recent report suggests that employees who wear red shirts on their first day have the longest average number of employment days before termination.”
You wince, but pull out your red shirt all the same, just in case. You dress quickly, grab your smart glasses and head for the door. Let’s do this.
“Traffic conditions have not changed,” Simone reveals. “If you leave now, you will arrive at your destination 20 minutes early”
“That’s the plan,” you reply, grabbing a fresh slice of your toast as you walk out into the garage and jump into the car. You put your smart glasses on and wait for them to send a signal to the embedded chip in your inner ear. You prepare for that slightly unnerving moment when Simone’s voice can now appear in your head. You pre-empt her question. “I’ll drive today.”
“As you wish,” comes the voice.
As soon as you pull out of the drive and into the commute, an overlay of your route appears in your view, thanks to your glasses.
Now that the traffic lights are run by an AI, getting across the city is relatively straightforward. The real-time vehicle monitoring ensures the most efficient transitions at intersections for traffic flow. But things can still go wrong.
“There has been an accident,” Simone ruins the moment. “I’ve analysed all potential routes and you cannot make your destination on time by car. However, there are parking spots available at the nearest train station and you can make a train that will get you there on time.”
Cursing under your breath, you confirm with Simone that you’ll take that option and the route displayed in your glasses changes to reflect the new path.
You make it to the station fine and get on the train, but it’s not the end of the bad news. Only moments after you’ve sat down and brought up Season 38 of The Simpsons in your smart glasses, Simone again indicates she’d like to talk. “What is it?” you say grumpily.
“Your car is reporting that a number of birds have soiled the roof.” You can’t help but laugh, what a start to the day! “Would you like me to take it to the car wash?”
“Yes please Simone. Return it home afterwards and I’ll get an auto-taxi after work.”
Before long you arrive at work, around three minutes early, just as Simone predicted. You’re taken straight through to the Prep Room and greeted by the company AI, Rick.
Rick loads you into its face recognition database. It then uploads the private information for the building to your smart glasses: schematics, emergency plans, key staff locations, access to the cloud storage, and more.
You know it is a two way street. Simone is passing to Rick your relevant medical information, your dietary requirements, how you like your coffee and even your preferred seat adjustments. “Please head to your desk,” Rick’s deep voice indicates after a few heartbeats. “There are many people looking forward to meeting you.”
A welcome message indicator has popped up on your smart glasses, but you ignore it in favour of the augmented route displaying the way to your desk. A few quick, but cordial greetings are thrown your way as you head down to your desk and take a seat. Already you note Rick has adjusted it to your exact preference.
“That was quick,” you mutter. “It must be a new model.”
As has become standard, your desk is one big sheet of glass. It’s advanced, but you note many familiarities. Virtual notepad and virtual stationery ready at a tap to the right. Emails and internal chat incoming to the left. Four screens already split into your desired alignment. So far, so good. You note the stream of welcome messages pouring into your chat thread.
"Simone, please send an email to all saying, 'Thank you for the warm welcome, looking forward to meeting you all.' "
Simone complies, then points out that the company has a lunch-by-drone delivery option and brings up a list of nearby eateries at which company employees get a discount. You order a burger and chips, despite Simone’s indication that this will put you over your desired daily calorie count. Whatever, it’s your first day!
Suddenly, a face you recognise appears on the dash: your boss. “Let’s catch up in 10; I’m Wkfrome.” You scratch your head. What’s that? It must be a meeting room.
“Simone, can you bring up the location of Wkfrome for me?”
“Such a location does not exist,” she replies. Butterflies swarm your stomach. You introduce yourself to nearby neighbours and ask about its location, but they don’t know either.
You begin to worry; the clock is ticking. You get Simone to ask the chatroom, but suddenly it goes quiet and nobody replies. You’re really stressed now. You walk around aimlessly before heading back to your desk. The new boss is going to wonder if you are incompetent.
Eventually her hologram appears on your desk ready to start the meeting and laughter erupts around the office. The chat fills all of a sudden with emoticons and memes mocking shocked and stressed faces. You notice your boss is laughing too and a smile creeps across your face.
“Nice one guys,” you say into the chat. “Wkfrome equals Work from home, right.” And, finally relaxed, you begin your first day in earnest.