Help! Technology ate my job and Siri shut me up – Orange County Register

Yup. I am about to be out of a job, and technology is to blame.

Self-driving cars are to become a reality. How they will maneuver without me it’s too soon to say

I am a professional backseat driver, though my actual location has always been sitting in front, next to the human driver.

It is not any easy task, as I have to be conscientious and able to instruct my partner, prompting him to keep his eyes on the road.

I see myself as director of traffic, and any other people who – in their naivete – deem that none of my business are irresponsible, as I see it as helping my small area of humanity to be cautious and safe when I badger them with any of the following:

“You’re driving to slow.”

“You’re driving too fast.”

“Keep your eyes on the road.”

“Stop looking at the babe in the bikini.”

“Oh boy, you are so naive.”

“That is not her real nose”

“Or breasts.”

“Or teeth.”

“She’s probably a Hollywood starlet.”

“Oops, is that a Kardashian?”

I remember one time, when apparently someone’s prayers were answered, or maybe it was just a dream. I heard someone whisper, “Jan, sleep with the windows open. Snow and wind are improving your nagging skills.”

And then I had laryngitis and couldn’t speak.

On the following day in the car, the driver checked his ears to make sure his hearing aid was turned on. Then, because of the eerie silence, he started to turn back, thinking he left me at home.

Since these job-killing, self-driving vehicles make my vital contribution to the world obsolete, I asked my in-phone assistant Siri to record my suggestions for the driver, for posterity.

First she seemed to be writing my to-do and not-do list. Then she stopped and shouted, “You, Jan, are the real reason self-driving vehicles were necessary in the first place. Get out of my car!”

It is not Siri’s car, but mine. However, since she knows too much and can ruin my life if she revealed any of it, I’m hitchhiking home.

When I am safe and out of her control, I am switching to Alexa’s grandma with the hearing aid.

I thought of being an Uber driver, but I just learned they’ll  consider going driverless.

FYI: Jan, now seeking employment.

Humor columnist and Laguna Woods Village resident Jan Marshall is the author of humor books for grownups, including “Dancin Schmancin With the Scars.” She also has written aspirational books for children — “The Toothbrush Who Tried to Run Away“ and “The Littlest Hero.” She’s the founder of the International Humor and Healing Institute in 1986. She’s a clinical hypnotherapist, a TV host and media humorist, and — above all — a proud great-grandmother. Contact her at

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