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Blood type

Amanda J S Baldwin writes short speculative fiction and is working on a manuscript for younger readers. She lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her family and rather a lot of books and bicycles. Visit her at amandajsbaldwin.com.

"I see you have completed a Masters in genetics, and a Doctorate in biological mathematics."
"That's right. I completed my increments two years ago."
"And since then you have been working for--"
"Synsi-tech Industries, yes."
"Why are you seeking alternative employment? Do you find Synsi-tech Industries inadequate?"
"No, it's fine, just... difficult to get ahead."
"I see. Well, there are concrete opportunities for advancement with Systems Incorporated."
"That's wonderful to hear."
"We were very impressed with your response to the selection criteria. The formalities have been completed, so--"
"Hello? Systems Incorporated? Are you there?"
"Oh, good. You dropped out for a moment."
"Your CV."
"It lists your blood type."
"Yes, I've had a full screening and the report shows no abnormalities or predisposition to serious disease. So I won't be any trouble for your health plan, ha ha...."
"You are human."
"Is that... a problem?"
"We are sorry. We were under the impression that--"
"I'm still capable of working twelve hours a day--"
"--you were an AI and--"
"--my output is excellent--"
"--we are very sorry--"
"--and my emotional intelligence for--"
"--to have wasted your time."
"--human customers is really... second to none."
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

Author Comments

My phone can already predict what I want to say and where I want to go; it's only a matter of time before it will be able to do my job. I like my phone, but I also like humans. That conundrum gave rise to this story.

- Amanda J S Baldwin
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