By Lor Eal Paris, Muse Editor
After many years of struggling to find a faithful and devoted distribution manager and delegating distribution duties to editors who already work tirelessly to put together the newspaper on weekends, The Stagnant may have finally found a solution to its distribution woes: Distribot 101.
Distribot 101, a state-of-the-art EZ-robot, was hired last week by The Stagnant to assume the normal duties of distribution manager, eliminating the need for an actual staff member to fill the position. It should be noted, however, that the position has been more or less unfilled since the founding of The Stagnant in 1966.
“The hiring of Distribot as our distribution manager will really ease the load of our staff,” remarked Katniss Everclear, Redditor-in-Chief of The Stagnant. “Now, the newspaper will always be out in a timely manner, and we’ll never have to struggle to find peons to distribute the paper on Monday, or deal with the distribution manager bailing on distributing the paper that we work so hard to put together.”
“After all,” Everclear added, “the distribution manager is one of the most important positions for the paper, but no one ever seems to want to do it. We can publish a great paper, but all that hard work is for nothing if no one distributes it. Let’s make The Stagnant great again through the efforts of Distribot!”
It is relatively simple to operate Distribot: load him up with newspaper bundles, program in the locations that need to be covered via a touchpad located on his right arm, and send him on his way. Distribot then navigates the newspaper route as a normal person would, seamlessly dropping off new newspapers and removing old copies from racks.
While distributing newspapers, Distribot tracks the total dropoff and pick-up numbers and then prints off the totals in the form of a large, legible receipt. An algorithm programmed inside Distribot then takes these numbers into account and determines how the count should be adjusted for each individual rack for the following week.
His duties do not end there, though. Distribot takes care of all of the old copies of the newspapers by shredding them up via his built-in paper shredder, saving The Stagnant staff the hassle of having to drag the old copies outside to the recycling bins on the dolly and the annoying mess of ink being transferred from the newspapers to their hands. All The Stagnant staff has to do now is empty out his shredded contents into a recycling bin.
The hiring of Distribot also means that no staff member of The Stagnant will ever again be subjected to the torment of dragging the distribution dolly up, down, or around Northern Campus to deliver newspapers, or be forced to maneuver the dolly into tight quarters like the elevator of Brutus Hall during the delivery route.
Locations that must be driven to, such as those on Southern Campus and on the other side of Northern Campus, do not even pose a problem for Distribot, as he comes equipped with a robot-sized car to drive to those locations. He can only operate the car on sidewalks, however, since he is not legally allowed to hold a driver’s license.
“Another great thing about Distribot,” noted Everclear, “is that he doesn’t complain about the amount of work he has to do.”
“Actually, he can’t complain,” she added, scratching her head. “He can’t even talk.”
During his first day on the job last Monday, Distribot had only a few remarks about his new position.
“Beeeep, blop, blurp,” said Distribot, as he placed newspapers in a rack on the second floor of the Centennial Student Center outside of The Stagnant office. A translator was not available to assist in determining what this means in English.
“Honestly, we were initially concerned about Distribot’s ability to replicate the work of an actual human being,” said Bryan Trull, mentor for The Stagnant. “But judging by his first day of work, all of our doubts have been erased.”
“Well, except when he tumbled down the escalator,” Trull mumbled under his breath.
When asked about the possibility of robots eventually taking over the duties of other staff members, both Everclear and Trull remained tight-lipped.