My mind is somewhere else, juggling an ever-growing to-do list, listening for my pager, and checking my phone for the latest information about the world when I hear a loud whirring and impatient beeping behind me. Turning my head slightly to evaluate the potential risk for being run over by some random vehicle in this deserted hallway, I see an unoccupied filing cabinet racing along behind me.
Holy shit! The office furniture is alive and it seems pissed. What the hell is this? My pace quickens and I race to the nearest stairwell to escape certain death.
I have no idea what this giant box on wheels is doing. I have no idea where it has been or where it is going. I’ve never seen anything like this before. I’m certainly not going to ask anyone, what if this is simply a figment of my overactive, stressed out imagination? These people rely on me to make important decisions. Life and death stuff. I can’t let them think I am insane. My pager goes off and I promptly forget about my near-death experience.
A few days later I see the box again, I am less startled and decide it must be no big deal. No one else even acknowledges its presence. I am obviously insane. Later that afternoon I see the box tucked into a little alcove in the hallway. It doesn’t occur to me it is the same murderous stalker I’ve been nervous about. It’s simply part of the environment.
Later that day I see a woman typing a code into the keypad and see her open the door and remove a large stack of papers. This must be a medical records storage device of some sort. That night when the hallway is empty I stop to examine the device. Ah-ha! It’s like a Roomba!
Now, so many questions remain. Where does this thing go? Does it go up to the floors? Can it maneuver in the elevator? Why did they purchase this? Is it really saving that much time? Who can I ask about this without seeming ridiculous?
Furthermore, I find it moderately disconcerting no one would warn people of the automated robots who may be chasing them.
Am I in danger of a hit and run? Can this machine sense when someone is standing in front of it? It appears heavy. It could really hurt someone. I am now convinced this is a machine of death. Just one more reason hospitals are indeed dangerous places.
Did someone lose their job to this aggressive box of bolts? Who performs maintenance on this contraption? What is this all about?
So many questions. No answers. I feel the need to investigate this further. To quote most of my favorite studies: further research is indicated.