Service? No, Servants!

How We Customers Become Partial Employees

How do we spend our leisure time? – We assemble our furniture, we weigh our fruit and vegetables,we pack them together, we pay at the self-service cashier, we pick up our food from the self-service counter, we book our tickets via the internet, and pay the invoice online. We write reviews for Amazon and articles for Wikipedia – for free, of course. We are craftspeople, bankers, package deliverers, waiters – we are semi-employees. But the difference is - we work unpaid, never go onstrike, and don’t take holidays. Meanwhile customers are working like this for many companies, who earn extra money with this system. Even consumer organizations tell us, “If you have technical problems, press one“. Some companies build their businesses by using this system. With "crowd-sourcing“, companies use the creativity of internet users for their own purposes. Be it Nike, Adidas, Lego, or BMW – they all have their new models designed by their customers. They are close to their client, who in return gets what he wants. So what is the problem? Those who aren’t computer savvy will discover problems soon enough. They will have to pay either in time or in cash. What does the “working customer“ mean for these companies, for the consumer, for society? For three weeks the director Sigrid Faltin tried to live with and buy only from automats and the internet. An entertaining foray through the brave new consumer world.

Produced by


A film by

Sigrid Faltin



Running time

45 min.


  • cinematographer: Andreas Bein
  • sound: Susan Schenk
  • editor: Renate Nebe
  • commissioning editor: Felicitas Wehnert, Kai Henkel

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„We produce documentary films - it's real life that interests us.“
Sigrid Faltin, white pepper films


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