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Tim Hunkin’s Fulfilment Center Machine

October 15, 2019
by the gentle author

Tim Hunkin contemplates a zero hours contract

It is always an event when creative mastermind Tim Hunkin unveils a new satirical slot machine and ‘The Fulfilment Center’ – which can be played at Novelty Automation in Holborn from today – is no disappointment.

Inspired by online warehouses, Tim’s machine features a picker with a trolley who must collect the required items in the allotted time or face the consequences. The challenge for the player is to direct the picker with a control knob and hurry them along the aisles by ‘walking’ upon the plates at the foot of the machine. At the end of the game, depending on their performance, the player is hired or fired. Needless to say, I was fired.

I popped over to visit Tim at his amusement arcade in Princeton St on Sunday and, once he had successfully installed his new machine, he explained it to me.

‘I read that the picking ‘guns’ Amazon workers carry tell them how many seconds they have to get from one product to the next. Suddenly I realised that a ‘fulfilment center’ could become one of my games – this is the name that Amazon give their warehouses, which always makes me laugh. The bad conditions that workers endure is well known and some have already written to me saying nice things about my machine. I don’t think their lives have got any better.

The way it works is that the player has to rush round the warehouse picking products. If you complete your day’s work in the time allotted – lucky person that you are – you get a zero hours contract. If you are not good enough, you get a P45. So you can’t win really.’

Novelty Automation, 1 Princeton St, Holborn, WC1R 4AX. Open Tuesday- Sunday 11am-5pm, with late opening until 8pm on Thursdays.

You may like to read my other stories about Tim Hunkin

Tim Hunkin, Cartoonist & Engineer

At Tim Hunkin’s Workshop

Tim Hunkin’s Housing Ladder

Tim Hunkin’s Air B’n’Bedbug Machine

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Jim McDermott permalink
    October 15, 2019

    Fun and an acerbic socio-political point, well made – Top man!

    My only criticism – the machine should have handcuffs that only release you for a toilet break after eight hours.

  2. October 15, 2019


  3. October 15, 2019

    So true. No matter what, you’re caught. And I agrre with Jim McDermott about the handcuffs. Well done, Tim Hunkin.

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