Thursday, January 26, 2012
I'm feeling kinda like a dinosaur . . .
Thanks so much for all of your concern after my little whine fest - I realize my physical situation is so much less severe than so many others'. I am anxious to go to the podiatrist tomorrow to see what he thinks.
The other day I was thinking about my journey into the computer world, and something that happened at Christmas really brought it into focus. So I thought I'd share my mind's meanderings on the subject.
I worked at a bank from the time we got married until a week before Kristen was born - she was early and it was making the bank officers very nervous that I was still there. That last week before I left, the bank was just in the throes of beginning to set up a word processing center. I had no idea what that meant, but I realized several years later that I had missed the beginning of the computer age, and I had to spend a lot of time catching up.
I was always looking at the job ads in the newspaper, hoping for the perfect job that would not interfere with my kids' lives and bring in a little cash - I did some at home work for awhile. I became a support staff sub for the school district, and had fun working at different jobs most every day. At one point, the district had a project that involved a significant amount of data input, and I got my feet wet on a computer with rote memorization of what to do when. Ironically, I worked myself out of a job, because the project involved tracking the number of hours and amount of money that was being spent on substitutes. They ended up dropping support staff subs for awhile.
As the kids got older, I found two part-time positions advertised that sounded like fun - one with the fire department, and one with the police department. I discovered that they needed someone who was computer literate. I argued that I was a fast learner, if they'd just take a chance on me and teach me as I went. I quickly discerned that there were many folks out there who could hit the ground running, so why would they want me?
My next move was a full time job in a middle school office, which allowed me to get the kids off to school, be home a short while after they got home, and gave me all the same vacations. I soon learned that I didn't enjoy working with that age group AT ALL, but I did have the opportunity to take a computer class as an employee perk. I remember so well the first night when I came home from the first class and said to Dwight, almost tearfully, "I graduated cum laude from college and can't understand a word that woman is saying!" I just wanted her to tell me what button to push, and step by step where to go from there - not about DOS or anything unnecessary to simple functionality. By the third week, we had arrived at word processing, which I loved, and was able to take off running and even help others who weren't "getting it."
Soon I decided that middle school and I (and especially the administration of this particular middle school) were not cut out for each other, so when the straw broke the camel's back, I resigned and went to 3 different temp agencies. I was amazed at how well I did on the "word processing" tests - my speed was shocking even to me. I had so much fun working at different places, including a 6 week stint at one place where I had lots of time to practice my new skills. Then I got an even longer term position, where I learned ever so much more - my supervisor there was a Word Perfect expert.
During that last temp position, I spent my lunch hour applying at Colorado State University. I had to take a morning off for the test which was a requirement for all state system positions. It wasn't long before I had my job there in the School of Social Work, which turned out to be a great place to spend 15 years (well, at least the first 10 were great, the last 5 I just kind of went with the flow). But the learning curve on this job was huge, and we all took many classes as new technology was foisted upon us on a too regular basis. In fact, it was this constant turmoil of technological "upgrading" that made me not unhappy to leave when I did - which we all know was God-inspired timing because of the upcoming situation with Kristen and the girls.
So for the last 3 1/2 years, I have been using a laptop and enjoying blogging with all of the learning curve there, then on to Facebook. I am still a long ways from technologically savvy, but I don't feel the need to join all the new stuff available. I don't even text, which I know qualifies me for the title of this post!
Which leads me to my Christmas gift. My sweet husband wanted to get me something very special. I had mentioned off and on that I might want to have a smart phone someday. Based on the most recent experience, I don't see that happening any time in the near future. He spent a lot of time at Best Buy with the young guys there who are so excited about all things technological. He bought me a beautiful I-pod Touch, along with the docking station and speakers. There was also a box full of funky little extra attachments that I had no idea what they were. There were also two very pretty, colorful rubber covers for the I-pod, so it wouldn't be a victim of my possible future clumsiness. This very nice device does everything that an I-phone can do, except be a phone. I thought it would be great fun. And it would - if I weren't so technologically challenged.
I read the puny directions they include these days - you're supposed to go on line and figure it all out that way. I am not good at directions. Not good at all. I had so many issues with trying to learn how to make use of this very expensive toy that it started to affect my whole day - I felt guilty, yet overwhelmed. Dwight, bless his sweet heart, finally realized what was happening and took it back yesterday - thankfully not too late to get a full refund. He handed me the wad of cash and said, "Have fun!" By the way, I do have a great little tiny I-pod Shuffle, which has hundreds of songs I've downloaded from my CDs, and has everything I need for the gym, to drown out the awful music they play. It's all I need!
So now I don't know what to get myself for Christmas. I don't want new clothes right now. I don't want anything with a learning curve. I've thought about a Kindle or a Nook, but fear the same would happen - I would regret the purchase. Any suggestions?
So I will just settle back and watch "Mary Tyler Moore" and "That Girl" - back before all this technology took over our lives.