I work at a job full of the much younger generation. They are so bright, articulate, and where I work? They are kind and respectful, too. They seem to be much smarter than I ever was at their age, and as I strain to see the fine print on my monitor sometimes, I marvel at their fearless ability to move through all the screens without even thinking about it. They have the education that merits a good feel for IT and knowing where to go and what to do on a computer because they had to learn in their high school and college classes. I became proficient in the 70’s on an IBM Mag Card, this wonderful “memory” typewriter — just type a letter, insert a numbered magnetic card, about 4″ x 10″, into this slot and viola, it’s saved for future printing or edits. We thought that was so cool. And right now? I’m wearing the new Apple Watch which can scan and ECG/EKG right to my doctor’s office. I would be lost without my iPad’s “Find Your Phone” app for the times I’ve left my iPhone somewhere around here, and I can take walks with wireless headphones while listening to my iPhone song list. Things have changed in the last forty years. Apple, you are my hero.
I was thoroughly amazed when my college roommate printed out my resume’ on her personal computer in 1976, talked to me about any changes, and then went back to the document and made instant edits. I did not have an electric typewriter in my high school in the late 60’s, early 70’s, so using one in a college setting was pretty cool. The hard, electric tap of the keys from an IBM Selectric, the cool tan-colored metal ones with the ball font that you could clip on and off, made using carbon copies a lot neater, especially when you had more than one piece of carbon paper between several sheets of paper. Having a nearby printer wasn’t a thing yet. And office mimeograph machines were the best way to make copies by turning the crank for each copy you needed. Now I can print a document from my iPhone directly to the printer in my home office without leaving the comfort of my couch. Like that recipe? Click – and it’s printed in the other room. Go figure. Hey, that’s such a cute photo of my new grandson – think I’ll just print it now from home. Amazing.
Can you just imagine the technology that will be in place forty years from now? My grandmother, who was a fearless police guard during a time when women were supposed to stay home, would have just flipped out to sit down and order something from Amazon.com from her home PC.
My realtor friend was sitting with me yesterday having coffee at my table when she proclaimed, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” We were laughing about the stuff that we, as single women, have to learn – the things men did for us, like reprogram the TV. The women on the prairie didn’t know there would be an electric stove and you wouldn’t have to put wood in the stove to cook food. They didn’t know that you could someday have a little square robot thing on the floor that runs around the room and picks up the dirt. And a car that drives by itself? No way. Well, guess what? Way.
I’m headed off to work with the youngsters. I love them and they love and respect me. I bake cookies and cinnamon rolls and give them candy just because I can. I’m still learning my job with these young ones – because I don’t know what I don’t know yet.