New equipment sometimes means hurt feelings

New equipment sometimes means hurt feelings.

Let me give you an example. I once worked at a company that was pretty cheap. They didn’t spend money on regularly refreshing their equipment, so it was years old and very slow.

One day I was asked to upgrade some people to have two monitors instead of a tiny 15 inch one they had. As I did this, many people asked me if they were getting a monitor. I said that I had a list and only the people on the list got one. So there were lots of hurt feelings because they didn’t feel important enough to get a second monitor.

So guess what? A few days later one of the older monitors breaks. Now in any other company this would be an opportunity to just upgrade it with the new larger monitor. However in this case the political climate was to get the permission of their manager so that any hurt feelings could be addressed before this was done. Interesting isn’t it? Normally you would just replace something that is broken and let people deal with it as best they can.

In one way this is nice. It is nice that a company is aware of peoples feelings. In another way this is kind of treating people like children. Children don’t have the emotional capability of regulating their feelings like adults show, so you have to treat them more gently than an adult.

Of course the next day the monitor got replaced. However I see this happen in every company. Once someone gets something, everyone else seems to need it too.

It is a fascinating thing to watch. The person with the broken monitor said how terrible it would be if her monitor broke. Now that it did, she seemed kind of upset and nervous about the attention she would attract. She did attract attention.

It is ok to have feelings at work. However if your neighbor gets a new monitor or whatever, it doesn’t mean that you are less valuable. It just means people make decisions for reasons we aren’t always aware of.

Is the future just technological?

I hope the future isn’t just technology. It would be such a boring place.

I like Star Trek and all the progress and science that it represents. I like the fact that one day we will have incredible technologies that seem improbable now. I like the fact that we are slowly increasing our understanding of the universe and growing as species.

However even with all the wonderful things that science and technology bring us, it clearly isn’t the answer. We grow more capable and energy efficient, but that just causes us to use energy in other things. Yes we can do more with engines than we used to do, but we have so many engines now that we are causing global warming because of it.

Clearly science can only go so far. The other part of course is our lifestyle or how we choose to use it. I am not saying what we should do with our lives, but to recognize that technology isn’t the only answer.

I work with technology and often have people ask me how we can be more efficient with that. I love those kinds of questions and yes we can do much more with technologies help. However I see with the addiction that people have to their phones and the Internet that it is crossing the line from being helpful to being destructive.

Why do I say this? It is common for people not to remember things because they say they can google it. Rather than people being valued for being educated, we value someones search skills. Rather than have personal enrichment or reading just for the pleasure of reading, we tend to skim Facebook for information. Did you know that one study said that 60% of people get their primary news from Facebook? Facebook as a news source is repulsive to me.

One news source, no matter how good is only one point of view. The best news source would be something with differing points of view and challenging whatever the current point of view is. What use is news that doesn’t challenge the reader?

Is the future just technological? I hope not. I hope we don’t become machines but rather stay human and challenge the system.