This place has a strange dichotomy. Every employee has a laptop. Every cube has at least two monitors. We’re networked to systems that keep us tied in to activities around the world on channels monitored 24/7/365.25. It’s the definition of a knowledge management organization. At the same time, we’re drowning under the sheer weight of printed documentation that people here seems obsessed with keeping on hand “just in case.” Everyone walks around with day planners and folio pads and meetings look just like they would have in 1981.

Look, I’m the new guy here so I have no interest in bucking any trends or trying to disturb the status quo, but at the same time, I’m not going to run to Office Max and pick up a Covey Planner when I’ve got at least three electronic devices within arm’s reach that will all do exactly the same thing and manage it better than paper copy ever could. I haven’t maintained a paper calendar since 1998 and I’m not planning to roll back the hands of time on that one. I just can’t fathom why in the waning days of 2011 we can’t manage to have this kind of daily minutia automated. I get twitchy already when there seems like there’s too much paper cluttering my desk. Adding more to the pile just seems irresponsible. Sadly, until I figure out the work around, I’m reduced to making notes and recording appointments on a legal pad and transferring them to electrons after the fact.

It’s an inelegant solution to say the least, but it’s what I’m stuck with until someone with more horsepower than me figures out that technology is supposed to make your life easier. Until then we’ll stand firmly with one foot in 2011 and the other somewhere in the Kennedy Administration.

Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of posts previously available on a now defunct website. They are appearing on http://www.jeffreytharp.com for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date.

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