Thursday, February 18, 2010


In today's world, Americans are distracted to the point of blindness. We are texting, we are emailing, we are watching TV on our cell phones. We are banking through ATM's, we aren't speaking to people one on one, it seems that all transactions done in the modern world are done on the third party system. Personal contact and sit down conversations have been replaced by computer generated go-to-meetings and text messages. I wonder if anyone really knows how much time these personal electronic devices a saving. Thirty years ago, an employee went to the office, took a couple of 10 minute breaks for a smoke or a coffee, or both. At noon or one o'clock was lunch time, most of us were allowed one half hour for lunch. After actually getting to the company cafeteria, or the corner sandwich shop, we were expected to stuff our meal down, have a quick drink and be back at our desks in about fifteen minutes. Then, somewhere between the hours of three-thirty and five-thirty, was quitting time, time to head home, a long commute was actually some reasonable quiet time in the car, listening to some tunes, and usually winding down somewhat on the way home. Okay, I understand that traffic jams and road rage do little to bring you into a relaxed state. When you got home, hopefully a nice quiet dinner with the wife and kids, or if you were single, a cup of coffee or tea, maybe a cocktail, some more tunes on the stereo, pick out a good movie on the tube, and relax. That, my friends was twenty years ago. I'll bet that life style will sound good to you, after I relate this next modern day scenario. The time is six AM, you're not even quite out of bed yet, but you have to boot up the computer, check emails, then yank the cell phone off it's charger, check your voice mails, all while running the shower. Breakfast is a mirco-waved something, or a toaster strudel. You can get your coffee at the Starbucks on the way to the office. Make sure if you stop somewhere for a real breakfast and coffee, that they have wi-fi. Look, it's only seven AM, and you're already working. Do you realize how many extra hours of your own time goes into your job these days? Most people today spend at least an hour working even before getting to the office. When you get to the office, you make sure you have your PDA, and or Blackberry, and cell phone all in working order. This way your boss can have you working, even through your supposed half hour lunch break. While you were at lunch, you took three calls, sent five or six emails, and sent text messages to clients, and or sub-ordinates. In reality, in today's business world there is no half hour lunch. Back in the office, and soon, quitting time, but there is no quitting time today, is there? Nope, by the time you reach your car, you've had several calls from your boss, your secretary, your wife, and children. In the car on the way home, while weaving through traffic, or just sitting in it, you are conducting business on your cell phone, and or Blackberry. You are still working, although you left the office an hour ago. You arrive home, and now you'll be spending a couple hours of YOUR time catching up on the unfinished business of the day, as you spent most of the day answering the phone, texting, and or emailing. You're home now, it's time to use this quiet time to get some work done, WHAT!!!!! Yes, that's what all this modern technology has gotten you. You are no longer working an eight hour day, but more likely a 12-14 hour day. Do you feel more well rested now that all these modern conveniences are at your finger tips? Or did you just realize that you are getting paid for an 8 hour day, but you're working 4 more hours on your time, and many times, on your dime, unless your company pays your cell phone bill, your high speed Internet bill, and purchased your personal communication devices. Give me thirty years ago, anytime... Think about it, one reason there are so many unemployed, is because for every day you work, you are doing the job of one and a half people. Your employer doesn't the fact that you are doing their bidding on your time. They may even pay for your conveniences, but your time, is still your time. Not anymore I'm afraid. You don't have any of your time, nope, not anymore.

Is it any wonder that the government can pass something that is going to destroy this nation, and you don't know anything about it? People, you've got to look up from your cell phones and Blackberries, you've got to turn off that ipod. It's time to see and hear what's happening all around you before it's too late.

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