I Had It But I Lost It (ms)

On a recent vacation I came to the realization that I was doomed. It happened when I looked across at the desk in the hotel. Plugged into a wall receptacle was my telephone and laptop; alongside them were two bags filled with camera equipment, a tripod and a pair of binoculars lay on the floor next to the desk. I had never left home!

We planned it as quick getaway, just a few days of goofing off, wickedly good treats for desert after a pleasant dinner ––– in short a brief round of relaxation. Not!

The tasks piled up even as I struggled to lighten the load. Finally, I was forced to give up. Facing a long drive to get to where we were going  it was time to quit. Nothing to do but drag along all my stuff and finish on vacation.

Now, I’m not complaining because I do have it easier than any ten guys I know. I come and go as I please, talk to folks about this and that, put some words down and move on. Pretty decent gig. The negative side is when you work from home the work never seems to stop for you never truly leave the office. Sure I can go to work in my pajamas, and have, but I have gone to work in them at midnight and five in the morning plus all hours in between. When duty calls it must receive an answer.

The coming of all this technical stuff has helped make it a truly twenty-four hour work day. The last time we went to the very same hotel doing what I do now would have been impossible or frightfully expensive. Cell phones were like bricks and did one thing: make phone calls. Computers came in huge boxes and could hardly be moved around the house let alone a few hundred miles. My cameras used film and I took only the shots I felt certain about given the price of film and processing. Well, did that all change.

I can connect to the world with my phone and do about everything on it I can with my computer. The laptop I take with me can be hidden inside a newspaper with room left over. My cameras are digital so instead of one shot I can blast away when in doubt knowing that somewhere in there, amid the images reflecting minor and subtle changes from one to the other, there will be a good image. The rest go into the recycle bin and it doesn’t cost anything beyond the camera itself. Technology, isn’t is just wonderful.

Well, it is and I embrace it to the extent I can but there are times I wished I did not. There are times I long for the good old days of just a few decades ago when you could call it a day, lock the door and go home leaving the work behind. That would be nice but too bad it will never happen. The Genie is out of the lamp, as they say, and he’s not going back in no matter how much we sometimes want him to.

–Mike Stevens

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~ by admin on June 8, 2011.

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