A Golden Moment (ms)

I’ve seen ‘em come and I’ve seen ‘em go, too many to mention. No, this isn’t the title of a song waiting for embellishment by friend Flannery rather this is an observation on life and what comes into favor only to drop out again under some unwritten rule.

The fountain pen I recall is one. Bankers and business executives always had one that they would gladly loan you to sign off on a bit of business. Magnificent things those pens; big shiny and expensive, the better to impress you with my dear. The fountain pens faded out when ballpoints came in and are now relegated to the few who still take pleasure in hand writing a note or card. Come to think of it ballpoints are fading too replaced by any number of computer like devices used to crank out whatever deadly prose the owner might want. Just as well. Did I not hear cursive was fading since no one wrote anything anymore? The computer age has brought change after change after change.

The next likely candidate for extinction, as I see it, is the wristwatch. I do some work on a college campus and have the chance to watch the students walk by with earphones blocking out the world or a phone held up for talking or texting. The phones, miniature computers brilliantly simple to operate and so convenient you wonder how you ever lived without one are doing in the wristwatch.

See, each one comes with a built in clock that can be configured to any imaginable desire. In a moment you can have the time in Tokyo, the hour of sunset on the Sahara, sunrise on the Serengeti; it will also tell you the time to the second right where you are standing. Convenient, eh? So, why wear a watch when you are already carrying one in your pocket and you don’t need to reset it twice a year either, does that by itself.

So, I don’t know for sure if the watch companies are noticing all this but I sense obsolescence on the horizon for the old standby wristwatch. Of course there will still be companies making those beautiful timepieces that cost thousands per copy and are meant to bedazzle your friends as well as keep time but the less expensive ones, I don’t know. I don’t see great numbers of students wearing wristwatches. Their watches are in their pockets or glued to their ears.

This does not bode well for the retiring individual who has spent years at his or her company making sure the ship stayed on the straight and narrow, or at least profitable. The guarantee was almost always a gold watch for the recipient to use whiling away the hours between meals on the front porch basking all the while in the glow of a well-earned retirement. The gold watch was something handed down generation to generation but maybe no more. The retiree will get a computer chip instead.

No matter, come to think of it. Nobody stays at a company long enough to earn retirement these days. The computer it seems has made it possible to lessen the need for a wristwatch as well as many employees.

—Mike Stevens

~ by admin on March 24, 2012.

One Response to “A Golden Moment (ms)”

  1. So very sadly true. My children 19 & 17 can not tell time on a clock with hands…they do not “get it.” Looks like the antique grandfather clock will have to left to someone who appreciates the craftsmanship.

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