The computer is a great invention. It makes communication in business almost instantaneous. Gone are the days when one had to wait days for a written response by post. White-out and the electric type writer have gone the way of the livery stable and the telegraph.
After more than a decade in retirement, I went back to work, not in my profession, but as part-time gallery director at a community college. The job sounds glamorous; it can be so. However, all of the mundane tasks that must be done before an exhibit can open are full of details which must be done in a precise and timely fashion. Details have never been my strong suit. Of course, I have a computer to help me to get notices, announcements, catering orders, invitations, etc. out on time and to the correct person(s).
Therein lays the problem. The computer is my great friend and my worst enemy. Sending formal messages using a specific letter head greetings do not pose a problem for me. However, when I must send specific requests to vendors using specific forms found in certain drives, I go a little crazy.
First of all, I must find the form. That sounds easy; in reality, it is not. The forms are never exactly where they are stated to be. Oh, if you spend all of your waking hours on some electronic gadget or other, following then not following directions might be a piece of cake. Most times, it takes me longer to find the right form in the right drive than it takes to send out three bids for what-ever the gallery needs.
Then there is storing all of the examples of the works of the artists that arrive at the gallery by e-mail. They tell me that there are seven different ways that materials can be stored in the same location. I only want the easiest way. Sometimes I am shown the easiest way which I forget. That means that I try several other ways before the materials rest comfortably in the correct folder. Thank goodness there is no efficiency expert looking over my shoulder.
In spite of it all, my errors had been very minor. Until the day that I found an important memo had not been received by the intended. How did I know that the notice of undeliverable mail was located under the blue line? By the time that I made this discovery, a response to the original sender was too late. Again, the stars were in my favor as the questionnaire in question was not critical to the welfare of the gallery or to the college.
Actually, one should always have a challenge to tackle in one’s seventh decade and beyond. Also, it is good to work with people who know that they are not perfect so they are not surprised to find that you are not perfect.