Worker Training

So I’m working now in downtown San Francisco.  I’m not actually in the financial district but I share a BART station with those that are.  God asked me to look around at my fellow corporate drones and see what I could see.  I wasn’t sure what she wanted, but I went ahead and looked.

Now I didn’t grow up in the fifties but I did grow up watching reruns of fifties sitcoms and TV broadcasts of fifties movies.  Where today we have “knowledge workers” in the fifties they had “office workers.”. Both kinds of workers sit at desks all day.  Both kinds of workers get to and from work on trains and busses.  Both kinds of workers spend time filling in cells in spreadsheets.  And more often than they’d like, they end up taking those spreadsheets home for a little more tweaking.

Of course today the spreadsheets are files on computers and in the fifties they were actual large sheets of paper, with blank cells printed on them to be filled in by hand and bound into books.  So to take your work home with you in the fifties, you tossed real paper files into your briefcase, but now you bring home a laptop computer…  Then I noticed…  There were no briefcases.  They’ve gone the way of button-down shirts and black ties.  Lost to a sea of “business casual,” the briefcases have all been replaced by backpacks.

So there’s progress for you.  We never got the “paperless office” that they kept promising computers would make possible, but for the most part, they did get rid of the need to carry all that paper around with us.  Now if only we could get rid of homework entirely.

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