My husband K is somewhat of a Luddite.  He will use a computer, if he needs to for work, but other than that not so much.  He uses a cell phone for the convenience (we don’t even have a land line anymore), but doesn’t want a smart phone or anything with all the bells & whistles.  He just wants a phone so he can make calls when he wants to, preferably hands free.  We do own a GPS, but I think this came about out of desperation.  Turn my husband around once & he will be lost.

Except for having a pretty good grasp on direction & map reading, I was very much the same until about a year ago when I caught an assignment working for the IT department of my corporation.  I had used computers for years in my work for the convenience of doing my job & at home to prepare the yearly newsletter which went out with our Christmas cards.  When we lived in the bush (literally the middle of nowhere) I used to write a small newsletter for the community (under 800 people).  Because I have arthritis in my hands, I find it easier to type than write with a pen, so any correspondence at all was done via word processing.

But when I walked into the IT department, everything changed for me.  Very quickly I found myself drawn to the tools & gadgets everyone was using.  Someone would ask a question during a meeting, the person who had the answer might not be in the room, but because of someone’s blackberry, a few minutes later we had an answer.  I was used to phoning the person’s extension or sending them an email & hoping for a response – not clicking a few keys to send a text & having an immediate answer.

In someone else’s hands the wonder I developed from my experience with the IT department could have been very different.  The respect for technology & what it could do for us was carefully nourished by the vision of the gentleman who ran this huge department.  It was his vision of how to run a department which changed how I viewed the world around me.  In his vision people were free to use devices to help them accomplish their tasks, people weren’t tied to their desks to do their work, middle managers were approachable because they spent most of their working day outside of their offices with their staff.  Staff was encouraged to use social networks like Facebook & Twitter to communicate with others within the department, people in IT departments around the province, the country & the world to see what they were doing.  The department was humming with excitement & it was very easy to get caught up in it.  Everything got done, it just didn’t always get done in what most people would view as the conventional way.

Without Chris I would have never ventured onto Facebook where I can now keep up with the activities of all my children who are spread across North America; I would never have opened a Twitter or Yammer account to communicate with peers & I certainly never would have ventured into blog writing.  Thanks Chris!

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