I’ve been fortunate when it comes to most of my customer service experiences, and I was fortunate again today.
I had a question about my mobile data plan — the type of question that’s really best dealt with in person. Essentially I was looking for connectivity options for my cousin’s upcoming trip from Europe. She’ll be here for five weeks, but plans to travel in Canada as well as the US. Connectivity — while not essential — is definitely an exceptional convenience when available.
… we thank
thee most of
all for warmth of
friends who come to call…
That’s a portion of a prayer that I memorized as a child. Not because I had to, but because it was printed on a decorative cutting board that was always in our kitchen or dining room. I was always looking at it, and it stuck.
Now, these many years later, the verse on friends rings truer than ever.
In 1983 I was working for a small company making microprocessor-based data entry terminals. I’ve often referred to it as being on a “reverse growth” trajectory.
When I started they were 25 employees strong. When I left there were 5. When I started I was the latest addition to the three person software department. When I left, I was the software department. (And, no, it wasn’t me, I swear!)
You get the idea. The writing was on the wall well before I left, so I’d started keeping my eyes peeled. And I encountered an advertisement in the local paper.
I’d left Microsoft a year and a half earlier, at which point I’d joined a mastermind group of internet entrepreneurs. At the end of April in 2003 we had our first face-to-face conference, and it was within that conference that the germ of the idea that would become Ask Leo! was born.
Pictured above is Dagmar. She’s a 13+ year old Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
Dagmar has lymphoma, a type of cancer.
What makes Dagmar remarkable is that as I write this she’s been in remission for well over a year and a half. Later this year we’ll celebrate two years since diagnosis. That’s well above average, and definitely puts her at the far end of the bell curve of cancer survival.
We have, today, available at our fingertips a wealth of knowledge that was unthinkable just a few decades ago. While it’s not exactly as he originally envisioned it, Bill Gates’ “Information At Your Fingertips” has come to pass in ways that most of us would never have considered 20 years ago.
And yet we take it all for granted. Bill Murray captured it correctly just a few years ago: “My iPhone has 2 million times the storage of the 1969 Apollo 11 spacecraft computer. They went to the moon. I throw birds at pig houses.”
It’s something I’ve said on many occasions: it’s good to be a geek. It’s good to be comfortable with and somewhat knowledgeable about technology. It opens doors, makes classes of problems not problems at all, and just generally makes my life more interesting and fun.
It’s also what allows me to help others; from Ask Leo! to select friends and neighbors, my comfort with technology serves me well and allows me to serve others.
Though I do wish more people weren’t quite so timid when it comes to technology — it could serve them better as well.
While there are a lot of things we can, and often should, do to keep ourselves healthy and long-lived, there are two that are major influences that are completely out of our control: genetics and random chance.
I keep seeing reports that some are starting to believe that it’s chance — the luck of the draw — that’s responsible for more cancer than previously understood. I guess I’m grateful for my luck so far, but honestly … it’s my genes I appreciate more.
I was telling a friend recently that in general people have a strange relationship with money.
At one level it’s difficult to talk about with anyone other than your spouse, banker, or financial planner. At another it’s often the cause of significant consternation when trying to do something as simple as splitting the check.
Talking about what you do or don’t have is often considered to be either boasting, or feeling sorry for yourself. There’s a lot of shame around both having and not having money.
I do want to talk about it, and though I won’t get into specifics I don’t want to be seen as boasting. I had to think long and hard about posting this publicly, which goes to show that how we feel about money can be very complicated.
I’m grateful not for what I have, but for what it enables me to do.