A Time to Talk

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When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,

I don't stand still and look around

On the hills I haven't hoed,

And shout from where I am, "What is it?"

No, not as there is time to talk.

Blade-end up and five feet tall.

And plod: I go up to the stone wall

For a friendly visit.

-- Robert Frost, 1916

How often these days we forget to walk up to the stone wall for a friendly chat. Our electronic walls are up and no one seems to see beyond them any more. 


Don't get me wrong:  I'm a techie -- I work in IT (information technology) and it's the technology part that allows me to work remote from Chesterville. Still, some parts of technology just get in the way of good, old-fashioned, face-to-face communication.


Lots of white-collar office jobs (or is the polo-shirt set?) these days require computer skills, with all the baggage that comes along with that computer on your desk.  Email, instant messaging, cell phone texting, video conferencing... Does anyone just talk face-to-face any more?


No, we send an email to Ned in the next cubicle about our thoughts on what we are doing to resolve Problem A on the Enigma Project.  Ned responds with his thoughts and includes Jan and Nori, who in turn include a bunch of people on their respective teams who all have different thoughts on how to fix Problem A and the underlying Problem  B no one has seen yet.  Instant messages fly back and forth and Nori texts Biff on his cell phone while he's on the coffee run for the office to Starbucks. Biff texts everyone while he's driving back (while drinking his coffee?) the project will probably be delayed anyway due to  time delays resolving Problem X. In the meantime a week has passed and Problem A is still unresolved.


And then there's the kids.  (Never trust anyone under 30..., to take a riff from Jerry Rubin, and others....) My brother and I were talking about kids and texting and he mentioned his daughter's favorite habit of texting him while she's walking to the car.. where he's waiting in the front seat. R U 4 real?


No, I'll take the slower, more direct approach, and pick up the phone when I can and <i>talk</i> to someone. Or better yet, meet them face to face.  Maybe find me a stone wall to sit on and wait for a friend to come by, just for a chat.  That'd be nice....


Now where'd I put my cell phone....


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This page contains a single entry by JeffAdminist published on July 8, 2009 5:42 PM.

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