Working … in the Park
When I retired from Big Industry 15 years ago (yikes!) and started a consulting business with my friend and mentor, Paul, there were several things we both appreciated immediately. For one, we began doing the kind of interesting work we’d had to fight to do in the big companies we’d worked for, work that had never been profitable enough for their voracious appetites. Secondly, we both loved the flexibility of working when and where we wanted. I could go to the movies with Muri in the afternoon, then work in the evening. Or I could get up in the middle of the night and work on an idea I’d had, then take it easy the next day. And I could work in my office … or my recliner … or at Starbucks … or even at the park. Perhaps nothing made me feel as satisfactorily self-employed as working at a picnic table by the side of the lake.
I haven’t done that in quite a while so today, I decided to take the proposal I’m working on to the park. It was a beautiful early spring day with temperatures in the mid-seventies and I’ve been here all afternoon, right here in my office:
The office staff showed up to see if there was anything they could do but without fingers and thumbs, they can’t do much. They are good company and nice to look at though.
I got a lot of work done and not just writing. I talked to several colleagues about the proposal and to Paul about a telecom with our customer on Friday. He emailed me some Powerpoint viewgraphs that he’d put together and I checked them out … on my phone, using a free app, QuickOffice. I’ve had the music of Peter White for company courtesy my smartphone, a music app called Poweramp and an iHome Bluetooth speaker. My new Lenovo laptop stayed on all afternoon and still has several hours on the battery and when my phone began to run low, I charged it with the NewTrent portable battery my daughter’s family gave me for Christmas. Now, I’m taking a minute to post on my Nexus 7 Tablet using my Logitech Bluetooth keyboard. Pretty freakin’ sweet.
An advantage of being old is I know how it was, even 15 years ago. I know how incredibly cool the technology we have at our disposal can be, particularly if we use it creatively. I hope some of the kids I see wandering around like zombies while texting, banging into walls and each other, will eventually learn to make good use of the gifts they’ve been given. Me? As Ronald McDonald might say, I’m lovin’ it.