Monday, February 13, 2006

Computer Illiterate

As an artist, I tried to stay away from computers. They seemed foreign to the freedom of being creative. I have since learned that a computer is not a binary or digital threat to self-expression and individualism. Instead it is a tool that allows me to explore, to play, to write when I cannot even hold a pen in my hand.

In 1978 I was working for First National Bank in Dallas. My boyfriend had a friend with a new job as the Human Resources Director of a small computer company. Tom wanted to make a good impression and asked me to go in for an interview. I had an hour to spare, so I said okay.

I had a 9:00 interview with Marie for an unknown position. I left at 2:30 hoping for an offer. It was Marie who introduced me to the idea that a computer is actually a tool to make our life tasks easier.

Marie was a unique interviewer, smart, creative, funny, and articulate as she told the company's story and hopeful and enthusiastic as she talked about her plans. I didn't even realize lunch had passed without me. Her interviewing skills transferred into a very good manager.

She taught me a lot and let me learn a lot, about how to use a computer, how to work with people, how to be a good manager, how to treat a client. I admire and appreciate Marie. We should all be so lucky to have a Marie in our work history.

I worked for that company over 20 years before retiring with a disability. I tested computer programs, trained and supported hotel systems, led design teams in reservations, liaised between techies and regular people, and other assorted tasks, so by now I am a computer expert. Right?

Well, not exactly. I use the computer as a tool. I am no longer an active artist, but I still have a mental block when it comes to making the computer work. I never did like DOS and welcomed Windows as an operating system (Macintosh had a good idea!), but some of it still sounds like gibberish to me. I guess that makes me a computer illiterate.

But still, don't try to take my computer away. It's a great tool and a fun toy and I like it.

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ckays1967 said...

I like that line: don't try to take my toy away!


I hear ya sister.

Vicki said...

Thanks. I really meant it.