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I had no idea how completely my life is computer-oriented, until I didn't have one at work. The office secretary is on vacation this week and I have been going to hers and checking my email about every hour or so. Then I go into the computer lab to work on the report/project that is due on Friday. Then I recycle back to my desk where hard copies of stuff await my attention, as well as voice mail messages and information of other sorts printed from the archaic database downtown and retyped into Word docs.

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it, but people who are computer literate rank higher in my estimation than people who are not. And age is no excuse (I'm too old to learn something new) since I'm older than everyone else in my office and just about everyone else in my life. Age is not an excuse for computer illiteracy; and I find I have little patience with people who use age as an excuse for any shortcoming (or longcoming either).

The office secretary has a kickass computer less than a year old. When I booted it up and logged on, I found that she had not ever used even Word or Excel on it, nor were there any settings to make Outlook useful. I was dumbfounded, since those three programs, along with Access, are the fundamental tools I use to manage my day. She uses the electric typewriter! Oh, my.

I'm waiting impatiently for the IT people to arrive and connect me to the network and install the programs and databases I use all the time. I feel lost without them. Sure, I can put the caller on hold and walk back to the lab, do the research, and walk back to my office and give the person the information, but I'm used to doing it at my desk. What happens is that another call comes in while I've gone to the lab, the office assistant picks it up and now I have two people who need information. I've jotted down the first one on a slip of paper, now she takes the message for the second one....

The end result is a mess of little messages, the phone lines are all on hold, and I'm jogging to and from the computer lab like a puppet on a string. IT, where are you? A few days of this and I can quit my home exercise program and have a quiet nervous breakdown at work!

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