Friday, March 26, 2010

Office technology...or lack of it

How many of you have dreaded going to the office not because it was Monday or because you knew that you might have to work late, but because you didn't want to fight with the outdated technology there?

*Raises hand* I'll admit it.

Yes, I understand that technology costs money, but in today's world, technology isn't that expensive. It amazes me to learn that people are using outdated software, hardare, and networks.

Case in point: When I first started working at my new job, I didn't even have my own computer to start with. I shared with a guy from Sales who was mainly in the field. That was actually a fairly up-to-date computer. But when I was finally given my computer, I had to work with Office 2000, Outlook 2000, and just outdated tech. It was annoying especially since my laptop and internet at home is tons better.

It's almost as if company's are afraid to upgrade because either too much might change or things might get confusing, or a myriad of other reasons/excuses.

In my mind, it is more efficient for a company to be running on good technology. Now, don't get me wrong. I wouldn't expect every company to be running the top-of-the-line equipment for their network. But, it is in their best interest to be current.

Another issue with technology at work is the network. How many of you get annoyed when you try to download something you need, or maybe a different web browser and you get blocked by a pop-up that says something about needing Admin privileges?

I get annoyed.

I understand the concept behind requiring Admin approval for downloads, but it's not that practical. Most people today understand about malicious software and are for the most part careful when downloading.

It just makes it more appealing to work when you know you can "customize" your work environment without destroying your outdated computer/software or repeatedly calling IT for help.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Wonderful World of....Warcraft?

About two months ago, I started playing World of Warcraft.

(Cue the eye-rolling and the thoughts of "another one bites the dust")

Thankfully for you, I'm not here to insist that everyone play this game or drone on like a geek. No, I'm here to talk about a different facet of World of Warcraft, or WoW, that seems to slip under the mountain of quest seekers, dungeon masters, gear professionals, PvP artists, and, well, you get the point. This aspect is the social side of the game.

You may think, 'With millions of people playing that game, isn't the social side of the game really the goal? Bringing people together to enjoy a game?' Yes, it is, but my point drives deeper than that. I'm talking the social interaction between players, the friend-making, the good times.

This is the reason I love playing WoW so much. Many players get so caught up in the game itself, trying to gain the next achievement, find the rarest drops, pick up the epic loot, etc., that they sometimes lose the social nature of the game. Yes, maybe they group up for a quest or dungeon, or belong to a guild, but it's just a means to an end.

*Note: I'm not saying this applies to all WoW players.

And this brings up another point: World of Warcraft is just a game. (I can hear the hardcore games gasping and protesting now.) Yes, believe it or not, it is just a game. A fun game, a very enjoyable game, a well-done game, but in the end, just a game.

*Note: Yes, I know that this game requires a monetary subscription, thus prompting more of a focus on the game itself, but that is the choice of those who play.

In the end, maybe you missed that one achieve, or didn't win the Need roll for an item you've been killing yourself to obtain, but you had fun doing it and enjoyed the people you were with and maybe made a couple new friends.

That's always a win in my book.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

How Decisions Affect Our Future

Have you ever sat down and thought about a decision you made in the past and followed it's 'consequence' to the present day? If you have done that, have you also wondered how different your life would be if you had made the decision differently?

Obviously, we are unable to go back in time and change the past. But the fascination is how the past affects the future in ways we could never imagine--for better or worse.

Case in point, today I was thinking about my really good friend back in Montana and was reminiscing about how we had met. Then I made a crazy discovery. Are you ready for a story?

*settles down in his comfy armchair*

Some of you have heard part of this story before, but for those who have not, here we go. It was April of 2008 and I was all set to graduate from college in a couple weeks. Several friends and I had just gone to the spring play the college had put on and we wanted to head out to a restaurant to eat. Only four of us ended up going, and we headed off to Chili's. My three friends got something to eat, but I really didn't have enough money for a full meal, so I just got water. But then, as I was flipping randomly through the drinks menu because I was rather bored, a drink caught my eye, so I ordered it (and yes, I was 21). Now, understand, I went to a Christian college and all alcoholic drinking was prohibited as long as you were enrolled at the college (that meant, no matter if you were on campus or off campus, you would still get in trouble). My friends were a little uncomfortable, but I knew they wouldn't say anything. However, I did not factor in that sitting a couple booths behind us was another group from my school. One of the kids saw what I had ordered and called up the deans. To cut down the story, I ended up getting kicked out.

(Now, before you get all riled up about this, please understand that age didn't matter over the rules of the college. All that is in the past and I graduated the following year with honors, so no hard feelings. The story is told for background purposes.)

Anyway, after I got kicked out, I of course had to head back home. After a few days at home, my parents suggested I get a couple jobs so I could raise the money I needed to pay for my final semester. So I went back to KFC (I had worked there during highschool, and during college Christmas breaks) and then got a night job working as a delivery driver at Pizza Hut. While working at Pizza Hut, I met this girl that was just simply amazing and we ended up becoming very good friends both at work and outside of work and have stayed close to this day.

Now you're probably thinking, 'Ok, get to the point already.'

My point: If I had not made that ridiculous decision to buy that alcoholic drink at Chili's back in college, resulting in my expulsion, I would have most likely never worked at Pizza Hut and would have most likely never met this girl who became a very close friend and a light in my life. It is truly amazing how something that started out as a terrible decision ended with a friendship to last a lifetime. (Yay for alcohol? =P)

So, although we can not predict the future, we can control our present choices. And the cool part is, we have no idea where those choices will lead us.

Life is crazy, huh?