The Advan­Tages of Modern Technology

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Back then, we didn’t have all of the wonderful advantages of modern technology. For instance, if we wanted to make copies of documents, we simply inserted more sheets of carbon in the typewriter.

Our telephones were the good old-fashioned black variety pro­vided free of charge by Ma Bell. Our offices were in the local bank building. I think the phones were installed when the building was built around the turn of the cen­tury, and hadn’t required service since. There was no such thing as a car phone.

Our dictating machines re­sembled Thomas Edison’s original recording device. Dictation was re­corded by a needle on a round plastic cylinder.

Summers and winters could be uncomfortable. When it got hot, we loosened our ties and sometimes removed our suit coats. We tried putting a fan in the window once but it blew all the papers off the desks.

In the winter, if we got cold, we had an old crescent wrench that we banged on the radiators. Someone down in the bowels of the building would then send up a blast of steam in the pipes. The office would then get too hot and we would have to open the windows to cool off.

Typewriters were operated man­ually and had no “memory”.

To mail letters, we had a large roll of stamps. All you had to do was tear one off and lick it.

Today, we have all of the advan­tages of modern technology.

If we want to make copies of documents, we don’t even use car­bon paper; we have a wonderful photostat machine that even en­larges or reduces the size of copies at the push of a button.

Of course, the machine has a mind of its own. The manufacturer (which advertises that it makes nothing but photostat machines) has a large staff of service people, one of whom makes his home at our office. When something goes wrong, his explanation is that it’s not the machine—we just use it too much.

When we moved into our new office building in 1980, we couldn’t get the old black phones supplied by Ma Bell. We had to purchase...
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