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Monday, November 14, 2011

The Next Big Thing?

IT TAKES A LOT OF THOUGHT NOT TO OVER-THINK

I’m not bragging when I say that I’m just about the last person onboard the latest idea. In fact, I’m so late getting onboard current trends—and I realize that I’m using the word “current” very loosely—that many times people have already forgotten about it and moved on to something else long before I get started. I actually got my picture in the paper when I bought the last VHS player. Other people will laugh at technology portrayed in 10 year old movies—a mobile phone the size of an army boot, for example—while I’ll ask in amazement, “They actually make those?” My “cutting edge” is most people’s medieval history.  “Behind the times” would be a huge technological leap forward for me.

I’m no Luddite but to say that I’m standing on middle ground would be a bit of an exaggeration.  On a chronological/technological scale between the original members of the Luddite movement and…let’s say Steve Jobs, I’d place myself somewhere between the decline of black and white television and the advent of 8 track tapes.  My lack of tech savvy could be a huge asset—a very convenient thing for me to say about myself but still. I’ve always felt that what the hi-tech world needs is more input from stupid people.  Many new and bold ideas spring from the smartest and most talented minds but I think we are ignoring a very powerful and perhaps innovative voice in our rush towards a better future by silencing the people who move their lips when they read.  

Have you ever noticed that we never ask stupid people to put forth ideas? The giant computer companies should have a few not-too-bright folks on the payroll just to double-check the work of the geniuses, to make sure things aren’t too complicated for the average slob.  I’m volunteering my services to Microsoft to head up their new Average Slob Research Team.  I think that my clear-headed and straight-shooting approach to problem solving is just what Microsoft needs to be a leader in the field. What’s that? They already are a leader in many fields? Whatever, I can make them even better.

I’ll start by changing the name of my new division.  Average Slob Research Team? Who came up with that? OK, I know that I did but I was just being rhetorical, wait…not rhetorical but what’s that other thing you can be when you know the answer but you want to blame someone else? I’ll have to ask one of the other, smarter employees but for now let’s brainstorm to come up with a better name for my group.  We need a cool acronym, something really catchy. How about SPIKE? That sounds cool and tough. I’ll have to let one of the brainiac dorks figure out what the letters mean; it’s called relegating or delegating—I can never keep those two straight. I did the hard part so it’s the least they can do. On to my next big idea.

I noticed that they don’t serve meatloaf in the cafeteria.  No wonder so many people here skip lunch and go running or take a yoga class instead of stuffing their faces in the chow hall.  They also don’t serve beer so I’ll use my new influence to right that little wrong.  If you have beer you may as well have a happy hour—wouldn’t want any of it to go to waste.  These pencil-necks around here need to learn how to relax and stop working themselves half to death. And how about a blackjack table? You know what they say about all work and no illegal gambling. To prove my point about how uptight people are here you should have seen all of the dirty looks I got when I was barbequing in the parking lot before work one morning. You’d think they’d never heard of tailgating.

As it turns out, it only took me and my small team three weeks to drive the entire company off a cliff. Most of the damage was caused by my diverting the corporation’s entire research staff into my project of trying to predict the outcome of NFL games.  I already had my own system but I thought that it could use a bit of fine tuning, most of the people I owed money to thought so, too. On a side note, if you want to meet a group of individuals with absolutely no sense of humor you should try sports bookies.  In the end, arrests were made, documents seized, law suits filed, but I can look back with pride because in the midst of this scandal I picked a winner in a play-off game.

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