Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Luddites Anyone

I got into this debate with the twenty something, now officially thirty something, marketing director of ours (Hugs and kisses, Alison). Silly really, but it typifies this ongoing …well, let’s just call it a difference in the way we look at life. She was paying a bill through the company of hers with a fist full of cash. I was curious why she’d choose to use up all her cash rather than pay with a check or some other arrangements with the accounting people. Then it began. The obvious was pointed out…just go to the ATM. Duh! When I pointed out that I did not have an ATM card, and had less interest of getting an ATM card, and that I prefer to go inside the bank and hand my transactions to an actual person, with an actual pulse, I was accused of being a Luddite.

Curt, one of my partners, quickly tried to intervene, only to confess that he too shared my lack of a banking card, and preferred dealing with someone with a pulse rather than something that beeps and burps at you. He took the next barrage of scrutiny, only to slink off slightly bruised. Thanks for taking one for the team, Curt. Us Luddites got to stick together, don’t you know.

The other day we had an oops in the shop, and the solution was to shave the face of the entire cabinet back about ¼”. Not a difficult thing to do in theory, but to actually do it is very difficult. The only way to really do this was by hand...enter Kevin Parker, one of our craftsmen. Kevin has a real passion for hand planes, and all things in the craft that are old timey. So, Kevin was call upon, and he proudly marched over and whittled away on the face of this cabinet for an hour or so, successfully saving both the cabinet and hours of additional time.

Think about this for a minute. Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment in our shop, and the best solution to this and many other problems was a $25 hand plane. Who’s the Luddite now, Miss marketing director smarty pants? I’ll bet this internet thing is just a passing fancy, too.


Anonymous said...

Wow, Mark. I *seriously* thought that my mom was the only person who was intimidated by the ATM.


Mark Gatterdam said...

Yes, Alanna, I'm afraid, very afraid of the ATM. Ever since that mean old
ATM ate my card because I'm too old to remember my secret code for the thing, it's left a very deep wound that just won't heal. That, and I just don't like the way it treats me.

Robert Janes said...

I am not sure this makes Mark and Kurt Luddites.

Case #1
The real issue is that a “bill” needs to be paid. Does it matter how the bill is paid? I believe this is just personal preference and does not support Mark’s Luddite cause.

Now, If Mark and Kurt (the Luddite Dynamic Duo) were only allowed to use the teller inside the bank when the ATM was broken. Knowing this our Luddite Superhero’s were to using their wooden shoes (that they made with the Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment in their shop or “lair”) to break the ATM thus allowing them to “foil” the Anti-Luddite’s plans of allowing them to have a personal connection with their bank.

Then, I would say they were both Luddites.

Case #2
The same goes for the cabinet that needed a ¼” shaved off the face of it. In this case, our Luddite Superhero Mark needs is to shave a ¼” off a cabinet’s face. It turns out that the best way to satisfy this need was to whittle down the face with a hand plane. Luddite Superhero Mark claims this is this a victory for the Luddites everywhere? I (Anti-Luddite Super Villain) disagree. The choice to use a hand plane was not out of fear of a new technology. It was made when it was determined the hand plane offered the least risk in damaging the cabinet, while only slightly affecting the production schedule and it was the solution that cost the lest.

My finial pointless point to this blog is this.

Both of you Luddites should join the rest of us in the 21st century and start using an On-Line-Checking-Account to pay your bills.

Mark Gatterdam said...

Well then, let me grab my cape and make my way to the bank right now!