Re: Technophobia/Information Anxiety

Subject: Re: Technophobia/Information Anxiety
From: Wendy Putman <wputman -at- CASTLETON -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 08:53:09 -0800

I guess in the "Reader's Digest" synopsis I presented, it sounds
like I dumped a package, fait accompli, on staff and said, "Ye shall
learn X." What happened is more like the recent Canada Post negotiations
(for you south of the border, we Canadians just suffered a 2-week postal
strike where negotiations began so far apart that the only closeness was
when one negotiator went to the other's hotel room and punched him out).
I also hoped I pointed out the ironies of being a manager (I hate it
when *they* don't want to learn) and line staff (now it's my turn and
*I'm* the one detesting the ramp-up time). The department conversations
went something like --

Me: The federal government is gearing up for internet document
delivery, and they want to put our stuff on line. Top management
strategy says we should have our own site so we can control our

Them: We don't have time, we don't have the energy, we can't
find training, I don't have a babysitter to take night classes, maybe
next year, and they shouldn't expect us to learn this kind of stuff and
we want more money if we have to learn this tool and to get our jobs
reclassified and we're not on the internet and ...

Me: (Later that summer) I'm going to learn what this HTML stuff
is all about, and we can talk about it once I have some more info.

Them: Go ahead. So long as we don't have to touch it.

Me: (In the fall) OK, I learned the basics of this stuff. It's
relatively easy. We have about 6 months to put our web site together.

Them: We decided the organization doesn't need a web site [name
several irrelevant reasons], and anyhow, we never did things this way,
and why change things when they aren't broken?

Me: Ummm, progress? Until then, I'll put together something that
we can use. I'll also wrangle net access and give you some web sites
with HTML tutorials.

Them: grumble ... grumble ... union regulations, grumble ...
grumble ...

Thank heavens for the two people who said they were game to
learn. They went ahead and figured out what they needed to do, sourced
the software they wanted, and developed the skills they needed to do the

> -----Original Message-----
> From: STaylor [SMTP:sntaylor -at- STARTEXT -dot- NET]
> Sent: Friday, December 12, 1997 7:59 PM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Re: Technophobia/Information Anxiety
> Re: Technophobia/Information Anxiety
> " drove me nuts when I would explain to my
> staff what directions the department needed to take, what technology I
> proposed to introduce to meet the demands..."
> I might have resisted too. Most people accept change when they feel
> they
> are apart of it, not when they are told what it will be.
> Try another approach, and you might not go nuts.
> ~~
> Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF
> Search archives at:
>, or

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