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I was up early to write my previous post – the rotten sleep of the unemployed has me in its grip. I keep thinking about technology and the fact that older people are seen as somehow illiterate around computers and software.

One of the basics of my job is a certain statistical calculation that allows practitioners to better understand what they’re doing. I learned about it in college and it was part of the mainframe program I used 30 years ago in my first job. I took it for granted. This was truly basic stuff.

It wasn’t too long, though, before I took a job where it WASN’T part of the software. In that case, the finance people had selected the package and didn’t see it as important, so they didn’t buy that module. Same thing with the next position I held, and I haven’t seen it since.

A few years ago I worked as a consultant for a major international company. Once again, their software didn’t do this calculation. This time, though, the headquarters wanted it done every month. Dilbert would have felt right at home with a company that wanted something done but didn’t want to spend the money to actually get it done. But, I built a Microsoft Access program that went through about 700 calculations and got them what they wanted. This was the only location in North America that could comply with the requirement.

One of the guys who worked for me at the time was a newly minted MBA. He was so excited about this because he’d heard about this analysis in school but had never seen how it was done – and couldn’t figure out how to do it himself.

So, what do we have? Kids in the field who have never used the technology. They’re working for management that doesn’t see the benefit of doing this.

And I’m unemployed because the kids don’t know what they’re missing and management doesn’t want to spend the money. I can see the benefit and can actually use the technology to make it happen, and I’m unemployed.

Ya can lead a horse to water but I sure don’t know how to make it drink.