March 16, 2020

I am the older person in the room

Recently, I found myself explaining two things to people on my staff:
  1. Rotary phones: Someone on my staff said something about how they thought they were cool, but asked why we didn't just use buttons back in the day, so I explained the why of the rotary dial and everyone on my team looked at me like I was crazy. And then I explained the thing about dialing with touch-tone in the 80s and 90s, and how we had those gimmicky "phone dialers" back in the day that you could program a few numbers into and hold up to pay phones to quick-dial your parents or best friends. Nobody on my staff knew what I was talking about.
  2. Word processors: I don't know how we got onto this topic, but I found myself trying to explain how we didn't have internet when I was in high school, and our computers printed on dot matrix printers, so to make your college essays look nice, if you were fancy, you had a Brother word processor in the 90s. Then I had to explain what a word processor was; I think I said something about how it was before we had computer screens that had photos on them, so we had these typewriter-like things with tiny screens that only showed one line of text, and that they were really high-tech because they allowed you to type a sentence and preview it before hitting return and letting the word processor clack-clack-clack it out. 
This afternoon I had the fleeting thought that the plot of Forrest Gump the movie doesn't actually seem all that weird now that I'm in my 40s because, well, life is kind of crazy.