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Generations by CryptPhoenix

a guest Feb 21st, 2020 286 Never
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  1. Story time:
  2.  
  3. So this morning my boss accidentally deleted days' worth of my work then spent hours re-doing the wrong version of an outdated file. I got back from the DMV expecting to put the finishing touches on the project, to discover I now had to redo a week of work before a Monday morning deadline. I just completed it a few minutes ago at 8:45 PM.
  4.  
  5. I'd like to address three important questions:
  6.  
  7. Why did it happen? 
  8. How do we fix the problem?
  9. What do we do to prevent it?
  10.  
  11. I never forgot this one time my stepdad Douglas (accountant, ret. marine) was pissed that someone lost the sole copy of some tax document he needed. He said something along the lines of:
  12.  
  13. "You gotta keep extra copies of everything in case shit happens!"
  14.  
  15. I learned young to create regular backups of all my work. I remote-store copies of those backups on the associated server, plus a digital repository like dropbox or google drive, and an external drive that goes in a locked safe, for that extra "just in case".
  16.  
  17. This is vital for confidential data reliant industries like insurance and accounting. Same goes for art, writing, music production, the medical field, or any modern business really.
  18.  
  19. Missing or corrupted files can affect you in various ways: from wasted work hours and loss of income, up to potential lawsuits and jail time.
  20.  
  21. You snooze, you lose - it's gone, you're screwed.
  22.  
  23. Fast-forward to this week.
  24.  
  25. Most of the professional programs I work with require you to manually select a file at the get-go, rather than memorize and open the most recent file.
  26.  
  27. What happened was, my boss accidentally clicked on the wrong file, forgot that multiple copies exist in the repository (root folder), and that the program has an (active) option for save-only cloud synchronization. Effectively, an unnoticed misclick meant hours of wasted work my boss spent on a file missing 80% of critical data that overwrote days of my work with an autosave.
  28.  
  29. Thankfully I made segregated backups and only the main directory files were overwritten.
  30.  
  31. So we lost a few hours' work rather than days. That's silver lining material right there!
  32.  
  33. I couldn't understand how it happened so we sat down and I had my boss walk me through what they did leading up to the incident. This is what I discovered:
  34.  
  35. Apparently they didn't realize the program is set to autosave the master file every so often.
  36.  
  37. Meanwhile I save a separate, sequentially-named file in a Backup folder, and from there I distribute copies as needed. When you launch the program, it prompts you to select which client file you wish to access.
  38.  
  39. A mistaken double-click open the Backups folder, where they clicked the first file they saw with the clients name on it. Then they proceeded to continue my work in my absence.
  40.  
  41. At some point, the auto-sync saved the older backup thus deleting the master file which was further along toward completion.
  42.  
  43. Later they realized something was wrong and proceeded to access other backups one by one, not understanding that doing so without disabling auto-sync resulted in ruining almost all of our backups.
  44.  
  45. Now, you need to understand something. While I turned 28 a week ago, the person in question is in their 60's. As I ran through the troubleshooting process, it became obvious that the way they perceive digital repositories and computers in general is very... Windows 98. If even that.
  46.  
  47. While my generation grew up around computers, they didn't even exist until late into the life of the older crowd. Naturally, they had to learn via trial-by-fire and typically lack the comprehensive understanding of technology we take for granted.
  48.  
  49. It dawned on me that my boss was running through the same motions as one would back in the day with AOL and dial-up - that is, few options, straightforward minimalist UI, and a leads to b leads to c.
  50.  
  51. Modern computation is anything but minimal. Where I learned to read everything before I click, and had a computer class in 1st or 2nd grade, the older generation comes from the repetitive almost-mechanical methodology of accessing technology.
  52.  
  53. Today's technology baffles the older crowd with its sheer volume of icons and menus and all the subtle nuances that are second nature to millenials and gen-z.
  54.  
  55. The insurance industry is especially guilty of using outmoded technology and programs from 15-20 years ago, which doesn't help at all.
  56.  
  57. Hell, until the late 2000's, we still had to use a typewriter for NJ PAIP and SAIP auto policy ID cards! I personally bought our last typewriter at Staples for precisely that reason, and it's hilarious to me.
  58.  
  59. ...But to them, that's how it works. You click one thing and it leads to another thing, and they go through the motions like muscle memory. Meanwhile we're subconsciously making a dozen decisions a second while accessing the robust and often overly complicated user interfaces on our smartphones and consoles and computers.
  60.  
  61. Can you imagine your grandparents trying to type a sentence or setup wifi on a Playstation or Xbox or smartphone? Yeah... It hurts to watch, doesn't it?
  62.  
  63. So I decided that to prevent such a mistake from happening again, I should walk my boss through the basics I learned as a child, and only then realized no one had ever bothered to teach the older generation this stuff, nor did they realize most of the features we use even existed.
  64.  
  65. They just kind of inherited our advanced technology and made do with superficial knowledge by watching others do it, only using the most common apps and commands, without ever getting a proper ground-up education on what anything means or does.
  66.  
  67. Today I taught my boss what the Windows file explorer can do, how to pin programs to the task bar for quick access, use shift-F to search for keywords in PDF files, how to copy and paste and delete and shift lines using hotkeys like ctrl-C and Tab, etc, and it felt like teaching a little kid.
  68.  
  69. It's weird how the rapid advance of technology can make clueless children of people who survived a revolutionary period in history we couldn't begin to imagine.
  70.  
  71. I realized... We take a lot of little things for granted when we assume everyone is on the same level of experience and awareness.
  72.  
  73. Sometimes we have to go back to the basics, like teaching a simultaneously clueless, innocent, curious, yet stubborn child something beyond their current comprehension.
  74.  
  75. This morning I could do in 5 minutes what it takes my boss 5 hours to accomplish, and that fact annoyed me to no end. Once I realized it wasn't so much that she didn't want to learn as much as that she needed to UNlearn obsolete methods and perspectives that no longer applied, it now takes her 15 minutes to do 5 hours of work, and all it cost me was to realize that with each new generation we're all kinda assholes to our elders, as they stand confused and annoyed, wondering how the last great generation of Mankind gave rise to a bunch of entitled little shits. 🤣
  76.  
  77. ---
  78.  
  79. "“…a fearful multitude of untutored savages… [boys] with dogs at their heels and other evidence of dissolute habits…[girls who] drive coal-carts, ride astride upon horses, drink, swear, fight, smoke, whistle, and care for nobody…the morals of children are tenfold worse than formerly.”
  80.  
  81. Anthony Ashley Cooper, the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, Speech to the House of Commons
  82. February 28, 1843
  83.  
  84. ---
  85.  
  86. “Whither are the manly vigour and athletic appearance of our forefathers flown? Can these be their legitimate heirs? Surely, no; a race of effeminate, self-admiring, emaciated fribbles can never have descended in a direct line from the heroes of Potiers and Agincourt…”
  87.  
  88.  
  89. Letter in Town and Country magazine republished in Paris Fashion: A Cultural History
  90. 1771
  91.  
  92. ---
  93.  
  94. “… I find by sad Experience how the Towns and Streets are filled with lewd wicked Children, and many Children as they have played about the Streets have been heard to curse and swear and call one another Nick-names, and it would grieve ones Heart to hear what bawdy and filthy Communications proceeds from the Mouths of such…”
  95.  
  96. A Little Book for Children and Youth, Robert Russel
  97. 1695
  98.  
  99. ---
  100.  
  101. “Modern fashions seem to keep on growing more and more debased … The ordinary spoken language has also steadily coarsened. People used to say ‘raise the carriage shafts’ or ‘trim the lamp wick,’ but people today say ‘raise it’ or ‘trim it.’ When they should say, ‘Let the men of the palace staff stand forth!’ they say, ‘Torches! Let’s have some light!’”
  102. Tsurezuregusa (Essays in Idleness), Yoshida Kenkō
  103. 1330 – 1332
  104. 1600’s
  105.  
  106. ---
  107.  
  108. “…a fearful multitude of untutored savages… [boys] with dogs at their heels and other evidence of dissolute habits…[girls who] drive coal-carts, ride astride upon horses, drink, swear, fight, smoke, whistle, and care for nobody…the morals of children are tenfold worse than formerly.”
  109. Anthony Ashley Cooper, the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, Speech to the House of Commons
  110. February 28, 1843
  111.  
  112. ---  
  113.  
  114. Never has youth been exposed to such dangers of both perversion and arrest as in our own land and day. Increasing urban life with its temptations, prematurities, sedentary occupations, and passive stimuli just when an active life is most needed, early emancipation and a lessening sense for both duty and discipline…”
  115. The Psychology of Adolescence, Granville Stanley Hall
  116. 1904
  117.  
  118. ---
  119.  
  120. The general tendency to connive at a rather shady business transaction if it promises to bring in money without work, jazz … women painted like prostitutes, the efforts of writers to win popularity by ridiculing…the correctness of well-bred people, and the bad taste shown even by the nobility and old princely families in throwing off every kind of social restraint and time-honoured custom: all of these go to prove that it is now the vulgar mob that gives the tone.”
  121. Hour of Decision, Oswald Spengler (translated by C.F. Atkinson, 1942)
  122. 1933
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