‘Labor Day’ takes on new meaning this year
Labor Day holiday will be especially meaningful to me this year. On Sunday, September 2, I celebrate 36 years in business. That makes me, uh, “seasoned.” The gray hair is just a “professorial prop;” the wrinkles are “character lines.”
I love what I do and have for 36 years. As the date approaches, I have been reflecting on messages to share. I’d like to think that these might resonate with you, and help make your day, week, or month more meaningful (or at least tolerable).
So, here goes with the first three, targeting technology—which occupies an increasingly large part of our days—and nights:
Tech and Timeless go together. Technology will never supplant traditional methods and ways of thinking, but it sure can enhance the quality of communication, life, and learning (when it’s not enraging us). Look for the best ways to integrate the two to make life more fulfilling and far-reaching. For example, current ideas about customer service and engagement are rooted in traditional values of doing business with those you like, trust and respect. Social media and other digital technologies enable us to let the world know what companies are doing in this regard—extremely important as sales, marketing and just about everything else a company does are increasingly being viewed through the lens of customer service. It’s also letting all of us tell the world what we think about those efforts. Find ways to integrate timeless and traditional core values with technological power.
Revisit retro roots and rejoice. Sometimes, it can “cleanse the cerebral palate” to go back in time to something simpler. I’ve often joked that in 50 years we’ll invent a device that allows the transmission of thoughts from our hands directly on to a sheet of paper without a technology interface. It will be called a “typewriter.” In the same vein, I purchased an old-fashioned record player recently—to play my stack of vinyl records. I took it out of the box, untaped everything, plugged it in…and played it. No downloading; no configuration; no complicated instructions or assembly. It was glorious, until I “technologized” it by wiring sound through my TV speakers instead of the device’s rather small ones.
My TV kept turning off every few minutes and its speakers went silent. I figured that, since there was nothing on the screen, its settings dictated “shutdown.” I haven’t found the appropriate reset, chalked it up to technology schmutz, and have kept using the player speakers. Help stay sane by balancing the daily blast of tech challenges with some good old-fashioned, simple pleasures.
Reframe technology challenges as “fun and games.” This is a tough one when you’re in the middle of a busy workday, and something tech goes awry—which, to be real, is all the time when considering the multiplicity of our technology uses. However, when possible, turn the frown upside down by making it a game. As part of my record-player “installation,” I redid my entire entertainment setup with new connections. Between the devices themselves, attempting to strengthen a digital TV signal, and the mass of wires and connectors, it took hours…and hours.
Instead of screaming at the top of my lungs, I decided to make a game out of it—and to be a super sleuth to solve the issues at hand. It worked, and I felt great. Weaving this into those everyday tech frustrations can provide some peace of mind and much needed “play” time—much needed and too often ignored.
Next up: Customer service is your company.
Mark Lusky is a veteran writer, storyteller and author, with 40+ years of public relations, advertising, marketing and journalism experience. He is the author of A Wandering Wondering Jew… and co-author of Don’t Get Mad, Get Leverage. AKA The Happy Curmudgeon, Mark is the owner of a Denver-based marketing communications firm celebrating 36 years in business in 2018.