The Consultant - 2008 - (Page 58)
The Final Word
A Tale of Two Technologies
BY JOHN SMITH, ACF THE FIRST TALE: E-MAIL, SCHME-MAIL
Lately, when I am asked for my e-mail address, I get a blank stare of disbelief when I say I don’t have one. I inwardly smile and blissfully remember the days before e-mail. Now, I’m not claiming to be smart by not having all the new electronic gadgets (definition of “new” is anything invented after, say, 1925), but like Popeye says, “I yam what I yam.” Let me also stipulate that I think all the new electronic gadgets are great; some have useful purposes for the field forester and the landowners they serve. That said, let me chat a bit about BCE (Before Consumer Electronics) with those who did not experience the ’60s and ’70s as a student or graduate forester. Rebooting meant getting new soles put on your favorite boots. When your boss said, “Get out there and get me the facts,” he didn’t mean that you should check the fax machine. When your boss asked how the cruising was coming, he meant have you met a special local girl yet. We had shell phones. This was a conch shell held to the ear. Carbon paper was used to make copies. Boy, how times have changed. I have chosen not to completely change with them.
THE SECOND TALE: TO PHONE OR NOT TO PHONE?
It started as a perfectly normal Southern summer day, and because of an act of forgetfulness, it became extraordinary. I forgot my cell phone. There I was on the road, hell-bent to make the appointment I had made the night before, when suddenly all of the tension in my head drained away and
my thoughts were floating as on the wings of a butterfly. I forgot my cell phone. My thoughts began racing: Should I turn around, go back to the office and get it? I had time, it was doable. The tension returned, but, nah, I decided I’d go on without it. The butterfly-like thoughts quickly returned. “Nice day,” I thought, as I relaxed knowing nobody could reach me. I was free! It wasn’t the first time I had felt the unbridled thrill of running free. College graduation, release from the U.S. Army, they were nothing compared to this. I forgot my cell phone!
Sometimes when driving country roads you will see a dog that has slipped
his leash and is running pell-mell with his tongue hanging out and no idea where he is going. He is just happy to be free; you can see it on his weary face. I am that dog. My first cell phone was as big as a backpack water pump and cost $800 plus monthly fees. However, it was better than stopping every few hours at sparsely located country pay phones and losing quarters or getting a busy signal. Sad to say the cell phone and e-mail quickly went from a convenience to a nuisance. Now people are put out if you don’t answer on the second ring. “Where were you? I called your cell phone!” Translation: You are a slacker. If you ever see me running down the side of the road with my tongue hanging out, please don’t offer me a ride. I’m feeling fine and running free. l
THE CONSULTANT 2008
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Consultant - 2008
Executive Director’s Message Mapping the Future of ACF
President’s Message ACF Celebrates 60 Years
Professional Forestry Education: The Present, from a Texas Perspective
The Future of Forestry Education: Will We Prepare Relics or Icons?
Forestry and Consulting: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Carbon – A Forestry Opportunity?
Advocacy – Its Benefits May Come With Frustrations
Katrina Top 10: Public Policy Advocacy Lessons Learned After Hurricane Disaster
‘Mighty Giants’ Details Rich History of American Chestnut Tree
The Cost of Breaking in New Employees
Hiring Practices: Questions You Shouldn’t Ask a Job Applicant
Graduate Forestry Degrees and Consulting Forestry
Taxation and Land Devaluation: An Examination of the Tax Burden on Non-industrial Private Landowners
Forester Licensing: Essential to Guarding the Forestry Profession
Forester Licensing: Not Worth the Effort
ACF Code of Ethics: Canon 15 What You Don’t Say or Do Can Hurt You
Philippe Morgan: European Forestry Consultant Extraordinaire
The Final Word: A Tale of Two Technologies
The Consultant - 2008