On why today’s response was useless…depending on how you view it


So far today, it appears I’ve been pretty useless as far as work-related questions go. Here’s the thing. When my boss sallies forth from his office in the suite across the hall, sits down in one of my chairs and says, “May I ask you a question?”, I usually figure we’re in for a long chat. Not that I object, you understand. These discussions are usually challenging and good for waking up my brain. And they let me ignore all the pending calls posted on my recruiting calendar — at least for a little bit longer.

Today’s conversation went like this:

Ted: You have a Kindle, right?

Me: No

Ted: A Nook?

Me: Nope

Ted: An e-reader of some sort?

Me: Not a one.

Ted: Hmmmmmm….do you know if a student can access curriculum on Moodle using his/her e-reader?

Me: Beats me.

Ted: Well, I can see you’re pretty useless today.

Me: Pretty much.

The conversation didn’t end there, but truthfully, I was pretty useless as far as answering his questions except I did suggest the person who might have the answers. So technically, I wasn’t useless. And I did offer some insight into the advantages and disadvantages of posting course materials on our course management system.

Good thing it’s Friday. My usefulness will obviously be limited today. Not that it’s much better on other days of the week, but at least for today I can blame it on the fact that it is Friday.

It’s also a good thing that there are only two of us in the office today, because that means questions will be limited…at least within the office. There’s always at least a zillion students out there just waiting to test my usefulness. That doesn’t take into account two daughters, one husband, one mother, four brothers, and any number of friends who might wish to consult today.

Which, by the way, has already happened. Daughter number o ne– just about on break from teaching and studying — has already sent me two distractions this morning. One was an animated image of how a sewing machine works and the other was a reference to Reddit, a source for what’s new online, and which is where she found the sewing machine image. Fortunately, she has not asked any questions of me today. She knows better.

But I digress…back to the e-reader questions. Here are the reasons I don’t have one.

1.) I’m too cheap to buy one and there are other things I rather spend my money on.
2.) I LOVE going to the library, searching for a new book to read.
3.) I look at a computer screen much of the day and at night, I’d rather read print text.
4.) The Wall Street Journal published an article yesterday on “E-Book Readers Face Sticker Shock”, claiming that “The price gap between the print and e-versions of some top sellers has now narrowed to within a few dollars—and in some cases, e-books are more expensive than their printed equivalents.”

So there you have it. I’m not completely useless. I’ve pointed my boss in the right direction for an answer to his question, and I’ve given my husband a reason NOT to buy me an e-reader for Christmas.

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