Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Unlocking the Shackles

Don't ask why, but my office has archaic telephones. They are the black, corded, touch tone phones. No redial. No mute. Voice mail indicator? Are you kidding? Nothing. These are a total flashback to 1975.

We always complained, but no action was taken. The managers said they would approve the orders. Finally, two months ago I took it upon myself to order simple, cordless phones for my team. Seriously, we should be toting Blackberrys, but we've heard there are a lot of hoops to jump through to get those.

Anyway, our "Blackberry Lites" are working well for us. They really changed the dynamics of how my team works. We're more responsive to customers and colleagues. The speakerphone allows us to have a quick conference call no matter where we are. Voice mail is still an issue, but that's alright. We can speeddial the voice mail box. We feel like we're in 1995!

Recently, I was on a long conference call and I couldn't sit much longer. I paced within my cubicle, and then just walked around the office perimeter. I can run to the printer while still on the call; in the past I used to email our admin and ask her to get me a printout if I was stuck on the phone.

Later, I thought of a story about baby elephants I read. The keepers used to chain baby elephants to a post so they couldn't wander far. When the elephants grew larger, they took off the chains. The elephants didn't wander because they thought they were still shackled.

This is how I liberated I felt with my cordless phone. I wasn't shackled to my desk anymore. I should be able to explore and multitask better.

I'll take this analogy up a level and say that there are many parts of our lives where we impose the shackles on ourselves. We've been released, but we don't realize it. It's a matter of recognizing our freedom of movement and actually using it.

Last year, I had someone moan to me that he felt he was in a prison. I told him he may feel like he's in a prison, but he has the key to the door. Fortunately, I can say this person is out of his "prison" and is looking towards a more positive and promising future. For him, one critical change needed to occur, which gave him the confidence to move forward.

So, if there's something that is frustrating you, see what needs to happen for you to be free. Look down at your feet. You'll see you don't have shackles on them like you thought.


ZenDenizen said...

I have almost no clue of how to use our office phones, they look like they're from 2017 to me. You must be high on the food chain if you can e-mail admins to fetch your printouts for you :)

Anonymous said...

LOL! hardly.. just on the other side of her in our cubicle farm. Figured the walking distance is same for her to go to the printer and back to my desk.

Venkat said...

And here we are playing with Live Meeting 2007 and speaker-cam videoconferencing :) It'll get there, don't worry. Enjoy the enforced leisurely pace while it lasts.

Anonymous said...

Another office phone story:
The phones at our office have voicemail nd stuff from the 200s, but one of them (there are only 3) is broken. The hand-held receiver doesn't work so we have to use speaker phone to make phone calls-most annoying. What is even more annoying is that our company is moving mid-January and refuses to invest in anew phone now so until January at least we have to live this way. How I would love to give up voice mail for a phone that worked!!