If there’s one thing that the pandemic has taught us, it’s this – that we don’t know how to do the simplest of things!
No, I am not ranting about masks, social distancing and vaccines. I am talking about more mundane things. Let’s revisit the lockdown period, these are the first thoughts most people had (yeah, I see you nodding!):
- I don’t know to cook, and the restaurants are closed!
- I have no idea on how to change bulbs and tube lights, and there are five that need to be replaced!
- How does one go about getting a haircut without a barber?
And so on…
In essence, we can write super-computer code, create multi-dimensional cat videos on the cloud and articulate how Bitcoins are going to change the world. But, we didn’t know how basic stuff – a little humbling for sure!
But technology (as always) comes to bail us out. With a little know-how from YouTube, our microwaves, vacuum cleaners/robot mops, and washing machines save the day. Yeah – we cannot forget YouTube – because it is these videos that teach us which buttons to press 🙂
End of story? Well, not quite.
Number 3 – how do I get a haircut was the biggie for me. I am one of those guys who stroll into a salon every month like clockwork. The friendly barber (or hairstylist as they are called these days!) ran one of his machines for a few minutes on my scalp, and I was done. I didn’t ask him details, and he didn’t tell – somethings are better off as secret. A head massage followed, and life’s stresses simply melted away.
The lockdown made me realise I didn’t know the first thing about a self-service haircut, now that the Salons were closed. YouTube videos talked about sideburns and curls and stuff – it looked like it was easier to put a man on the moon than get yourself a haircut. I despaired, I prayed. And God sent his answer through Amazon.com – which anyway tracks our every move and preempts our buys. There was a company – get this – that specialised in self-service hair cutting machines.
What’s more, they had a “dummies version”. I ordered one right away and was comforted to note that they were sold out a few hours later. I had plenty of company in the “haircut” ignoramus community.
Thankfully, the government categorised hair cutters as essentials and so a few weeks later the machine landed on my doorstep all sanitised, masked and infection-free. I swept hair-locks out of my eyes and picked up the parcel gratefully.
The guy was not kidding when he said this was for dummies (he didn’t use that word but an equivalent official-sounding jumbo-jumbo, in case you are wondering). The machine comes with many blades – you chose one depending on how closely you wanted to crop your hair. The attachments come in different colours (the company knows you are likely to forget the next time around!). There’s also a fitting to ensure you don’t cur your left ear by accident (and another for the right ear). There’s a cap on the blade, so you don’t cut yourself while stowing it away. There’s a little bottle of oil and a brush to ensure the razor doesn’t infect you (I suppose). And there is a grand total of – one button. Side it, and it is up and running. Slide it back, it stops. The device works on a rechargeable battery – they don’t want you tripping over wires. Like I said, its heaven for the dummies!
It’s served me well, and I have already had three haircuts with it. While a barber may frown at the quality of the job, it’s certainly functional. And Zoom meets don’t capture sideburns anyway!
Wait – I haven’t said the last word yet. Human ingenuity surpasses anything technology can throw at us. With all this tech for cutting hair, these guys thought they had covered every contingency. Well, they had not – I managed to outfox them by losing the charger.
So while I hunt around for my charger, I’ll leave you with that thought. Man > technology. Good day!
After twenty years of playing IT leadership roles, I am taking some time off to read, reflect, and share thoughts on Leadership and Technology. I am specifically interested in how we can use these to further our success. You can find my work at https://nsubra.com and 2-minute daily posts at https://angulam.in