Here's the Scoop: October 3, 2012

I can do without this...and this...
I read one of those annoying online articles the other day that provided updates regarding business trends. This story was titled, “13 Things in Your Office Headed for Extinction.”

The real irony of this situation was that I glanced at the article less than an hour after I had a “minor skirmish” with my fax machine. I’d like to say that I “won” this bout, but that’s probably not true. After ruining two rolls of replacement fax paper in five minutes, I “altered the structure” of my fax. I could call it a victory, but I no longer have use of the fax.

Fortunately, judging by the article, I was just speeding up the process of a fax-less office. In addition, the Linkedin survey quoted in the article shows that tape recorders and Rolodexes will soon follow the fax machine into the recycling bin.

I have a Rolodex, at least I think I do. It must be around here somewhere. I don’t think I’ve owned a tape recorder since high school, so I’m probably OK not having such a device.
I won’t go over the entire list of soon-to-be-obsolete office items, but will note a few others that jumped out at me, like: standard working hours.

Where the heck are you?
I like to think that I keep pretty regular hours, but I am always amazed how often someone leaving a voicemail will comment something like, “It’s after 9 o’clock, you’re supposed to be in!” I probably am in the office when these calls arrive, just busy in a meeting or on the other line. Or, perhaps I simply have Caller ID.

Desktop computers are on the way out, too. Check. I was eight years ahead of that movement.
Desk phones. I still have one, but it’s cordless. Does that count?

Formal business attire “like suits, ties, etc.” I modestly suggest that I am likely the one who invented informal business attire — many, many years ago. It’s good to be a trend-setter. It’s nice to know that others are catching up. Now, I’ll probably start wearing ties.

Cubicles are also reportedly on their way out. I have always wondered how anyone can work in a cubicle. When I first saw them in a movie, I thought they were a joke. Now, I simply think they are cruel hoax. Good riddance.

Thumb-thing new
I was saddened to learn that USB thumb drives will soon be getting a thumbs-down in the business world. I recently received a gift of a thumb drive shaped like a rooster. Just pop off its head and it’s ready for data storage. This unique shape makes the drive easy to find — I no longer have to run around like a chicken without a head when I need to find a small storage device.

While some of the updated trends are obvious, the article didn’t spell out all of the items that will be replacing the disappearing trends. I guess that computer-generated “faxes” are taking over the duties of the traditional machine. I’m not totally sold on that, though.

The fact is, I can get a brand new fax for about 79 bucks — a machine that also copies, makes coffee and warms up an afternoon snack.

Not only that, but there’s something about “casually” strolling over to retrieve a fax that’s comforting. Plus, I prefer to embrace my trends one at a time. — Brian Sweeney