Dealing with change isn’t so bad after all

Published 7:30 am Saturday, February 4, 2023

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Boy did I resist the change many years ago when something new was introduced at the newspaper where I worked. I remember that first day vividly. After a computer system was installed, my editor motioned me to take a seat at the desk. I tried to beg off, but he ignored my plea.

An instructor slowly guided my shaking hands through the word processing program, then left. I was so scared of that thing; I had never been a good typist, but I was ready to go back to the “old faithful” typewriter parked on my desk.

I knew I had to change my attitude. My thoughts went back to when I wrote copy on a note pad, then transferred what I had written to the typewriter. The editor told me to put down my pen and pad and start composing on the typewriter. That was another change I resisted, but I soon found it was a time saver. With the word processor all I had to do if I made an error was back space or retype to make it right. It was certainly easier than pounding o a typewriter. I made mistakes and still do after all those years, but I admit I certainly don’t want to return to the typewriter.

After that experience why would I resist using a computerized check-out station where I bought gas? For a long time I stayed a little scared of them. I would see them week after week. I learned may years later that those self service stations were placed in military commissaries all over the United States on a trial basis. Maybe I should feel a little privileged to get to use one? Well, I didn’t. My attitude was let the checker handle it if the item didn’t take. I was inexperienced so it took me twice as long to get through. I just did not want to bother with the hassle. You have to hunt every one of those little bars with numbers on the merchandise so it will register on the ticket. I saw exasperated checkers cope with items that did not take.

The day finally came when I was shopping again with a loaded cart. There were so many people lined up with their carts almost bumper to bumper that I knew I had a long wait to check out. Then I heard an announcement on a loud speaker that self service check outs were available. “Well, why not?” I asked myself.

I was met by a friendly young lady who gave me instructions and someone else who grabbed my produce to weigh and stamp. As I slipped the first can across the glass panel a light flashed green with the name and price of my product and a voice repeated it. I did it again and again. I got more familiar with the bars and the processing. Then came the crowning glory of that experience. The young lady approached me that time with a smile. “You know what; you are one of the best first timers I have seen,” she said. I thanked her and walked away with a puffy head. Later in the car, I gloated on getting out so much quicker than those people snaking along in that line.

Well, it had not been so bad after all. Why resist change? I could do that again.