My Manager's Memos

My boss had about 20 people working at the office. Because of the nature of our work, many of us spend a majority of our time away from the office, out in the field.

Before his acceptance of the latest technology, whenever he wanted to communicate something to everyone in the office, he would:

  • Hand write the memo on a piece of paper,
  • Make about 20 photocopies of it and
  • Place a copy into each employee's mailbox.

There were several challenges with this approach:

  • We had one employee who was legally blind, and she had to use a magnifier to read the memo.
  • We had two people who were totally blind and someone had to read the memo to them.
  • The rest of us could barely read his chicken scratch, no matter how good our vision! Even he sometimes had trouble with it!
  • It was time consuming for him and for us, as we had to go find them (they were not at our desks) and we had to decipher them.

As time and technology marched on, he learned to use email, (despite my best attempts at teaching) which had been in the office for years.

The routine changed greatly. Here's how:

  • He typed the email, then
  • sent it to a 'group' which has all our email addresses. Done.

So, what's the big deal? Who cares? Why was is so much better and worthy of an article here? Read on!

  • The legally blind employee had magnification added to her computer already, so she reads it without assistance.
  • The totally blind employees, have their computers read the memos to them, in a very human-sounding voice.
  • The rest of us do not have to huddle to read the text on our screens!
  • It saved everybody time and reduced misunderstandings!

So, what's the point in all this?

1. Blind people are very excited about the internet, because as they have their 'personal computers' modified for their use, they can access digital information much easier than paper-based information and do it much more independently! If web designers and developers will realize what a great opportunity they can give to some people by learning about web accessibility issues, and designing the web sites accordingly, a great service is rendered.

2. Anytime you want to communicate to other people, you are better off if you do it in a way that they can understand. Remember, my boss had no trouble reading his own writing. Well, most of the time, anyway. But that was not his intentions nor desire. He wanted to communicate with us, and so had to do it in a way that we would understand! (I am multi-lingual, and English is not my first language, yet I must use it to reach people!)

3. What a task God had in putting together the Bible, knowing that people of many languages and cultures would read it to better understand Him, and how the book would be so easy to misconstrue. If you are convinced that what you understand is 100% of what God is saying, I suspect you would be 10% correct. At least, that's the best I have ever done.