The ‘human’ in human error

 

 

Oops (Image source: http://www.wrestlecrap.com/icfyt/29204/)

In a world where we rely so heavily on technology to manage our daily lives, I sometimes wonder what the future holds for the human race. From smart tech in the home to wearable technology, the ‘smart revolution’ has changed and influenced nearly every aspect of our lives.

Now, I am certainly no prude and tech plays a huge role in my life, and in particular my work. However, when it does go all glitchy, (which let’s face it, it so often does) we go through the usual process of:

  1. getting frustrated
  2. trying to solve the problem ourselves
  3. rebooting
  4. getting it to work again (or if this fails…go to five)
  5. approaching a professional ‘fixer’ to get it working /OR/ giving up and chucking it

My job involves sitting at a desk all day, stringing together words to fill up blank pages on a blank screen, which then gets cut, copied, trimmed and churned into creamy butter, dripping off the pages of high spec laptop screens. Typos always ruin teh moment. (Image source: http://www.lolsotrue.com/usertag/typos)

By no means is it an easy job. I don’t always get it right and because I’m only human, I sometimes make mistakes. But lately, I have begun to question whether we’re more forgiving of bugs in our tech systems, than the bugs in our fellow man.

If your Fitbit’s not working properly and you’ve tried all of the steps above, you’d probably get rid of it, get a replacement or ask for a refund. I’d probably do the same.

But have our friends / colleagues / teammates / customer service agents, become as replaceable? Or have we just become less tolerant of human error and more reliant on tech to deliver near-perfect results. I suspect it may be a bit of both.

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What’s new pussycat?

Source: www.piccsy.com 

Some of you may have thought that I’d completely disappeared off the face of the earth, but alas, Google Latitude has found me. There’s no hiding from those sneaky satellites. 

For the past month or so, I have been, for lack of a better phrase, ‘in hiding’. This is partly due to lack of blogging inspiration, planning my wedding, picnicking in London’s lovely parks during the few days of Summer we get, catching a tan and my plan to take over the world (ala Pinky & The Brain). Ha ha ha!
But a big dose of reality, a small dose of guilt and an equal measure of inspiration has helped my find my way back to my center. Hummmmm….!!!
I’ve been battling for a while now to find some balance in my life. The past six months have seen me move homes, move countries, move jobs, get engaged, graduate, making some major decisions, adapting to future in-laws, make new friends, say goodbye to old friends, pack up my entire life into 30kg of luggage and undergo scrutinous immigration interrogations. 
Source: www.piccsy.com
Needless to say, it’s all been exhausting and challenging. But six months down the lines, the scales finally seem to be evening out and I feel more at peace. It’s taken a while to get to this point, but I’m finally beginning to feel some relief. Nothing in my life is going according to plan at the moment, but somehow, it all seems to make sense. 
I guess sometimes the best made plans, are the plans you never make. 
As an added bonus, some light entertainment for your Tuesday morning, compliments of the legendary Tom Jones.

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows…

My sister and I have a very deep bond and we’re both sucker’s for sappy, heartfelt sorta stuff. 

I’ve already told you all about my relationship with my sister in my post Sister, sister, so I won’t go into all the sap again. This poem is one that we both hold very dearly to our hearts and always reminds me that no matter how far apart we are, I am never without her, nor she without me, for I carry her in my heart. 
Source: Google Images
 i carry your heart e.e. cummings

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; 
and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud 
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life, which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart 

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

New beginnings

I know this may come a bit late, but Happy New Year to all of you. My new year started out in a different city, on a different continent and with a considerably colder climate. I decided to make the big leap across the ocean to pursue my career and my heart. The decision wasn’t an easy one to make.

Leaving behind my family and friends; the lovely warm Cape climate; the smell of Mum’s home cooking; and all the familiar little traits that constitute home was harder than expected. But when it came down to it, I packed up my life in 30kg of baggage and boarded a plane headed for London.  Although I’ve been here before, everything feels different this time around and my body still seems to be recovering from the shock of the extreme climate change, but I know that in time I’ll adjust.

I made a decision a few years back to live my life with as few regrets as possible. Granted, it hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve put on my brave face and tried to stay true to my word. It’s not always easy to make major changes in your life, especially when it involves leaving the ones you love behind.

Sometimes there are so many reasons not to do something, but the one compelling reason that shouts from your gut, is the one that keeps you going. So here’s to a new year, with new challenges and no regrets.

no-regrets-7v64ulzr3-122389-500-375
Image source: http://piccsy.com/

Back in the zone

Hello all you Beautiful Blog Beauties,

After catching up on some Glee episodes last night, I’m sitting in the office jamming it up to some old school, Fleetwood Mac to be exact and I’ve gotta say these folks were are the shizz nizz. So sorry for being so quiet for the past few days, but the past two weeks have been a bit of whirl wind of activities and festivities.

I spent some time in the country side living la vie simple (a.k.a. The Simple Life) which was surprisingly refreshing, then enjoyed a lovely bout of Summer flu, finally finished my very long and  tiring year of studies, celebrated wedded bliss with some old friends and now here I am back in the zone.

These past two weeks have felt like a bit of a marathon, but a fun and unexpected one that has kept me on my toes constantly. Talk about unexpected, while walking in Woolies the other day I heard freakin’ Christmas Carols playing in the store and I had to take a minute to digest this highly suspicious activity. But then it dawned upon me that Christmas is only one month away. Can you believe it?

Just when I thought I could finally get a bit of a break and catch up on a year’s worth of sleep, the festive season arrives baring great tidings of great celebrations. Well, I guess the only thing left to do in these very unexpected situations is embrace the change, slap on your cape and call upon your super hero powers to help you survive it all or just turn on some Fleetwood Mac 😀

Image sources: 
http://images2.fanpop.com/images/photos/8000000/Glee-Wallpaper-glee-8088197-1280-800.jpg
http://piccsy.com/

The art of laughter

There’s a saying that goes: ‘Of all the forms of courage the ability to laugh is the most profoundly therapeutic.’

There are few things that I find more fulfilling than a really good, hearty laugh. Hearing my 5 year old nephew’s boisterous laughter, as he squirms and squiggles through my endless tickles is one of my favourite things on this earth; and there are few things as delightful as spending time with my Best Friend and hearing the sound of our shared laughter filling the room.

There are many battles that we all face daily, but there are few things that are not easily cured by a good laugh. I often find that when I feel like life just gets to be too much, the silliest incident will have me rolling on the floor, crying my eyes out and enjoying a really good laugh; and once its all over, I miraculously feel light and rejuvenated.

Try to find something everyday that makes you laugh. Our daily lives are filled with chores, activities, schedules and meetings, so its often difficult to find the time to just take a minute to breath. But, in between brushing your teeth, remembering to take your vitamins, delivering your weekly report to your boss, picking up the kids from school, find a minute or two to have a good laugh. Because, its true what they say…’laughter really is the best medicine’ (and the cheapest)! 🙂


Image source: http://piccsy.com/

My kind of "People"

“People, People who need people, are the luckiest people in the world.”

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a bit of a closet Barbara Streisand fan, ever since I saw the movie Funny Girl. The lyrics above are taken from one of my favourite songs by Streisand, coincidently called ‘People’. Who’d have guessed it right?
After a break from my studies, I decided to come back to uni this year and finished off what I started. So there I was, feeling like a fish out of water amongst a crowd of new faces and feeling a little old and out of place. At first, I must admit it took a bit of getting used to, but now that I’m nearly at the end of this epic long year, I can honestly say that I’m so happy to have been thrown in amongst this group of totally awesome people. 
So here’s the part where this gets a bit sentimental. It’s been a very long and challenging year and often it felt like I just didn’t have anything left to give, but thanks to my ‘peoples’ I’ve managed to survive. It’s not often that you get mashed together in a very stressful environment, with a group of strangers and you actually end up liking them. They’re a bunch of weird, quirky, special, funny, loud, crazy, expressive, and loveable people who (without knowing it) have helped me stay sane throughout this very draining year.
So, here’s to ‘the people’ who’ve made this year an absolute blast and made me realise that we all need people in order to survive. People like the Kardashian Clan in the back of the class; the Afrikaans meisie who goes gagga for Foster the People; the skater chick with the Cape Flats twang; the bubbly little person with the hyper laugh; the Class Rep with no clutch control; the Chatterbox Brit and her clan; the fashion concious Frenchie; the witty Twitter bug who everyone loves; the friendliest guy with the deepest voice I’ve ever heard; the noughts and crosses crew at the back of Research and the very well-versed Tourist Guide.  
To all of you, who’ve made this year bearable, because after all, ‘people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world’! You’re all Legends!!!

Final Words: The Last Lecture

I watched a lecture recently that Steve Jobs delivered at Stanford University in 2005. He spoke of his childhood, of being born out of wedlock, adopted and raised by a working class couple with no tertiary education. He spoke of his time at university and how he dropped out of his course after a few months; of how he created apple, became very successful and then got booted out of his own company.   A truly remarkable man who accomplished so much in his lifetime but still recognised the value of love and family.

Ever since reading about Randy Pausch and blogging about him earlier on this year (check it out here) I’ve thought a lot about what my final words would be to people if I had one last message to share before my time on earth elapsed. After the news of the death of Steve Jobs this week, a visionary who I really admire I felt even more compelled to write this post.

I aspire to be somewhat of a visionary myself one day. I don’t think I’ll ever accomplish what these remarkable men (Steve and Randy) did, as creating the latest Apple Mac or volunteering at Disney Land is not really on my list of things to do before I die. However, I’d like to know that I made some difference in people’s lives, even in the smallest way.

If this were my Last Lecture, I’d want to share my life lessons with everyone. I’d tell them that life is a day-to-day experiment, we don’t always get it right and sometimes it explodes in your face, but when you do, it’s absolutely brilliant. I’d say not to waste time on things that don’t matter and don’t bother worrying about what is to come or what might happen; but instead take a leap of faith and hope for the best.

I’d say forget the rules and push the boundaries. I’d say live a fearless life, always fighting to reach new heights, always challenging the norm and always questioning. I’d say be defiant and don’t let your past prevent you from unlocking your future. I’d say that one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt is that people change all the time and its not against the rules, so if you don’t like who you are, change it.

I’d tell them to make time for the things that matter, like family, friends and lovers.  Show and tell the people you love and care about how much they matter. Sometimes the things we take for granted, the things that go unsaid, like a simple ‘thank you’ or ‘I think you’re amazing’ are the words that need to be said. Because sometimes stating the obvious is underrated.

I’d say take a risk, be daring, because the only person in this life who can make your dreams a reality is you. Reinvent yourself if you have to, after all if  Cher can do it, anyone can. Don’t let who you are stop you from becoming who you could be. I’d say do something that matters. Forget about the money and the status and just do something for the good of mankind.

I’d tell everyone that being happy is the most important thing, so spend time on the things that make you happy. Because this is not a test run, there is no do over, you don’t get to re-write the script and there’s no room for regrets. All we have is right here and right now, so make it count.

Image source: http://piccsy.com/ 

Best Friends & Bridesmaids

This post is about two weeks delayed, but never the less, here it is.

Today I said goodbye to my best friend which wast the weirdest thing ever. You see, I’ve gotten so used to saying my goodbyes to my family and friends every time I jet off on another one of my ‘expeditions’ that its gotten a lot easier to wave goodbye without all the waterworks. But this time around, I was the one staying putt and watching her drive off to a new town and a new life.

You see my BFF and I have been practically joined at the hip for the past 14 years and no matter how near or far we are from each other, we’ve always been very involved in each other’s lives. Its one of those friendships where you can not see the other person for over a year and when you meet up again, you simply pick up right where you left off; or where you argue about something trivial and after a week of not speaking to each other, you forget what the argument was all about, because you’re simply bursting to talk to each other.

Our friendship has been a long and winding journey and there have been many bumps along the way, but despite the rough patches, we’ve managed to stick it out. When we were younger, our biggest issues were boy crushes and our parents, who just ‘didn’t get us’. But, now that we’re all grown up, we’ve discovered that there’s a whole new level of friendship to be explored in our ‘adulthood’. Last year. my BFF and her long time boyfriend tied the knot and I had the honour of being her Maid of Honour. This was the speech I said at her wedding, which I think chronicles the history of our friendship up to our current point quite well, I’ve used pseudos for their names (RJ= My BFF; D= My BFF’s Hubby):

It’s very surreal for me to be standing here today witnessing my Best Friend marrying the love of her life, as I remember the first day R.J. arrived in my Grade 4 class like it was yesterday. This loud mouthed girl with pitch black hair and a whole lotta guts. I found her so intimidating at first, that it was only sensible that we started out as arch enemies. 

Luckily, that soon changed and before long, we became inseparable. We’ve been friends for 14 years, that’s a long time, a lot of memories and a lot of ups and downs. Like the time R.J. and her family relocated to the US and I thought I’d lost my best friend forever. Or the time we didn’t speak to each other for a year because of some stupid argument. 


Today is another memorable moment and luckily this one is a positive one. When RJ and her beau first started dating, I’d already known him for a while and for the life of me I couldn’t understand what my friend saw in this guy. I had come to know him as a very quiet and shy guy and literally had to drag any conversation out of him, whereas RJ was the complete opposite. 


I remember how excited and nervous RJ was when they first started dating (a bit like she was today) and her admitting to me how terrified she was that D would try and kiss her, as she didn’t know how it was meant to be done or if she was any good at it. Well, I’m sure that by now, you’ve both mastered the technique. 

I was very territorial when they first started dating, as I didn’t want just any guy messing around with my BFF and I’m sure that D can attest to the fact that I gave him a really hard time. I should probably apologise for that now, but lets just agree that it made you a stronger man and a lot more determined 😉


To D I’d like to say thank you for putting up with RJ and my hour long conversations, our midnight meltdowns and our many, many sleep overs; as I’m sure you’d have loved to have her all to yourself every now and then. Thanks you for loving my best friend and for being the man that she deserves. 


To my Best Friend, thank you for your friendship all these years. I love you to bits and I’m overjoyed that you’ve found someone to love and make you happy. 

To the both of you, I’d like to offer some words of wisdom, but since I’ve never been married before , I’d like to draw from my life experience and say that: I believe that all you’ll ever need to know, you learned at Pre-school, so remember:


1) Share everything- love, sorrow, joy, pain and especially the bed covers


2) Play fair- in work and in play


3) Don’t hit people- or throw potatoes at them RJ (inside joke)


4) Put things back where you found them



5) Always say please and thank you


6) Clean up your own mess


7) Say you’re sorry when you hurt someone


8) Wash your hands before you eat


9) Ask for help when you need it- especially when you’re too proud to admit it


10) …and most importantly, remember to flush!


I wish you both more happiness than your heart can hold. Congratulations and Thank You!


Image sources: http://piccsy.com/