Saturday, April 19th, 2008

Why I don’t work for a big organization

Tweet from a librarian I know:

“It amazes me that organizations skimp on the cheap stuff (disk space) and expect us to use our labor hours to tweeze through our inboxes.”

I remember this was true at Houghton Mifflin, the Boston publisher where I worked. HM’s installation of Lotus Notes gave us each only so much space. As the guy responsible for pulling together their ebooks*, my inbox was full of large files. I was perpetually up to my chin in water.

But this was six years ago, back when, although you knew what terabyte was, it sounded as far off as terraforming Mars or, say, a petabyte. That six years of Moore’s law and the ready example of Gmail has smart, valuable people like picking through messages in her inbox to save space depresses to me no end.

Maybe I’m just touchy, but I have decided to NEVER suffer this kind of thing again. Because it’s never just one thing, but a whole set of interlocking inflexibilities and ineptitudes that sap the spirit and undermine contentment and productivity. So I hope that LibraryThing has given me enough professional mojo that, even if it fails, I can choose to never again do computer work for an organization that doesn’t understand computers.

*It looks like they’re still using most of my code. It was cool in, um, 2001, anyway.

Labels: email, houghton mifflin


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