Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Rosh Hashana vs Business and Technology
As my family and I, among others around the world, prepare for Rosh Hashana, the head of the (new) year, it presents many challenges for business, for myself and numerous others.
No matter what religion you are, when your holiest days come, you take these very seriously. The more religious Jewish people observe the various laws, some of which date back to the giving of the Torah to Moses at Mount Sinai in the desert. The extensions of which preclude one the right to actively utilize electric/electronic items during the holiday. Passive usage, like leaving lights on or an oven are allowed, but you can not turn it on or off. Or in the case of a computer, one can leave it on(although it is not int he spirit of the holiday), but all one can do is read the screen, can't use the keyboard or mouse and basically would be like reading a newspaper.
Why tell you all of this? Because it's not just the next 2 days it is also the same during the holiday of Sukkot which also will start on Wednesday night in 2 weeks and continues the following week. So in 3 out of 4 weeks, I and others are stopped from working or interacting in many ways that defy the norm in society today, well the more plugged in society at least. 3 out of 4 weeks we lose 2 days + the night before and when you consider we also have the same limitations for Saturday, our Sabbath, well that means a lot of time no getting any work done.
Someone out there will get angry, perhaps.
Someone out there will be frustrated they can't reach me, or whoever does their tech support.
Someone out there will be trying to have meetings with Israeli companies and will find it hard to get a date set.
Someone out there will email or Tweet me and not get an answer for about 72 hours.
No cell phone, no IM, no Twitter, no nothing.
And the last thing on my mind during these days is our clients because I have faith in those we have partnered with or hired to handle whatever comes their way professionally and with appropriate timeliness.
Naturally we have prepared for this and provided clients our usual contacts but let them know I will not be available. For some of them, that is a problem. They do not always know all the members of our team and trust can be an issue. But given the number of days this month I am off, they will learn that others are just as helpful.
Even if there is an outright catastrophe, no hurricanes this year like a few years ago, I will still not be accessible. There are some things more important than work and technology.
It's funny to be so entrenched in a technical world yet remain outside of it nearly 1/6th of the time. Some will argue you can't really be in IT if you are not plugged in 24x7x365 but for the better part of 20 years since being in the work force it has worked for me fairly well. Sometimes it means missing something I would like to be a part of, like NLLUG or Collaboration Universities this year or The View conferences in past years. But there is always next year.
The prayers of Rosh Hashana, like any others, follow a pattern of design that always ensures the message gets across to the individual on their level.
No matter your age or generation there is a piece that will work for you. Email like directives can be sent from you to God verbally (don't ask for a return receipt) and to others.
Sometimes a Twitter like briefness is all that is required or defined.
Sometimes in a more blog like elongated format is shown for specific and key concepts that a one liner may not really explain so well.
Other times there are loops just like in your database programs that remind you, again and again, to do the right thing or ask for forgiveness or just beg the question. Whatever question the person praying is seeking.
And sometimes there are just items on the page there for you, the person praying, to stop and think about objectives that maybe you hadn't realized needed to be discussed.
In truth one can learn much about business from other sources and so while I am refreshing my mental screens take a minute or 2 of your day to do the same.
To fellow members of the tribe, L'shanah Tova Tikatevu V'techatemu. And for everyone if I have offended you in any way, from my blog, Twitter or any other personal or electronic means, I ask your forgiveness.