(PHB,MBA) fungible entities

I was ranting about how unproductive Lotus Notes is, and why I refuse to switch from Mozilla Thunderbird, on an internal mail. On that list was a guy who used to be fairly techie but has long ago given up on technology to become a "manager" (which happens so often in India), and he said:

"I use thunderbird at home - and am quite at a loss to understand what is the big deal in a mail client - as long as I can send and receive mails and retrieve them when I want, I don't care one way or the other."

I think this is excellent logic, implying that email clients are fungible. Applying this logic to the most fungible entities I know in the corporate world:

"I deal with managers at work - and am quite at a loss to understand what is the big deal in a manager - as long as he can read and send mails and forward them when I want, I don't care one way or the other".

Cool huh? Of course, I didn't send it to him, for 2 reasons:

- he might get the joke
- he might not get the joke


PS: Just for completeness, here're some serious answers to that silly argument. Please add more in comments if I missed something.

(1) if it's no big deal which you use, why use an expensive, bloated, closed source client instead of an open source one? 500MB versus 8 MB, as someone reminded me...!

(2) by the same logic, why not standardise on Word for all source code editing -- if it can insert and delete characters, and do Ctrl-F to find stuff, why would you "care one way or the other"?

(3) why Word -- why not Notepad? :-)

(4) Lotus Notes acquired the "sort by subject line" feature in 2005 (see http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/lotus/library/notes-designer7-features/#N10093 last paragraph of the "Mail" section). Do you really want to discuss **my** interpretation of "retrieve them when I want" if this is your baseline?


Anyway, I offered him a demo. Let's see him try something like typing "f:manager t:sitaram s:some-topic" and watch the display rapidly subset itself down to just the right email(s) **as I type those characters**!


Anonymous said...

Hi Sita,
This is cute stuff. I had like to know who spoke those "wise" words. Since you sent the URL for me and Sundeep to read, and the condition that we do not ofrward to anybody, at least it is clear that neither of us said the same. Please SMS the name so that there is no "connection" between the Blog and the SMS - not even at the communication medium level!
Best Regards...SK

Anonymous said...

actually this rant is as much about how managers try to avoid problems instead of taking a stand -- this same person, before he became a manager, would have had a **useful, credible** opinion on the issue that would benefit the discussion, instead of a meaningless response designed only to stall further discussion.

This is "management" today, pretty much anywhere in the world (so no point wishing myself in some other company -- they're all the bloody same!)