“Hey guys, what year did the Civil War end?”
A slight breeze rustled the Kathy Ireland poster on my friend Chris’ bedroom wall. It was a cool evening in the fall of 1993 and we had gathered to play Hold‘em on a ramshackle card table.
“Any ideas?” Chris asked again.
I shook my head and folded, “No idea. Sometime in the 1860s…”
“It was 1867,” Adam suggested with confidence.
“No chance… It had to before that, right?” Brandon offered as he pushed his chips all in. “Wait, what year was Abe assassinated?”
We all reasoned and tried desperately to put the tattered strings of our half-remembered middle school knowledge into a guess. At the end of the game, we simply shrugged our shoulders in defeat and agreed: “I guess we just don’t know for sure.”
Think about that! We just didn’t know – How absurd?! There was a time in history, not too long ago I might add, where we didn’t have immediate access to simple questions like “What year did the Civil War end?” or another common query at our table: “Who drew the first issue of Spider-Man?”
Today, I can tap a few buttons on the phone in my pocket (or simply talk to the nice Siri lady) and I know, infallibly without a doubt, that the Civil War ended in 1865 and The Amazing Spider-Man #1 was drawn by Steve Ditko*. End of discussion!
We now live in an age where the answer “I don’t know” is a laughable response usually followed with “yet”. This is true with the fun questions that come up around a card table but it’s doubly true with the questions that come up at work.
“What day did order XYZ ship?”
“Which cap screws did we need for this bumper assembly?”
“How many Slider50s did we ship last quarter?”
Now, I’ll admit, some of these questions still take a little digging to answer. However, as we become more proficient with tools like Epicor and FileMaker, and we continue to take advantage of amazing new tech such as tablets and smart phones, finding our answers will only become faster and easier.
We truly live in an amazing age – I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
*Alright, I didn’t even have to look this one up, but you get the point!