Where are you? the phone asks. I’m right here, thinks Mike. That’s a silly question. A better question is did you forget to catch your flight to Austin? But the calendar has Mike in Austin tomorrow, not today. Mike’s calendar is only partially right.
Looking at the airline ticket confirms he was supposed to leave today. Even the April email from his boss says Saturday. Mike forgot to update the calendar and the calendar isn’t smart enough to know Mike entered the wrong day. With today’s technology, should the calendar be smarter?
Mike thinks yes, especially the next day when he’s sitting in a local diner thinking how his calendar failed him and how he failed his calendar.
How could this have been avoided?
Mike could be better at paying attention and confirming key pieces of information in his calendar. Which is ironic because he is usually the detail guy. He puts everything in his calendars which he has for each group he is a part of. He uses his reminder list religiously and has tested out many options of tools. He is the biggest proponent to task management in his company and tracks every minute of every project. Yet he failed when it came down to getting to Austin.
Can we rely on technology more for this detail work?
Does it scare you to trust your details are known by a computer?
Getting all the data in there, learning a system, wanting customizations to the system are all challenges. But the wetware is the most challenging.
The airline ticket could be tied to Mike and alert him when he should have left the house. But it wasn’t. His boss made the effort to get the ticket for Mike. So Mike didn’t get any system alerts until it was too late. The alert he did get was from a human. At that point he had missed the flight and more so missed the week in Austin.