The times they are a-changin’...

Happy memories!
Happy memories!

How times have changed since I were a lass.

As a ‘cub’ reporter what seems like several generations ago, computers were the stuff of science fiction and all this social meeja malarkey was way beyond anyone’s imagination.

Back then, the most technologically-challenging piece of equipment in the office was the phone.

We worked onImperial typewriters of the ‘sit up and beg’ variety and, since smoking was practically compulsory in those days, each desk came equipped with an ashtray.

There was no such thing as a ‘delete’ button should we be unhappy with our opening paragraph; the offending piece of paper (slightly yellowed, due to all the nicotine in the atmosphere) was yanked out of the Imperial, rolled up in a ball and tossed at the nearest colleague.

Once we’d finished with our paperwork, it was impaled on a metal spike which hovered precariously over the ashtray. Health and safety? What was that?

There was no sitting about tweeting, facebooking and googling, no sirree.

Any further information we needed had to be garnered by phone or a trip to the library. Only those and such as those had the use of a car while we juniors had to hop on a bus to go in search of a story, notebooks and freshly-sharpened pencil at the ready.

Mobiles were still decades away and a tablet was something you took with your tea after a heavy night on the Babycham.

By contrast, here at Herald Towers this week we had a visit from a health and safety person who expressed displeasure about the fact that the pool car had no water in its windscreen skoosher, to give it its technical name.

No doubt he was concerned our vision might be obscured by bird droppings, thus impairing our view of the road.

We’ve also been reminded that we shall shortly be undergoing an appraisal – or as modern HR people call them, ‘Performance and Development Reviews,’ whose aim is to ‘integrate the company’s objectives throughout the business and to align strategy and individual performance objectives.’

This, along with computers, Twitter and empty skooshers, was simply unheard of in the old days, although occasionally the editor would summon you for a wee chat:-

‘You getting on okay then?’

‘Aye, fine thanks.’

‘Fancy a fag?’

‘Aye, go on then.’

Ah, those were the days.