During my early career in management one of the hobbies I took up was playing with the new wave of the future called personal computing. The first computer I started out with was a small Timex system. I later moved over to the Commodore 64. It was on the Commodore 64 that I taught myself basic program and decided to see if I could use it at work. One of the first programs I created was a routine I could run to help me calculate the stores Operational Ratios (OR) which was the formula that determined how many hours we could use in a given department based on our sales. Our sales by department, hours by department and the OR report (which at that time had to be done on a calculator) were called in every Saturday night to our zone office. This program made the process so much easier. I could now complete my OR report in a minute instead of the usual fifteen minutes. And I knew the report was accurate, where as when I ran it on the calculator, we had to rerun it to verify the totals.
Later I used the IBM2 with Lotus to prepare budgets and run different scenarios to go over with my department heads to help plan promotional sale events. This was a very different approach than most other store managers a that time took. To most store managers in the early eighties’ computers belonged at the headquarter offices and not at the store level.
As I look back now almost forty years later, I see how this love for computers set the stage for my 3rd career. When I started teaching twenty-eight years ago one of the assignments I was asked to take was that of the schools SYSOP (System operator). This job assignment would be the one that transformed my 2nd career for the last twenty-eights years.
One of the characteristics of Christ I use to preach on is found in Luke 2:52: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God, and man. The importance of this verse is that Jesus kept on growing. Growth is something that we must continue to work on even when we get old. Hopefully the old skill sets I have learned over the last fifty-one years will lead to growth in other areas of my new life. So as God has always help prepared me for my past careers, I pray that He has done as He opens doors of opportunity on my next career of retirement.
An early Commodore 64 computer system.