From the get-go, the convenience and efficiency of technology's deliverables should have aligned quite well with me. Ever since my grade-school math teacher made the comment that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, I've made mental maps to find the best ways to streamline processes. Unfortunately, though, I'm not as patient as I thought.
Somewhere early on, technology got way ahead of me and I was desperate to shut down. Only because I have to--just as you have to--stay abreast of business trends, did I force myself to adapt. You'd think that once I realized the fantastic benefits attached to all the new ways of doing things that I'd love learning it. But no, that hasn't been the case. It's a pain in the neck way more often than it's been smooth sailing.
I know you relate to me when I pair keeping up with technology with the need for patience. You hit one wrong button here or click on the wrong option there and you find yourself who knows where with no clue as to how to undo it. "I thought I saved that episode." "How do I get out of this screen?" "I can't figure out how to turn this thing on." When you have finally mastered some new software program, its upgrade comes out and you're practically at square one again.
But then comes the epiphany. The aggravation is forgotten; the wonder of it all becomes paramount. It happens simply and that's the beauty of it; like when you learn a foreign language so well that you comprehend it as clearly as your native tongue. For me, the moment of delighted appreciation came when my brother and sister-in-law, who just moved from Connecticut to Florida, called my cell phone on their new, freshly installed land-based phone line.
After we hung up, I pressed the "options" key, selected "update existing contact" and, with a giggle, a smirk and a marveling shake of the head, I overwrote the old listing and saved the new phone number into my address book. That's when it hit me: doing this isn't even "new" anymore; it's rote, as though I've done it that way for 20 years. But I haven't, and I realized: I really love this stuff! Technology is awesome.
It has turned the world around, affecting every facet of our lives, making our work more efficient and, happily for everyone, more consistent (the lack of which is dentists' number one complaint about laboratory work).
The cost of innovation is high but so are the benefits and rewards. Innovation keeps us growing and thriving; ultimately, it ensures our ability to meet the ever-changing, ever-more-competitive needs of the market. Once we commit to learning the new vocabulary along with the ways we do what we do, many of us--truly, many--discover the fun and delight of these new-fangled gizmos.
I also know that there is intense interest in all the new systems and materials that made their debut at LAB DAY in Chicago. So we're really pleased to present this issue to you with its comprehensive catalog of all the latest digital offerings along with tips to help you identify the best systems for your laboratory.
P.S. On May 1st, LMT moved into its brand new home, seven miles north of our former location and twice the size. We took a very hands-on approach to its design and construction and did a lot of things "MacGyver" style to create affordable elegance. We now know first hand the excitement you feel when you undergo everything from a remodel to a renovation to new construction. We love writing the Lab Showcase pieces featured in the past several issues and now we can write one about ours. Watch for the LMT building showcase in an upcoming issue and be sure to check our website for a sneak peek at our new digs.