Saturday, June 25, 2011

Editorial: Business by email a risky proposition

In which the unnamed Courier editor parades his discomfort with cumpyewters.

He notes that a bidder on a county contract failed to respond to Email from the county, losing the bid because the communication was "in the company's junk mail, where it sat unnoticed until the deadline came and went." He blames the county for not wiping the contractor's nose for him and calling on the phone before the deadline passed.

By all means, editor, stick with proven communications technology. Presumably the Courier still gets its wire stories by teletype. I also gather the editor has better luck than I do getting through to people on the phone these days, and he believes that both businesses and government can get along fine without documentation of correspondence.

Reality check: This is not an indictment of the county for using a business tool that's been the standard for two decades, rather it's an indication of carelessness and/or incompetence at the company in question, and attempting to cover it with the 21st-century version of "the dog ate my homework." The editor wants this level of skill providing our public services. It's cheaper, after all.

What really launched my cheerios was the editor going on to warn us that "Demons fly around in cyberspace and sometimes steal what is sent from one computer to another. In a word, strange things can happen when we rely on computers to do what our voices should." No amount of snark from me could gild such a bizarre and hilarious lily.