Man Vs. Machine

So there I was, a 21st-century man, being told that this 21st-century machine was in control of me. It was like waking up in a Terminator movie, but Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn’t anywhere around to save me.

My wife and I are preparing to go on vacation in a couple weeks, so she suggested that I bring my laptop to check e-mails every day so when I return I won’t have as many.

However, those should not be my only options–either to take the stress of work with me or to have it hanging over my head while I’m trying to relax, knowing it is amassing more every day I am away, and that I will pay double for every minute of relaxation I squeeze in.

Cut The Cord

My third option is to cut the cord! I should be able to shut down the computer–totally. Incoming e-mails would not come into my inbox but would bounce back to senders with a polite message: “Randy the Recreator is on vacation until whenever. If your concern is vital or personal, call his office at (770) 631-2542, and his staff can assist you. If not, wait until he comes back.” I bet that at least half of the time people will solve their own problems, or they will cease to be an “emergency.”

I should be able to switch the cell phone to off, and have it only for an emergency–one that I consider an emergency. If I want to bring my laptop to begin writing my memoirs or the great American novel or send my workmates a frivolous e-mail saying how relaxing my vacation is, that should be my choice–not that of “The Machine”!

Recreators, unite! We must take back control from the machines! We are the creators! We, the professional leisure-services men and women, must lead humanity’s charge to regain our human right to recreate!

Geez, I think I really do need a couple weeks off; does anybody know Arnold’s e-mail address?

Randy Gaddo, a retired Marine, is Director of Leisure Services (parks, recreation, library) in Peachtree City, Ga. Contact him at (770) 631-2542 or e-mail

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