|Steve Jobs 1955-2001|
I woke up about a half an hour ago. I couldn't go back to sleep. It is now 2:50 am in the morning. I normally get up at 6 am. Today is different.
Last night as I turned on the Lawrence O'Donnell Show on MSNBC, a news bulletin flashed across the bottom of the TV screen. It said "Steve Jobs Dead at 56 years old." Immediately a wave of sadness washed over me. I knew then that this would one of those days that I would remember where I was when I heard the news that a very public figure has died.
In the future I will always remember that I was in my bedroom at 8 pm in the evening of a fall day, preparing to listen to the latest analysis of the political news that is consuming this country. The date and time I heard of Steve Jobs death will be added to the time and place where I first heard of the deaths of Marilyn Monroe, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, John Lennon and Princess Diana. Now a new name has been added to this sad roster of larger than life figures who are no longer among us.
Perhaps why Steve Jobs passing has affected me so deeply is because this is one man who has made my life and millions of others so much easier. Until I switched to Apple products last year, I struggled like millions of others to harness the new technology of computers. Up until Steve Jobs, computers were designed and built for techies, normal people need not apply.
After years of frustration dealing with Windows based computers and thousands of dollars paid to a "computer guy" to fix the glitches, and hours on the phone for tech help with people who didn't even have English as their first language, I finally switched to Apple products last year at the urging of a friend and my life has been made immensely easier and more pleasant.
So much in todays world is unpleasant, and frustrating. From our government that doesn't work for the common man to Wall Street which has systematically robbed the dismantled the middle class of this country, to today's version of the Republican Party whose goal it is to destroy the president and further enrich the top 1% of the rich of this country, a flag waving Republican Party that boos a soldier serving in Iraq after that soldier declares that he is gay; this ugly world in which we live in today a person like Steve Jobs was a shining beacon of USER FRIENDLY.
I am under additional stress today because today is the day I meet with the owner of the hotel where I work about the way disrespectful way he treats me and the fact that I haven't had a raise in pay in over four years despite the fact that I am on call 24/7 and go above and beyond what is called for as my job as a part-time front desk clerk. I am a professional man who is about to turn 70 but I am treated with contempt and talked down to like a child. That is today's business environment in which so many of us tolerate because we need the job to pay our bills. I doubt if I will be working after my meeting today to air my grievances.
Thus it was appropriate that I heard a quote from Steve Jobs last night that is exactly applicable to my situation today: