Like many people my work depends on having a reliable computer. This wasn't the case when I left college, but it is now – things have changed beyond our imagination over the past 25 years. Learning new ways of working is hard enough, but the worry that suddenly and inexplicably high-tech kit can stop working at crucial moments is very scary. I feel very lucky that when I took the plunge and went freelance 19 years ago, I knew some people who would be there to help me sort out the stuff I didn't understand, leaving me time to concentrate on my work.
I'm not alone, there are many people out there who are grateful that when we were tearing our hair out in exasperation with a deadline looming and a computer that just isn't doing what it's meant to do, there was a calm and unruffled voice at the end of the phone "Bill . . ."
Yesterday I joined lots of those people at a local hotel for a surprise party for Bill, he has decided to click on the Retire button and spend his time just pottering – something he has wanted to do since he was 14!
Guest of honour was an ice aardvark, there doesn't have to be a reason – it just was! And Bill was delighted!
There's no need for anyone to panic as Bill's colleagues are still there running the company, which, this year, is celebrating its first 21 years. The voice at the end of the phone won't be Bill's but it will be calm and unfazed by whatever problem we have.
Thank you Bill . . . happy pottering!