Did you work in the 90’s? How?

Many days I’m on the road for work. I drive around New England meeting different, excellent people. It’s a very good gig. But somedays, I’m in the office.

In between executing tasks for work, I’ll check the internet. That’s pretty typical for my day and I imagine (since you’re reading this) probably something you do as well.

I just began to wonder what it would be like if I wasn’t plugged into a network of people who are constantly creating content. Lots of people I know write blogs and articles, they produce videos, guest on podcasts, and anything else you can imagine.

On top of that, since I’ve been doing more research into publishing, I’m following a bunch of excellent Twitter accounts which link me into a whole other universe of content that’s relevant to my writing pursuits.

It’s all interesting, or funny, or timely information — all the time.

Here’s an off-the-top-of-my-head list of things I’ve looked at today:

– Video: Zabeth Russell, an IB alum, was in a hilarious bit on Jimmy Kimmel

– Twitter: Some awesome idiot created a Twitter account for “Adele’s Ex”. It’s fantastic.

– The awful details from completely un-awesome idiot Chris Brown’s police report. Not going to link to it. Almost made me puke.

– Searched for The Jedi Spirits

– My friend Sara Benincasa came out with a BOOK yesterday. I was reading about that.

Anyway, you get the point. All this leads me to the question: What did we do in 1998?

Seriously, guys. What did we do? I mean, I was a junior in High School then so I spent a lot of time doing homework and going to play rehearsals. Also, I think we drove a lot. Like, around in circles. And I pretended to be way more into classic rock than I actually was. But that’s all beside the point.

I guess the question is directed at people that were working in an office before the internet became a constant. Was everyone just so much more productive? Did we read more books? Jog at lunch? Play tennis?  Is THAT why 80’s ladies always carried heels in their pocket books and wore tennis sneakers?

What did you do?

**AFTERTHOUGHT** I think it’s actually possible that I do not know anyone who had a desk job in the ’90’s. I guess the mystery will LIVE ON!


9 thoughts on “Did you work in the 90’s? How?

  1. Well in 1999 I had a cell phone that only cost $11/month.

    In the mid 1990s I had a dial up Internet account that was $14/month (Ziplink out of of Lowell, MA) and every time my dorm room phone would ring it would bump me offline.

    I spent a lot of time in 1996-1998 chatting on ICQ (online). My dorm-mates with word processors basically had a lot of “what is a laptop?” “What is the Internet?” type questions.

    So I wasted a lot of time on the Internet in the 1990s. Several of my friends met (and later married) their spouses all thanks to good old chat boards.

    In fact, I know people that flunked out of college in the mid-90s due to networking their computers together and playing way too many video games. #engineers

    • P.S. I had a desk job in the 1990s. Several of them. Marketing departments in software companies were a blast back then. 🙂 So yes, I did waste a lot of time on the Internet starting in 1995! I’m only 35 so not that old…

  2. I got my first office job in 1999. There was internet but a very limited kind. So the way I effed around on the job was to play the games that came pre-loaded on my computer. I was a Snood champion. Or hit up Napster. Also there were sites that posted TV show scripts so I caught up on my stories.

  3. My earliest office Internet access (at Microsoft) came in 1995 and we definitely spent time on things other than work. Since the Internets were most nerds in those days, we hung out on Usenet groups and chatted about who knew properties of physics or programming better.

    Before 1995, I suppose we chatted in the hallways and cafeteria more often. There’s less of that these days, in what’s otherwise similar techie surroundings. I basically have to schedule casual conversation with my peers in the common areas.

      • You could make a show with characters portraying significant figures from the past, but hobbled by the net’s early craptasticness. In frustration, they resort to sloppy insults.

        GHANDI: Gotta see this pic of the crowd totally into me [attachment.gif]
        JOANOFARC: What is that a cow
        GHANDI: WTF happened? The editor turned everything brown WTF WTF
        JOANOFARC: Jesus you’re terrible
        JESUS: What
        JOANOFARC: God, teach ghandi how to jpg
        GHANDI: You guys are worse than Lincoln uploading porn AVIs in ten second chunks
        LINCOLN: What
        JOANOFARC: Oh yeah those are terrible too
        JESUS: You blink and it’s over just like Lincoln in bed

  4. I got married in 1998, so there.

    I was also in grad school and grad school and the web had no connection to each other in 1998. None. No on line chatting or submission or work or anything. And I was in writing school. We’d print out manuscripts and bring them in and hand them out to people. Stapled.

    And I worked in an office. The web was novel then but it was lots of searching for text. The story of this, the story of that. Being an aspiring writer, I remember spending lots of time looking up obscure stories as back stories for characters. I did a lot of research on the Dallas Texans, a 1950s era NFL team that lasted one disastrous season.

    Because everything was dial up, you didn’t assume emails would be read immediately so there was still a heavy reliance on the phone. I think that’s what’s most decayed in the new millennium. And as much time wasting as you did at work, you didn’t bring work home as you do today. Today, everyone checks in on Sundays and Saturdays. And that’s kind of a shame.

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