#Information Overload

 

“I worked for her before, you know. In the District office,” I said.

“No. They didn’t tell me that part.  You worked for her and you came back? You must be a glutton for punishment.”

“I respect her,” I said.

She remembered something else.

“Slide over a minute.  Let me get to that stack of papers in the corner. I can’t afford to leave this behind,” she said pulling a red folder from the bottom of the stack.

The bleep of incoming e-mail caught my attention.

“What’s all this?” I asked.

“Google and Yahoo alerts so anytime Madame Senator’s name or issues are in the news you’ll know.”

We heard a thump at the front door.

“They’re late with the papers this morning,” Octavia said. “They’re usually here when we get in.  You’ll read them and circle anything she needs to be aware of.  She’s pretty good at staying on top of things. Watches CNN non-stop, so you definitely have to be up to speed.”

She turned to the cabinets against the wall and retrieved two large black binders.  One contained clips, printed articles about or quoting Madame Senator, the other filled with daily press releases in chronological order. The floor to ceiling shelves were full of these black binders.

We heard keys in the door, then the voice of a cheerful young woman.

“Good moooooorning!” she yelled.

“Hey!” Octavia hollered back.

“Helloooooo!” I yelled.

“Who’s that?”

“R.C. Paige.  New girl,” I said.

She turned on the overhead TV in the office lobby, then come back to our area and turned on another overhead TV.  News blasted from the lobby TV and muzak played from the TV on our side, which showed a list of the day’s hearings scheduled.

“You can always tune that out and pull up a TV on your screen,” Octavia said.  “In fact, you’ll need to keep that window open to MSNBC so you don’t miss anything.”

“I’m a news junkie anyway,” I assured her.

“Take that up a notch and you’ll be fine,” she said.  “Anytime you can get a jump on her, do.  She’ll respect you for it.”

“What you mean?” I asked.

“Be proactive.  That’s what she wants.  I’ll give her credit, they’re never gonna catch her sleeping…”

  • In this era of information-overload (a 24-hour news cycle, social media bleeping every other minute, your turn on any number of online games) how do you disconnect to de-compress?
  • Why do you think it’s necessary to de-compress? (Or why not)
  • Ow do you feel after a day/week/month of refraining from news, social media and/or online games?
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