…at least not right now.
I want a Mac. Badly. I’ve had a laptop for a few years now, and it’s grown to be a little rather rough around the edges. Namely, the CPU can barely handle running the latest versions of Office and iTunes together; my music has almost filled up the scant 60GB hard drive, and the video port doesn’t work when I need to do presentations.
When I started shopping for a replacement I thought it might finally be time to get a Macbook. An Engineer by background, I’ve always had a heathly dose of tech envy towards Mac owners. What’s not to like? The UNIX-based operating system, built-in webcam, slick casing, and even the simple things like 1-click uploads to Facebook and YouTube. I even switched over to an iPhone recently, believing that it would be my gateway drug to a Mac.
But then, right when I’m about to make the pitch to my wife, my employer assigns me a new Dell laptop. You should see this thing:It weighs nearly 8lbs, and the 15″ screen is more like 16.5″ with the border frames. Lugging this beast back and forth to work has my chiropractor laughing all the way to the bank.
But the real kicker is that this laptop has shot my whole business case for a Mac. When I received the laptop, I marched right home and declared to my wife that it was unacceptable. I “needed” to get a Mac, and the bulk of this new laptop was my proof. But she responded with simple questions like “can’t you replace that large bag with a sleeve? Doesn’t Windows Vista have speech recognition for dictating articles and such? And how much will this new computer cost versus a Mac?” Ug…by loaning me a functional company laptop, there’s no longer a “need” to do the mega-upgrade.
Why all this fuss over a just a couple thousand dollars? Because the small stuff matters. It’s been said “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” How does it look if I buy a brand new computer, and then tell my son that he can’t have any more Pokemon packs or ask my wife not to buy any more dress shoes? I really can’t be a leader in my family during lean times, encouraging everyone to save here and there, and then go blow a mortgage payment on what amounts to a luxury item.
Apparently I’m not alone. Fellow Excella consultant Scott Lock talks about a similar debate over a new car. Scott invites us to “Be a Hero” by holding off.
I may not need to be a hero, but I do need to set the right example.