Meanwhile, in the Town of Popperville...
An article from Proven Resource, David Soble. Michigan Attorney David Soble and Proven Resource strive to provide user-friendly and practical legal resources available so that someone with a legal concern can understand how to reduce their legal liability and financial exposure in the real estate and debt arenas.
Meanwhile, in the Town of Popperville...After almost 3/4 of a century, Toys R Us began shutting its doors to over 700 of its stores across the country after it filed for bankruptcy last month. It struggled against competitors like Walmart and Target and finally succumbed to online internet giants like Amazon and Ebay. I, like so many others, have such fond childhood memories of Toys R Us. As a young boy, I loved flipping through the Sunday toy flyers to pick out the perfect toy or on special occasions, walking through the store's vast aisles of toys. I especially loved going to Toys R Us to look at the Tonka trucks (the metal ones, not the plastic ones). My favorite Tonkas were the steam shovels and dump trucks.
Thinking about the Tonka trucks and Toys R Us reminds me of one of my favorite stories from my childhood, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel. I must have read the book a hundred times. It was a story about Mike the contractor and his trusty steam shovel, Mary Anne. They were loyal friends who were not strangers to hard work. They helped to dig the nation's canals, roads, tunnels and the large cellars for city skyscrapers.
Mike and Mary Anne exemplified the progress of industrial America. But then came new and more advanced machines: electric, gas and diesel shovels. They could do the work of Mike and Mary Anne faster and cheaper. With the advent of the new technology, Mike and Mary Ann soon found themselves without work. They were displaced. That is until the small town of Popperville requested bids to build the basement for its new town hall.
Mike recognized that the Popperville job was his last chance to prove that he and Mary Anne were relevant and so they claimed that they could dig the town hall basement in less than one day - a job that would normally take over one hundred men a week to finish. The mayor and town folk were doubtful, and so in order to convince them to reward him the bid, Mike offered his work for free if he couldn't dig the entire basement within one day. He too had reservations about Mary Anne's abilities. But they really had no choice. Otherwise, Mary Anne would soon be obsolete; doing nothing meant the scrap yard for certain.
A large portion of the book is devoted to the towns people who came out to see Mike and Mary Anne shovel out the basement at a feverish pace. The more people that assembled to watch, the faster Mike and Mary Anne dug, and by the end of the day they finished the basement. However, after all of Mike's salesmanship and hard work, he forgot to build a ramp for Mary Anne to exit the basement; Mary Anne remained stuck in a deep hole. Everyone was concerned until a small boy, who had been watching the events from the beginning, suggested that Mike become the town hall janitor and that Mary Anne be converted into a boiler for the town hall's heating system. Genius.
To a young boy, the events in the town of Popperville spoke about old-fashioned values such as friendship, loyalty and hard work. Reading it again as an adult and in light of today's work environment, it is more a story about dealing with progress, adapting to technological change, and of course ingenuity.
Cont'd...In today's society, we're told that artificial intelligence (AI) will soon replace our jobs. We're fearful of the omnipresent retail giants of the internet and their nimble algorithms. We see how they pose a challenge to our livelihood and anticipate the narrowing of opportunities to thrive in today's workforce. Many professionals such as travel agents, real estate agents and local storefront owners have had their business platforms severely altered. Even doctors and lawyers have yielded to technologist and internet entrepreneurs who have made millions by exploiting their respective segments.
The internet has provided the public with cheaper and faster access to vast legal and medical resources in the form of directories, chat rooms, blog posts and medical or legal dictionaries. Yet one misstep using "Dr. Google" to make a wrong self medical diagnosis or legal assessment, and the consequences can prove life threatening, or at the very least, wreak havoc and cause needless expense.
Despite the need for businesses to adapt to the ongoing changes created by the internet, there will always be an element of uncertainty in the practice of law or medicine; and its for this reason that some of the public may be disappointed to learn that the need for offline, personally delivered professional advice will not go the way of Toys R Us or Mike Mulligan's Mary Anne (stuck in a ditch) anytime soon.