When I was young and still a struggling banker, I learned some kind of principle in life, which I always follow in almost everything I do. It somehow shaped me into what I am today.
Many years back, when most banks in the Philippines are starting to computerize, the term computer phobia was the buzzword. Many employees never had any experience with computer, the P.C. in particular. A P.C. then was a rarity. Most of the ordinary staff was using the manual or the “Jurassic type” typewriter and the big time, the “IBM Electric typewriter”. The bookkeepers and accountants are married to the huge cranky and noisy Burroughs Posting Machine; the Tellers/Cashiers, oh, they adored the NCR Tellers Machine, especially when it is not tired and hungry — it spews the Savings Passbook smoothly and the numbers are written perfectly well. However, if is not in the mood, then you know what nightmare the Teller/Cashier has to undergo.
Our bank at that time was still rich; a crony of Marcos owned it. Therefore, it can afford to send us to the best computer learning school. The management chose Ateneo De Manila Business School in Buendia as the institution that will teach us illiterates, me included in the first batch, of what a P.C. is and what it does, a computer appreciation program of sort and at the same time, a remedy for most of my compatriot(???) oldies who has a computer phobia.
Our handbook says, “Computer Literacy Program”. I guess, we really are a bunch of illiterates. If not, they should have written “Computer Training Program”.
On the first day, after the remarkable lecture of our instructor – he just recited everything that was written in the manual, he brought up a simple yet very intriguing question to us.
“Did any one of you here know what KISS is? I am asking you this because in the coming weeks, after we are done with the literacy subjects, you will be taught how to use different kinds of software; word processing, spreadsheet, Dbase III plus and, the exciting part, how to make simple programs. And there, KISS will be useful.” (Why he has to ask this if this is just the KISS we know?)
One of our co-employees, the rich and easy go-lucky guy of the group, raised his hand and said, “Did you mean K I S S as in KISS?”
“Yes, it is KISS”, the instructor replied.
“Boss, that was easy. KISS means Kay Inday Super Sarap! (With Inday, it is very delicious!)” And everybody laughed.
“Well, you are wrong. It is not about Inday. Hmm, yes, could be related in someway. Anyhow, just keep that question in mind. When we go to the programming part, I will ask you again what is KISS and why it is important.”
After two weeks, we graduated from being illiterates to somewhat literate people. We are now in the course for the literates, the programming phase.
As the session started, our instructor wrote on the board the longest and complicated flowchart I have ever seen in my whole life. It occupied the whole blackboard and we never have any idea where the start and the end are.
Seeing us amazed and confused, he then brought the question back, “Did any one of you here know what KISS is?”
To make the story short, he pointed out that the flowchart in the board is so complicated and that instead of making things easy for the computer to understand, it goes to a very long process that from the start, could have been simplified in few and simple steps. And that, he said would solve the problem, fast and quick. (The guy wasted his time and effort just make a point. tsk. tsk.)
“When you do a program, follow what the Microsoft Boss said, “Keep It Simple Stupid!” And that is KISS for you folks.”
From that time on, I have never forgotten that KISS. I tried my darn best to do the KISS all the time. Until now that I have become me in the banking industry, I still do the KISS. It always worked.
There is one that I have not tried yet, the other KISS. Ha, ha.
You think I will do that! Never! I will never ever do that. It is not as simple as it sounds. It is too complicated for me. Therefore, not the real KISS I will pursue.