22 August 2011

Technology: It's Great! ... When it Works

My work computer and I have had an uneasy relationship in recent weeks. But that is really the latest bar of dissonance in the composition that has been my life-long relationship with computers.

I actually thought that if I studied computer science at uni, it would help me to understand and possible improve my track record with these beasts. That was twelve years ago and I only lasted one and a half semesters. First semester was great - with some tutoring from a third year who lived in my residential college, I managed to understand what I was doing and get good marks. But in second semester, the gremlins reappeared and, knowling all effort was futile, I quit while I was ahead. (Having been adequately spooked, the next year I commenced studies in Arts and Law!)

The inspiration for tonight's blog post is what happened (or rather, didn't happen) at work today. In recent weeks I've been chatting quite frequently with members of our friendly IT department due to various issues with encryption and synchronisation on my work computer. But today, I was excited. We were having new Microsoft Office software installed on our computers and it looked great in this morning's training session. I was looking forward to playing with it. (And I'm actually not too bad at figuring things out when it comes to using programs; I was just useless at writing them).

But the feeling wasn't mutual.

I have come to the conclusion that my work computer does not take well to change.

For an update that was supposed to be installed quickly and seamlessly at midday, it was up and running at 4:50pm. So with me working two days per week, that was basically half my work week taken out when combining training time with inability-to-use-computer time. This is through no fault of IT personnel mind you, just my belligerent laptop. At every step of the way, anything that could have gone wrong, did (and, seemingly, things that couldn't have gone wrong as well). During one (of many) conversations with my friendly IT colleague, I mentioned the possibility that my computer might be cursed (thinking that his logical mind would dismiss the notion outright). His response was that the thought has actually crossed his mind. Reassuring, isn't it?

Whilst he assured me that I wasn't bugging him, he must by now contemplate running away to Siberia when he sees my name appear on his phone as an incoming call. I would.

The saving grace in all of this (for my friendly IT colleague as well as myself) is that, working two days per week, with MissyMoo3 on the way and one work day offsite for a planning / workshop day, I only have six days remaining during which I must interact with my computer. I use the term "interact" broadly because although we have reached an uneasy truce for now, the way the relationship has been deteriorating recently, we may not be on speaking terms for much longer...

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