Unrealistic Expectations

Love.  There are people who love their computers.  They proudly carry their little MacBooks and Netbooks wherever they go.  There were over a half-a-dozen at last night’s meeting of the Lake Erie Moose Society, our blogger group.  I do not share their affection for all things high tech in general, or for computers in particular. 

I don’t have a love/hate relationship with computers.  I’m closer to tolerate/hate.  I view the computer, that black box on my desk, the dusty keyboard, and the lovely flat screen as a tool.  I expect it to function, like a hammer or a screwdriver, every time I use it.  True, computers are more like automobiles than hand tools, but I can’t help myself.  I just expect the damn thing to work every time.

You know that’s not going to happen.

I was switched from Outlook Express to Outlook three secretaries ago.  I did not move without a fight and the transition was less than smooth.  I confess that the participants were a large part of the problem.  It took awhile, but I adjusted.  Until today.

My Outlook is totally screwed up.  I’ve got an email with a large attachment stuck in my Outbox.  Microsoft’s online trouble-shooter had four ways to solve this rare problem.  I tried options 1 and 2.  My secretary’s attempt at option 3 has made all of my extra folders disappear.  We can’t get rid of the email and its attachment breeched in my Outbox, but we were able to eliminate several hundred emails that encapsulated my two terms as president of the Beachwood Chamber of Commerce and my last, and most interesting, divorce of 2005-2006.

Agitated?  You betcha.

Looking for a distraction, needing a way to clear my head, I escaped to Facebook.  That didn’t help.  Today was my day to get switched to the newest, least useful, version of Facebook.  Goodbye LiveFeed.  So long friends who disappear for hours at a time.  It got to be so frustrating I went back to retackle Outlook.

Big mistake.

This is, of course, no time to discuss impenetrable insurance company websites.  Outlook to Facebook to Anthem.  Repeat.  My blood pressure was spiking.

I hope to have someone in tomorrow to make this ferchackta machine work.  I  have become painfully aware of how often I scan and email documents both for my insurance business and for the chamber.  I’m currently dead in the water.  Worse, I just can’t grasp the cause of the problem or what can be done to resolve the issue.

I can’t imagine ever loving my computer.  It seems like I would just be setting myself up for disappointment.  That, and it would make my pen jealous.


One more thought – A nice dinner, a trip to the whirlpool, and a CAVS win have all contributed to the relative calm of this post.  Right now I’m watching Jon Stewart spar with Newt Gingrich on the Daily Show.  For those of you who might be tempted, Mr. Gingrich will be in Akron next Wednesday as part of his “No Innuendo Left Unspoken Tour”.

4 thoughts on “Unrealistic Expectations

  1. In my professional life I run a web site and I have to say that I agree with you that a computer is a tool and not a toy. But it’s a tool that I would simply die without. My relationship with my computer is not based on love…It’s purely based on need.

    Probably not a very healthy relationship.

    I will say that in computers – as in love – I’m a pretty loyal partner….I have brand loyalty to my Sony. I’ve had three Sony laptops and they’ve given me no cause for complaint.

    I kept my home desktop computer for 10 years. But I have to say it did eventually lose its luster. I want speed and reliability, so I had to upgrade.

    They just added text messaging to my work Blackberry. I probably will never use it…I hate using the Blackberry to type messages. I only use it for the briefest of responses. But there are texting addicts.

    I think a lot of times when you see a Geek tethered to his computer with some sort of umbilical cord they are usually busy admiring new applications – not really just loving the sensual hardware experience.

    But sometimes even being wired for the sake of being wired is too much….Then spending an hour in the whirlpool might be just the tonic. We all need to get a bit of a grip.

    And BTW, I have daily hassles with my Outlook box overflowing. Eventually, dealing with that problem just becomes second nature, unless you’re too enamored of all your past e-mails.

  2. Thanks. I’m OK with past emails. It is this email stuck in the OUTBOX that has me flumoxed. It is slowing my email transmissions and preventing me from getting my work done.

    BTW, your loyalty to partners and computers is commendable.

  3. When I get mail stuck in my Outbox that is usually a sign that I have exceeded my mailbox’s storage capacity. Once that happens, the first symptom is mail that gets stuck in the outbox.

    If you could take all of your old e-mails and either get rid of them or file them some other place (in my company we have an Outlook folder called “Things to Keep”) then you’ll make space in your in-box. It also helps to clean out your sent items and your deleted items box.

    I get very mad at my corporate e-mail limit….Everybody does….Nobody really feels like they have time to keep things cleaned out.

  4. Hey I was one of those”people that love their computers” at the blogger meeting. I must say, that if your computer is working well – the world is a wonderful place. But if you have an Outlook problem (which I do at times) or if you have a computer virus, it can seem like the end of the world.

    We rely so much on our computers. Some more than others, it is scary, But when they are humming along with us and the emails start pouring in, life is good!

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