The hate-hate relationship that can build up between user and computer is a real thing! I have no scientific evidence whatsoever to back me up, just experience. I’ve seen the hate, I’ve heard it and I have also experienced it.
Everyone has had one of those days. The anger doesn’t last that long, it turns into apathy pretty quickly. In other words, the relationship is in trouble and the rot has set in.
My story – The quick version
My computer (Bertie) and I usually get along quite happily, I ask him to do something, he does it and all is well with the world. It transpired that this morning – Bertie wasn’t feeling well. He didn’t say anything, so I just carried on as normal. Outlook repeatedly froze. The internet radio wouldn’t play properly and every time I tried to open Sage, I was categorically denied. (No warning or error message mind you, it just wouldn’t open!).
The rage set in surprisingly quickly (to the horror of my co-workers), profanity littered the air and even soothing cups of tea were cast aside. Cake would have helped, but Kate hasn’t made me a lemon drizzle cake for ages!
The internet radio thing has always been a problem, I just kind of live with it. (Did I mention that the rot sets in quite quickly?) Losing email is a bit like not being able to Google stuff or access Twitter… in other words CRITICAL!!
The First Step – Admit there is a problem
Admitting there is a problem doesn’t mean you are admitting defeat. Quite the opposite, you are starting to take control of the situation. Once the rage had subsided I was able to take a step back. Well I wheeled my chair back a little bit, took a deep breath and explained calmly to Bertie that I could not continue like this anymore.
Define, Diagnose and Debate
Ok, so what is actually wrong? Strangely enough, shouting at the person sitting opposite that “This bloomin thing won’t work!!” didn’t help. I needed to list my issues, all of them! Once I could see clearly (..now the rage has gone), I was able to list what wasn’t working on my computer. This list actually made it easier for me to see that there was, in fact, an underlying problem.
I have been limping along for months with a stuttering internet radio stream. It’s not exactly a high priority, so I have never taken the time to fix it. Looking at my list of all the other problems I was having it suddenly dawned on me that I had just identified the root cause of all this trouble.
Mediation and Resolution
It is at this point, you may want to bring in a third party. Bertie and I had a nice long chat, I was able to fix the underlying problem myself (because, yes even though I’m a girl, I know about computers and stuff). If you don’t have those skills (years of training, blood sweat and tears!) you might want to seek advice. The important thing is to make sure that whoever you bring in to mediate has your full list of issues, not just the most recent one.
You will be pleased to hear that Bertie and I are friends again.
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