Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||The New Computer System....
The New Computer System
office is getting a new computer system. Those responsible, called ďThe
Team,Ē are so proud of it youíd think they created a new solar system -- in
six days instead of seven. There hasnít been so much hoop-la about
anything since the local football team was in the SuperBowl.
Now, this new computer system can do everything except give birth, and it might
be able to do that if someone programmed in the birds and the bees. It has
so many bells and whistles that it rivals Google. ďThe TeamĒ is
practically popping buttons they are so excited.
Of course, the average user is less thrilled. It is one more new thing to
learn, one more thing to do on an already over crowed schedule, one more thing
to screw up in a life already screwed up by super technology that is smarter
than we are.
The innovators are certain that the new system is bigger and better than
anything weíve ever seen Ė so certain that they have determined that
everyone not only going to learn it, but like it whether they want to or not.
They have untaken a massive communication campaign to assure that we average
users are prepared when the new system comes online. Their emails are
lengthy, technical, and numerous.
Did I say numerous? They fill up my inbox faster than SPAM on a weekend
holiday buzz. After a while, there is nothing left to say, so they just say the
same thing over and over. So far, Iíve received 108 emails singing the
praises of the new computer system louder than a rock concert.
And the beat goes on, and the beat goes on.
Weíve been trained, educated, and saturated with FAQís up to our eyeballs.
We have been introduced to online training, training manuals, classroom
training, and training on how to understand the training. I am more computer
literate than a teenage hacker.
The first day we could log on the new system, The Team practically wet its
pants. So did the server, which came close to crashing as everyone
obediently signed in at the same time, creating a log-on traffic jam bigger than an
audition for American Idol.
We are still getting emails and reminders that the Really Big Day is just around
the corner. The Really Big Day is the day the new system goes live, not
just for practice but for actually doing real live stuff. The Team
will be foaming at the mouth.
The help desk will go ballistic with calls from people who donít have a
clue about what the heck is going on. The Team seems not to be aware of
the phenomena called "information overload." They sent so much
information that people tuned them out.
People donít like to change. Regardless of how good the new computer
system is, they already understand the old one and donít have to figure
anything out to use it. Itís comfortable like a pair of old slippers,
and it doesnít make mental blisters.
Sociologists divide people into groups with regard to change: the innovators,
the adapters, the resistors. I guess Iím an adapter. If itís
evitable, you might as well go ahead and learn it. Please donít tell The
Team, but Iím about
as excited over this as I would be over a root canal at the dentist office.
They are having a meeting right now planning more ways to make life miserable
for us ďend users.Ē I can hear the sounds of a war dance floating up
the stairs. At this point Iím not sure what is worse, the computer
system or know-it-all innovators who force feed information because they know
whatís best for us.
When the Big Day finally came, guess what didn't work? Yep, it
flubbed. Funny thing, we didn't receive a single email about the
problem until after about a zillion calls to support wondering what was wrong.
Guess they were all busy cleaning the egg off their faces.
Are we peons laughing up our sleeve? Well, maybe just a wee bit. Of
course, it can't possibly be The Team's fault. After all, they did
everything they could, and more. They are in an emergency meeting
now, trying to figure out what the users did wrong that caused this to happen.
I'm sure they will come up with something.
Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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