Technology has not been kind to me this week.
Struggling to navigate the new Block Editor on WordPress was only one of my challenges. At the same time, I was using a new fancy mouse that connects to my computer by Bluetooth—via a new USB Bluetooth dongle. Said mouse, though supposed to be top of the range, kept getting disconnected randomly, even when I tried to keep it moving so it wouldn’t idle. My last post took probably twice as long as it normally would to complete.
My other half was having similar problems with a less fancy mouse, and he had the clarity of mind (that I didn’t) to search online for answers, which he found—it was a matter of locating the power management settings for the dongle and disabling the default of allowing the computer to power it down at its discretion. Uncheck that box.
That solved that problem for the most part.
True to the adage “when it rains, it pours,” this week for work I also had to learn a very old documentation system for one of the most tedious tasks in the computerized world. It runs on Internet Explorer, which I had to unearth from the bowels of my work laptop (it exists, even if it is not normally visible—in Windows, you have to type it into the search bar next to the Start icon for it to show up). The program is extremely inefficient, and the task is time consuming and soul crushing.
Software has no perception of whether it is wasting my time or how that might make me feel. The people I work with tangentially, who asked for a set of PowerPoint slides at very short notice and then ended up not using them after I had spent extra hours to deliver on their request, without even acknowledging my effort beyond the most perfunctory thanks—they should know better.
It’s been a rough week.
On another note, purely by chance I’ve also had to call various businesses more than usual recently, and gotten some amusing nonstandard responses to standard questions:
- Me: Is this because of COVID, or has it always been your policy? —It’s been this way for a plethora of years.
- Me (asking a pizza restaurant offering first-come-first-serve outdoor seating): Do you know how long the wait time might be? —I don’t know, things are crazy right now… in the world. People sit for random periods of time…
Just goes to show, one can never assume anything.
Back to the fancy mouse I mentioned at the beginning, because I felt there had to be a perfume metaphor somewhere in the whole experience. Even the most advanced technology is no better than a piece of crap if the settings are wrong. Its full potential can be realized only with the right knowledge and application. That’s also true for the best ingredients in perfumery—they need to be worked by skilled hands, in the right proportions, under controlled conditions.
I’ve been experimenting with an aldehyde for over a month, and it’s tricky, because it’s very powerful and can change other ingredients in a mixture. I wish I had better visibility into the “settings” of my formulas and who’s doing what to whom. At least with perfume, there’s room for intuition and subjectivity to play a part in creating “magic.” It’s not all zeroes and ones.