Our office is getting a new computer system. Those responsible, called “The Team,” are so proud of it you’d think they created a new solar system — in six days instead of seven. There hasn’t 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. The Team 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-crowded 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 we’ve ever seen, so certain that they have determined that everyone not only going to learn it, but like it whether they want it 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, I’ve 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.
We’ve been trained, educated, and saturated with FAQ’s 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 don’t 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 don’t like to change. Regardless of how good the new computer system is, they already understand the old one and don’t have to figure anything out to use it. It’s comfortable like a pair of old slippers, and it doesn’t make mental blisters.
Sociologists divide people into groups with regard to change: the innovators, the adapters, the resistors. I guess I’m an adapter. If it’s inevitable, you might as well go ahead and learn it. Please don’t tell The Team, but I’m about as excited over this as I would be over a root canal at the dentist’s office.
They are having a meeting right now planning more ways to make life miserable for us end users. I can hear the sounds of a war dance floating up the stairs. At this point I’m not sure what is worse, the computer system or know-it-all innovators who force feed information because they know what’s 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 end users did wrong that caused this to happen. I’m sure they will come up with something.