The Curse(or) of the IT Gremlin

The Curse(or) of the IT Gremlin

Is it me, or do any of my TST readers also feel something akin to blind rage when faced with anything technological going awry? Is it because I have such a paltry knowledge of the inner workings of computer hardware that it leaves me helpless when a problem arises? Thus a simple glitch can turn my day from dandy to disaster in a matter of moments.

And of course it is always when you need it most. Being a self-confessed Deadline Daisy, I am often running off some last minute paperwork the evening before delivering, so time is of the essence and I can’t afford a hiatus. Spookily, my printer knows this and reacts accordingly. When it jams, it mulishly forces me to open every orifice it possesses before it will allow me to resume printing. Never mind that the jammed paper has long since been retrieved … from the first opening!

Even worse than my office tribulations are the occasions when I am setting up for a training session and the technology on the premises refuses to play ball.  Recently I was at a very posh venue preparing to deliver a complex programme to a room full of senior managers – no pressure!  Despite the prestige of the place, the IT help was slow in coming. Forty minutes slow in fact, which as those of you who have ever set up before a presentation or training session will realise is something approaching eternity. When the IT guy eventually ambled to my assistance, he declared that despite having a VGA cable and a VGA wall-socket, the reason I couldn’t play my slideshow was because (and here are the words I cannot bear to hear) “for the convenience of our customers” they had disconnected this outlet and were only operating on HDML. How can the poor trainer/presenter be expected to second guess such obtuse thinking?

It isn’t a problem that is going to go away anytime soon either. I have been in venues where you need a degree in computer science just to turn the lights on, where sophisticated white boards clash with your laptop and where even grabbing a restorative coffee comes with more instructions than the Hadron Collider. Despite which, the dispenser still disgorges a liquid that tastes like it has been strained through a sumo wrestler’s nappy.

I really need to stop here, because even simply recalling the many and varied occasions when technology has defeated me … has defeated me!  

Instead, I’m just going to open all the orifices in my printer again.  No, there is no paper jam, it’s just like self-flagellation; I’m beginning to enjoy the exquisite agony!

Your Reaction: If you have any tales of tricky technology you would like to share – if only to reassure me that I am not alone – or if you would like some help with your (or your team’s) communication skills, contact us for additional information or to arrange a chat with one of the Stratus team.