There is a phrase I dread hearing at work. It’s not the scariest one, but it’s never good news either.
“The folks down in IT have a new upgrade to install.”
No one but IT themselves is ever aware that an upgrade’s needed in the first place. Oftentimes, they don’t bother letting anyone know it’s even coming. I plod along doing my jobs oblivious that there’s something wrong. Then I walk into work on Tuesday, all set to do what I did on Monday, turn on the pc and Bam!
While I was sleeping, those techy gnomes came in and changed everything! The little icon-boxes I’d so neatly organized on my screen weren’t where I’d left them. The home webpage which I never really liked has been replaced by a new one, which I like even less. As unsightly and dysfunctional as the old one was, I have to admit to growing comfortable with it, and now it’s gone forever. The replacement version is awkward, cryptic and unsightly. Sign-in boxes vanished to different pages and links don’t link like they used to. Great…just great.
There’s no use complaining to my boss about the changes, she’s too busy rifling through her file cabinet looking for the scrap of paper that she wrote all of her passwords on. The IT staff are more invisible than ever. My colleagues were in a lather, as they gradually realized that it wasn’t just their computer which was now disorganized and foreign.
We struggled through a couple of days, gradually figuring out how to find things and get our documentation done. The always-rare glimpses of IT staff were fewer still as they seem to have hunkered down under bridges and toadstools to weather the storm of frustrated employees who were just about to take up pitchforks and torches.
At home, tired and ready to unwind, I opened my laptop to visit WordPress and bond with the intellectual set. I kicked off my shoes and was ready to engulf myself in the creative genius of others. I clicked to open the site, but it looked slightly different. After my trials at work, I thought perhaps it was my imagination. I found no comments, likes or new followers, which wasn’t surprising, but it’s my habit to check. I clicked “Freshly Pressed” to see the chosen few who had achieved being featured on the showcase page of WordPress. My creeping suspicions were confirmed; WordPress had snuck in an update of their own! The Freshly Pressed page was totally different. Gone was the old FP page, with its thumbnail sized offerings of 8 or 10 posts, replaced by one giant post, which required users to scroll and scroll to find the next one. Gone too was the ability to hit the option beneath my name to return to my dashboard. In fact, the only way to get off this page was to either click the back button on my browser, or leave the site altogether and sign back in. The Freshly Pressed page had become a dead-end site page.
The old FP page was great. The multiple offerings were spread out like magazines on a really nice waiting-room coffee table. It was easy to scan the titles, photos and topics and pick up whichever one struck my fancy. I longed for the day when one of my posts would make the cut and be there among the glossy covers and great reads.
Now the coffee table is more like the one at the eye doctor in the room where I’m told to sit after having those goofy dilation drops. My tweaked vision requires picking up a magazine and staring at it for a minute at arm’s length before seeing what it actually is. Embarrassed to realize that I’m a middle-aged man looking at a withered copy of “Modern Bride”, I drop the magazine and pray no one saw me. I grab another one and hope like hell it’s not “Pedophilia Monthly“. The only saving grace is that everyone else in the room has had the same drops and they’re all sitting there looking like those paintings of big-eyed children which graced the walls of cheap motels back in the 70′s. After a few futile attempts, we all just realize that looking through magazines is a wasted effort, so we don’t bother.
I’ve written about the IT department at WordPress screwing up perfectly fine pages before, so this exercise is not as much fun as it should be. As I hit the publish button, which is blissfully right where it was before, I’ll say a silent prayer that my loyal readers will be able to find this latest rant.
My dreams of one day being Freshly Pressed have been tempered by the fact that in it’s current state, no one will see my stuff even if I do get there, thanks to IT.
You grab a torch, I’ll bring my pitchfork.