The IT Department Has Been Busy…Again

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  The home webpage which I never really liked has been replaced by a new one, which I like even less.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.

Don't let the white beard fool you.  Techy gnomes are usually quite young.  A closer inspection of the beard will reveal it's actually cotton candy from the carnival.  (Image from
Don’t let the white beard fool you. Techy gnomes are usually quite young. A closer inspection of the beard will reveal it’s actually cotton candy they bought at the carnival. (Image from

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.

Middle-Age: All the dilation of the 70's without any of the buzz.  I'm going to rise above my inclination to write something else about the subject matter of this painting, though I'm mighty tempted.  (Image from
Middle-Age: All the dilation of the 70’s without any of the buzz. I’m going to rise above my inclination to write something else about the subject matter of this painting, though I’m mighty tempted. (Image from

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.

A Deal’s a Deal

The pre-nup didn’t mention beheading specifically. I’d like to think our relationship is more civilized than that. (Image from

You’ve probably noticed.  I haven’t been cranking out the hits as often lately.  I know, I know, calling those posts “hits” is a bit presumptuous of me.  Even so, I’ll admit that things have slowed down a little.  I’m sorry.  I realize that I’ve surely disappointed you, and to be honest, I’ve disappointed myself a little too.  As adults, we have to realize that things don’t stay the same forever, things change and that’s just part of life.

I thought this might be a good time to bring up the pre-nup we signed and the vows we shared when you first started following me.

Please don’t try to play dumb with me.  I’ve got my copy right here.  If you choose to skip the fine print or to keep shoddy records, you have no one but yourself to blame.

Anyway, it says right here in the third paragraph that you pledge to follow me in good times and in bad, in periods of bountiful, hilarious posts and in times of minimal writing with infrequent pity-chuckles.

A few lines down it grants you permission to follow others, which I think was pretty progressive of me, especially since I’m writing just for you (those other followers don’t mean anything to me, you’re the only one who matters – you know that, right?).

To continue, if we scan down to the bottom of page one, there’s the clause for unfollowing.  You have the right to unfollow me, but I’m granted 2 weeks advance notice and the right to appeal your decision via repeated, whining emails and, at my discretion, small bribes.  This is only fair, as it gives me ample time to try to scratch out a new, funny post in a pathetic attempt at recapturing the magic which we shared just a few weeks ago when our relationship was fresh and new.

I realize that introducing legal documents into our relationship makes for some potentially hard feelings.  I didn’t want to have to do this, but dammit, I’ve been hurt too many times!  Besides, these papers don’t really leave you in a bad position; you’re still free to come and go as you please.  The rider regarding clicking “like” isn’t even in there anymore!

I think we need to put these papers aside for a minute and clear the air a little bit.  You might not realize it, but my dopey posts only look like the rambling thoughts of a stooge.  I actually go to great lengths to capture the innocent child-like literary voice of a simpleton for your amusement.  It’s hard work, darn it!   What do you bring to the table?  A promise to follow me?!  That’s it?!  I’m doing all the work and all you have to do is read?  Hell, you don’t even have to do that – just stay on as a follower and let me go on thinking that you still care!  I’ll try to amuse you when and if you deem my post worthy of your attention.

I’m sorry.  I lost my head for a minute there.  I’m just in a dark place right now.  I had this Justin Bieber piece almost done and The Good Greatsby beat me to the punch.  All that time and research down the toilet.  Now I’ve got photos of that little gnome Bieber in my media library, what the hell am I going to do with those?  That and the 7 Deadly Sins competition is tougher than I thought.  After I won the very first sin, it only increased the pressure to win again or risk being branded a one-post-wonder.

He’s mocking me. His recycling can has more followers than my blog. (Image from

It’s a lot of pressure, because…well…because I want to do my best for you.  Because you believed in me and followed me when no one except those other 6 people did.  I know this line is corny, but by golly, you make me a better writer.  I want to make you laugh and write me cute little comments to make me feel better about my strange view of life.  Honestly, you don’t even have to write the comments if you don’t want to  (Actually, the paragraph requiring you to make comments was struck down by the judge weeks ago).