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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the Columnists.com, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
Humorists.com
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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The New Computer System....
 


The New Computer System

Our office is getting a new computer system.  Those responsible, called ďThe Team,Ē are so proud of it youíd think they created a new solar system -- in six days instead of seven.  There hasnít 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.  ďThe TeamĒ 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 crowed 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 weíve ever seen Ė so certain that they have determined that everyone not only going to learn it, but like it whether they want to 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, Iíve 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. 
 
Weíve been trained, educated, and saturated with FAQís 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 donít 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 donít like to change.  Regardless of how good the new computer system is, they already understand the old one and donít have to figure anything out to use it.  Itís comfortable like a pair of old slippers, and it doesnít make mental blisters.
 
Sociologists divide people into groups with regard to change: the innovators, the adapters, the resistors.  I guess Iím an adapter.  If itís evitable, you might as well go ahead and learn it.  Please donít tell The Team, but Iím about
as excited over this as I would be over a root canal at the dentist office.
 
They are having a meeting right now planning more ways to make life miserable for us ďend users.Ē  I can hear the sounds of a war dance floating up the stairs.  At this point Iím not sure what is worse, the computer system or know-it-all innovators who force feed information because they know whatís 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 users did wrong that caused this to happen.  I'm sure they will come up with something.


Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss
 
 



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