Patience of a Saint

The one thing I’ve learned over the years in dealing with IT and programming is that patience is probably the most important trait to have, or else you’d die early of some stress related disease.   Or at least I think so today.  You have to have patience with clients who want everything in less than one click, or can’t find the most obvious thing that they need to complete their job.  You have to have patience with your computer – its operating system and programs.  And you have to have patience with yourself, while still rushing to meet deadlines and dealing with people in general.

No programmer, or program for that matter, is perfect, no matter how many people you have on the quality analysis/testing side, there are always problems to be found.  It could be outside influences, it could be programs that are meant to work together, it could be the weather that’s shorting out some cabling, or the distance the data has to travel changing things from black to grey.  In any case, technology can, and will fail.  Of course, it’s my job to fix it.  Whether it’s something on the server, someone’s computer, or the fact that Wireless G just doesn’t stay strong through the old house with plaster walls and all kinds of interference up to the kids’ room.  Just fix it.  We fix it to stop hearing people complaining.  We try, even though there’s probably nothing we can do to make it better given the technology we have.  We have theories and discussions, searches on Google…I bring this up because this morning I had to waste a good half hour of my time here getting my computer to start up correctly. 

Of course last night was when I finally installed the latest updates for XP.  This resulted in a nice black screen this morning.  No hard drive movement, no keyboard lights, but the mouse was lit though.  So after about 10 reboots, delving into safe mode, and the works, I was finally up and running, at least it seemed.  Then I go to open up all the things I need to work, IE housing, the calendar, blog, phpMyAdmin, CFAdmin, Opera housing, my TRAC,  and random pages I don’t want to forget about (gotta love the saved sessions), Firefox for everything else, and Thunderbird to check my email.  Of course IE froze.  What a pain.  So I killed that and restarted, and could finally get to work.  And here I am, 40 minutes into my day, blogging about the first 50 minutes since I tried to turn my computer on, that seemed to me a plain waste.  Of course that’s what I do.  If I was anyone else, with less patience, I probably would have made 10 calls to my personal tech and complained their ear off, like they could have helped prevent it.  But I am my personal tech, and I just take things as they go.  Of course I am human, and this will make my patience thinner the rest of the day.  I’m sure I’ll be firing at someone later.  In the meantime, please remember to be nice to your IT people, thank them today.  They didn’t cause your computer to be annoying, they just do their best to make sure you can work as best as you can.