I start a lot of speeches this way. The students laugh, especially since these words are being spoken by the person tasked with teaching them how to use the technology. But if you think about it, you’ll know I’m telling the truth.
When was the last time you waited until the last moment to complete an assignment? Are you one of the many that will hope to e-file your tax return on April 14th? 15? – good luck to you. I can guarantee you that your computer is waiting for the chance to mess with your life. You see, they know. Computer gremlins are everywhere and they work harder than Santa’s elves.
Computers lay in wait for the sweat on your brow to start to dry up – a sign that you have finished you assignment and just need to print it out, when POW! the computer crashes. I bet you didn’t save for the last 30 minutes – did you?
Nope, as you start to tremble and pray that the autosave will be on your side you realize that not only did the computer crash, but it died. But wait – you saved everything to your external. You carefully pull it from its cozy USB slot on this computer and move it to the next.
However, the new computer just sits there, blinking at you as if you had just input a fire wire cable in a USB port. You quickly check to make sure the computer isn’t correct – nope – you put it in the USB slot. But then, why isn’t anything happening. You take out the USB, and as you have been trained from so many Nintendo game cartridges, you blow into it, hoping the little pieces of spit are just what it needs to work.
Placing the USB into the computer and waiting patiently you are relieved to see it show up on the desktop. You open the drive and navigate to your file. Thankfully most of your changes are there. You glance at the clock – still time left to meet deadline. You finish the re-edits, save this time, and make sure you read it through one more time. Great – that’s just perfect. Now to place it online – but wait, your 100 classmates are also trying to upload, as are the 1000’s other students trying to upload their assignments. Oh yeah, it’s also the day of the big game and those not doing homework are streaming the game.
You watch, patiently as that little gear on the screen spins, and spins, and spins….waiting…..taping foot, but still waiting….getting a little impatient….oh never mind. You cancel the upload and decide that you will print out the paper instead. You hit print on the screen and head to the printer. It is flashing ‘tray empty’, you look but the paper is out. No problem, Walgreens is always open late, except tonight. Tonight they had a water main break and the floor is flooded. You pound on the door of the person in the next dorm. It is now 11:35pm, but thankfully they too are trying to get out a paper. They hand you some paper, you head back to your room and throw the paper into the tray. Nothing. You power cycle the printer, nothing. You go back to the computer and the printer is no longer in your system tray. In fact, the printer isn’t anywhere.
You dig out the install disk and after running the program loading up the printer. Once again you send the document, the printer spurts into action. You head to the shower as it prints, after all the night is still young. After your nice relaxing shower you head to the printer – you need to hand deliver the paper – the first two pages look great, but then you realize you are out of ink.
Defeated you sit on your bed and sob. Oddly the computer seems to have a happy glow. It has accomplished its mission.
Then you remember those famous words mentioned to you in a training session…..
Technology is not your friend, it was sent here to make your life miserable. Hmmmm….I guess that trainer was right!