My Husband is Having a Techno-Meltdown!

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My husband is having a techno-meltdown.

My husband is having a techno-meltdown! (Source of image: mediafuturist.com)
My husband is having a techno-meltdown! (Source of image: mediafuturist.com)

He’s trying to use the online job application tool here at Lane CC, which he was assured by somebody somewhere was “intuitive.” If his blood pressure goes any higher, our cats will implode with their efforts to absorb his energy and calm him down.

Only cats understand how "intuitive" computers really are! (Source of image: mediafuturist.com
Only cats understand how "intuitive" computers really are! (Source of image: mediafuturist.com

I agree that technology is crazy making. It has a whole set of rules that are no where made explicit to the poor casual user. If there’s one word my husband hates to hear about anything remotely techie, it’s “intuitive.”

I could have helped him. I tried to help him. I scanned his transcripts and gave them back to him as .jpgs. Which made sense to me. The system wanted .pdfs, although that wasn’t presented to him as an option. Eventually, he turned them into .pdfs, but they were larger than 2 mgs, although that load limit is nowhere announced. It took a nail-biting e-mail to HR to find out that obscure piece of information.

I could have made them smaller, but he didn’t know to ask me that question. My ordinarily seraphically calm, centered husband was a seething hunk of steamin’ junk by the time I came back on the scene.

STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER!  (Source of image: efan78.com)
Honey? This is me. Let me say it sloowly one more time, "STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER!" (Source of image: efan78.com)

Sound familiar? Ever been so angry at the mute intransigence of some so-called “intuitive” software that you could bite the head off a rattlesnake?

The word “intuitive” implies you aren’t in touch enough with your feelings to understand this delicate flower of a software engineer’s brain that promises to do so much for you if you are only sensitive enough to its needs.

Like a high maintenance lover, you eventually get more maddened than gladdened by its increasingly dubious charms.

Yeah, I’m getting around to you new or potential Word Press users. If everyone says it’s the greatest CMS (content management system) in the world and that millions of users are happily blogging away on it–what the BLEEP! is the matter with you?

Um. Secret here. Personally, I am not one of those people who tries to put the toy together straight out of the package. Destroy toy first? Read directions later? Nope. Sorry. Not that person.

I know it’s freaky, but I read about my new software of choice first. I go online and find screencasts (little movies that show what buttons to push–they’re all over the web–I’ll find some for you). I talk to other users. Think about it. Then I jump in with a life preserver on.

For example, to learn how to blog on Word Press, I first bought and sorta read four books (or checked them out from the library. Whatever.):

  1. Create Your Own Blog: 6 Easy Projects to Start Blogging Like a Pro This was written by my Word Press guru Tris Hussey.
    This was my first blogging book, and I love how Tris makes blogging accessible and fun to learn  about
    This was my first blogging book, and I love how Tris makes blogging accessible and fun to learn about
  2. Using WordPress also by Tris Hussey. This is my favorite because with it comes an online access code to his great screencasts. Starting to see a pattern here?
  3. The Everything Blogging Book: The beginner’s guide to the blogospere by Aliza Sherman Risdahl. I skipped around to find what I wanted to know–what? You don’t do that?
    This book has everything but the kitchen sink to do with blogging questions I had as a beginner
    This book has everything but the kitchen sink to do with blogging questions I had as a beginner
I guess I'm an intermediate blogger now, and this is my current reading. I heart the brain science of learning!
I guess I'm an intermediate blogger now, and this is my current reading. I heart the brain science of learning!

4. Head First Word Press: A Brain Friendly Guide by Jeff Siarto. This is when I really started to get obsessed, but Head First is written by a guy who just kinda takes you by the hand and says, “See that?”

Hmm what else? I took an online webinare from Writer’s Digest University about blogging (very useful!). I poked around in the software, watched screencasts and just kinduv crept up on it, and now here I am, ready, willing, and able to help the Lane CC community with their blogging dreams!

In other words, I open myself to learn. In a sick sort of way, I kind of like the feeling of knowing nothing and then both systematically and randomly learning something new. Along the way, I’ve done my share of heaving computers through closed windows into the snow.

I’ve snarled, snapped and acted out.

I've snarled, snapped and acted act...  (Source of image: bethharte.posterous.com)
I've snarled, snapped and acted act... (Source of image: bethharte.posterous.com)

I’ve learned to just