The little boy climbs one foot in front of the other up the ladder. He stops and looks out over the pool, his eyes look like saucers. Seeing the kids behind him, he takes the final three steps to the top of the diving board.
On one hand, he’s scared to death. If he could climb back down the ladder, without his friends seeing, he would in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, however, everyone has been watching. They’re yelling at him to jump. Even the kid who has been keeping close grasp to the side of the pool, lest he stray too far, is yelling at him to jump.
On the other hand, he’s seen his friends running back and forth from the pool to the diving board with smiles on their faces and he wants to be a part of the fun. He wants in on the joke. He’s scared out of his mind and full of excitement all at the same time.
I’m describing a typical day at the summer pool where we used to take our kids when they were younger, but I could easily be describing how I feel about technology. I love the latest and greatest and what it can do for me. I love the positives, but I also have this crazy ability to break whatever new technology I get my hands on.
Open a “permanent” ticket
For example, I recently got a new work laptop. I couldn’t wait to try out all the bells and whistles. I also didn’t want to mess anything up. Of course, right out of the gate, I ran into trouble. I had access, but it wasn’t letting me into the company’s secure network. If there’s a land-speed record, for an IT ticket being opened, the way most IT help desks respond to troubleshooting calls nowadays, then I broke it. Five days later, after several stops and starts, the problem was finally solved, and I was on my way.
Or at least it was supposedly fixed. I would have to fix it on my end, but that’s another story for another day.
I’m aware that older workers tend to have a hatred of technology. For that reason, I try to stay on top of the latest hardware, software, apps and improvements. I never want to be that guy. In fact, if money were no object, I would be one of those crazy hipsters waiting outside the Apple store to get the latest and greatest gadget release or one of those IT wannabes who know everything about the latest app or tool before the rest of mainstream society.
If I could, I would love to be on the cutting edge.
So my problem isn’t fear of technology, my problem is patience. I want the tool or the app or new life-changer to work as advertised right away. I want it to be a smooth client experience and unfortunately, that’s just not the way it always works in the tech world. You’re going to have those days where the gremlins or the connections just aren’t in agreement.
If I were smart, when I run into problems, I would first pause and take a breath. Instead, I get an attitude, that it’s me or the gremlins and only one of us can live to fight another day. Of course, I end up usually losing that fight.
I start clicking on the new tool or app, and it starts going even slower and the next thing you know, I’m this close to throwing my laptop against the wall. When I can’t mess things up any more, I finally call IT or customer service for help.
As I wait on hold, I like to remind myself that I love technology, I love technology, I love technology. Yea, that doesn’t work either.