An email comes through. Not this again. Not from that one. It’s flooded with exclamation & question marks because, God forbid, we fail to realize how crazy this problem is. “Why isn’t this working?????” She asks in dramatic frustration. It was a simple change really. But that simple change is making her head spin and her world is collapsing around her.
The email was sent to both my boss and me. “Looks like Lady is freaking out again.” He texts me. I respond with “What a surprise.” We know she can’t handle change and we know if you make one little change she will be a deer in the headlights. But not just any deer – a grumbling, confused, irritated deer that thinks everything should go back to the way it was to suit her. And if she has to do the same task, but in different ways depending on the content… God help us all.
“Well when you have the blue folder, you have to do it this way because there’s a slight difference between the blue folder and the sky blue folder.” I explain calmly.
“I just don’t get why it can’t work the same.” I take a second to mentally calm myself…again. I’m meant to be professional, right?
“Well see this folder is blue so it has its own process. And this folder is sky blue so it also has its own process. You can’t use the sky blue folder process on the blue folder because even though they are both blue, they are different shades of blue. Most of the steps will be the same, it’s just step number 5 that will be different.”
Fast forward a week.
“How do I do the blue process again? I tried following my notes, but it didn’t work.” Irritation rattles inside me.
“You are using the notes for the sky blue folder, not the blue folder.” She makes a curt snort and shakes her head, her lips pulled thin.
“Well it’s just stupid that they don’t work the same. Can’t we make the system do it this way?” That would take a programmer and lots of money and, no, we don’t have those resources.
“Lady, if you look at the colors, it’s actually not that bad. It’s just step 5 that’s different.”
Anyway, back to today’s struggle. I grudgingly head to her desk. My boss didn’t want to deal with Lady and I can’t blame him. I get to her desk and she shows me what’s happening. It seems like a legitimate issue so I sit down and begin working on it. The developers warn of a security message. Yes, I see the message, but that doesn’t stop me from completing part of the task.
“See that’s what I got. Why am I getting that?” I want to smack her and ask her if she’s forgotten how to read.
“They say right here that’s what you’ll see.” I explain pointing to the instructions from the developer.
“But it wasn’t there before.”
“That’s why they sent the email explaining the change.” She still looks confused. There is a genuine issue with the link she is using, but through some digging I find another way to access it.
“So you can get to what you need?” I ask as I’ve been with her for almost 30 minutes and I just want to choke myself at this point.
“Well yeah, but I have to go through these extra steps. Why can’t I just click on the link? It usually takes me right where I need to go.” She asks with an incredulous look on her face as she clicks through the screens.
“I’m not sure why it’s not working, but it’s something they have to figure out. I can’t fix it. Show me where the link usually takes you.” I’ve already explained to her it’s not our issue and that it is what it is.
“Right here.” She says. I’m dumbfounded. It’s literally two extra clicks. TWO!!! Two whole clicks of her mouse that she didn’t have to do before. I can barely contain my “Does it fucking matter” thought.
“Well, I mean.” I begin, hoping I sound more pleasant than I feel. “Is that really a problem?” She purses her lips harder (if that’s even possible – they’ve already practically disappeared).
“Well I guess not. It would just be nice to have the link back.” I’m done. I’m not even going to continue going back and forth about the goddamn link not working. I’ve already explained it as best I can and if she still doesn’t get it, who cares. I stand and start to back away from her cube.
“Well that’s something they’ll have to fix, but for now at least you can get to your stuff.”
“Yeah, I guess.” She responds unsatisfied. It’s literally two clicks that she didn’t have to do before. But she’s so driven by her normal process and routine that those two clicks are sending her into a spiral. Two fucking clicks is all it takes to confuse the hell out of her and make her so angry her lips disappear!
As I walk away I send my boss a text expressing my feelings as he knew where I was headed.
Of course this is not literal. Just something that I know will make him laugh because he understands.