I am sitting at the department desk, waiting for the network to connect and upload my freshly imputed data to the database, so that I can complete my task before I move onto the next. I wait, tapping my pen on the desk. Time ticks on by, yet the workstation’s monitor show very little progress as the little circular icon spins round and round. We call this the “Wheel of Death,” in that you will eventually die of old age waiting for the software to complete each task. Then suddenly the circular icon disappears, and you stare at the monitor, gripping the keyboard in anticipation, but you are still waiting. Then the circular icon reappears, and you feel like you have just been sucker punched, as all hope fades away. You wait…, again.
I swear, at least an hour a day is spent waiting for the network to connect at my work, or data is complied and saved. The time spent on this, when I could be working, whether on some menial task, or actually on working paper work, is in my mind, huge. And when the whole network goes down, we then go into “stack and pile” mode of incoming merchandise, knowing that later on, the mad frenzy of processing the paperwork will make a bad day even worse.
I feel so helpless. I am qualified to work on I.T. systems, but my hired duty at this job is for labour, not my skills and talents. I see the problems, yet I cannot fix them. Locally, I can do minor fixes, like reconfiguring the workstation, or making sure the twelve year old software and operating system is configured correctly. I also do the mandatory reboot once a day to clean up the digital imperfections due to the operating system’s poor engineering. But this if far from enough.
I bite my lip, hold my breath. There is no use saying anything. To cheer myself up, I can only see the advantage: I get paid to stand and watch the “wheel of death” at my work. I laugh at technology.