Tuesday, September 14, 2010

On the Edge

Working on my IRB stuff today, I was on the verge of either crying or smashing something.

In order to do my IRB, I need to fill out about 5 things from the IRB web site. I filled out the hardest one before with no problem, but was working on others today. At least that was the idea. The first one seemed to work fine. I pulled it up from the site and saved it to my place, then I filled it in and resaved it. Slow, but fine.

Then I tried another. And my browser crashed. I thought, hey, that's weird, and tried again, and the browser crashed. I tried a different one, and the browser crashed.

So I went to the department office and borrowed the student workers' computer for a bit, was able to open it, and emailed it to myself. Except it didn't email.

That's when I got to the edge and wanted to either cry or smash something.

So then I sent our wonderful admin assistant and asked her to upload the one I needed and email it to me. And she did. (Have I mentioned lately how grateful I am that I work with our admin assistants? They just are so helpful and kind and all things good for our office.)

So I worked on that. And tried another with no luck. So I emailed her again.

And while I waited, I called our help desk for help.

The help desk is usually pretty helpful. They don't act like we're all idiots or anything. I had about 20 minutes before I needed to head out to meet a friend.

So the help desk person walked me through trying to clean up the browser. And I did that, but it didn't make the things open up.

Then he thought I should try Mozilla, but even though I've used it before, it wouldn't work.

Then he took over my computer to see what was up. I'm totally blown away by the technology that allows someone else to control my computer. It's sort of scary, but there are a couple of times when I have to click on my computer that it's okay for the help desk person to take over.

My 20 minutes were almost up and I needed to use the restroom.

So he tried to click the thing, and got a different error message about the not opening it.

And then he did the big hesitation thing. Yep, my computer stumped him. And he said it wasn't going to be quick to fix, but he'd write up a ticket for me.

He offered to load yet a different browser, but I stopped him because I had what I absolutely needed from my admin assitant, and didn't have time to mess around with a new program.

And that was that. At some point, hopefully, someone will come fix my computer. It's been buggy since it came to live in my office, replacing a perfectly good, unbuggy computer because of the replacement cycle.

And I left. And that was good.

The thing is, there's really no reason I should feel quite so upset just because my computer wouldn't work. It's not like anyone is going to suffer a huge tragedy because I didn't get my IRB done this afternoon. It's pretty close to done, and should be done by tomorrow.

But I just get to a certain point, and then I'm on the edge.

I don't think it's ever happened while I was teaching, but maybe that's just luck.

And I shouldn't be so stressed already this semester that I'm edgy already. Computer problems frustrate me very quickly compared to most sorts of things; so do car problems. I think it has to do with my sense of having no control at all of the machinery.

I did go meet a friend and had a good bike ride. It was good to ride, though we didn't go far or fast. Yesterday I played outside for about a mile and a quarter without stopping. So that's going well.

But when I got home, I sort of put two and two together: I think I've got a cold. I felt worn yesterday, and went to bed early. And tonight, it's not even 8pm, and I'm about to head to a warm bath and bed. And I've got the chills, though I'm in nice warm sweats in a warm place.

I'm hoping it's just the cold that has me feeling so edgy. I hate having a cold, but it's WAY better than lots of alternatives, right?

Off to bed. Hoping for less stress and better computing luck tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not actually sure what IRB means in this context, but I sympathize with your frustration and with how difficult it is feeling out of control of machinery (or of anything, really).

    I hope tomorrow is better and that the cold doesn't bloom!