Sunday, October 17, 2010

Constant Contact Is Giving Me a Constant Headache.

I know just enough about email template programs to know that the background html code can be a pain in the watoosie. My current battle with Peachtree Middle School's enews has me pulling my hair and grinding my teeth. The input, preview, and test email all look PERFECT. Then, when it hits the e-waves to the 950 or so school subscribers, the copy is BLUE.


Constant Contact is a constant pain. The blue copy is just part of it. CC no longer likes my preferred Firefox browser, so I have to use Internet Explorer, and the page jiggles maniacally every time I enter something in the main copy block.

I thought technology was supposed to make us work faster, smarter, better. Not. Instead of technology serving us, we are serving technology. We have to contort our brains and work patterns to fit the paradigm of whatever technology we're using.

Need to pay the government a quarterly tax? Maybe QuickBooks will be right. Or maybe you'll pay a penalty to the IRS because the report QuickBooks prepared and you sent with your check is a few dollars off, despite faithfully downloading and reviewing every update.

Want to work on an Excel spreadsheet after MicroSoft's latest update? Good luck finding all the drop-downs you had memorized over the past couple of years since the last update.

Trying to copy and paste some text from an email into a web page? Don't forget to use that handy-dandy eraser icon for deleting the formatting because there's a lot of hidden stuff that's going to blow things up as soon as you upload your website.

Prompted to change a password? The security protocol says you have to use a number, symbol, upper and lower case letters, and snap your fingers in quarter time to hit the magic "strong" marker. 

This is why some people get to the point of saying "Stop. I am no longer going to be a hostage to the ever-changing whims and quick-click developments of the technology trend du jour. I am tired of doing tutorials that don't actually tutor. I am frustrated by user forums that are more snark than smart. I am going to stick with what works." Except that, a few Internet Explorer updates later, your computer no longer speaks to the internet.

I'm a writer, not an IT guru. But the virtual workplace forces me to get just enough expertise to navigate clients' websites, eLance's complicated workroom set-up, DreamWeaver and PhotoShop for the Nature Center, as well as the entire MicroSoft Office suite of headaches.

I am not at peace with my technology. I need to dig in the dirt. And do some baking. And sew the aprons I'm making for Christmas gifts. In other words, I need to use the hand skills God gave us to survive and thrive.

Thank you for reading this rant. Now go outside and enjoy this splendid day!

1 comment:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts - it's great to hear from you!