Windows makes me sad

Submitted Mon Nov 9 19:00:04 2009 under tags "computers,windows,technology"

Suddenly our workgroup's web pages stop working for me between one page and the next; login credentials not accepted. Same login credentials continue to work in Outlook. I am confused and frustrated and figure a server is down somewhere.

Me, on phone to IT: Hi! I can't access our corporate page, but Outlook's still working. Is there some problem with the server?

IT: Can I access your machine?

Me: Why? How about just tell me what happened to the server?

IT: If I can't log in, we can walk through the process. Please reboot your machine.

Me: What? How could that possibly help?

I reboot. Suddenly the workgroup pages work again. I'm flabbergasted.

Me: Well, it's working again. So what was the problem there?

IT: Sometimes Windows must be restarted to clear caches and reload login processes.

Me: You're joking? You really think "reboot and see if it works now" is an acceptable response? I have to reload everything and spend half-an-hour getting back into context.

IT: It's totally normal and sometimes we have to do it. Restarting Windows reloads -

Me, interrupting: Seriously? You're not curious about why suddenly I couldn't log in?

IT: It's totally normal -

As IT drones on and on about Windows startup processes, I think about my Linux boxes, which I rarely have to restart, and, when I do, it's usually because a Windows server went down.

Me, interrupting IT guy: Thank you for your help Hangs up

I'm saddened by the lack of curiosity in people. "It doesn't work, oh, well, just reboot." My corporate Blackberry has stopped working after each of the last three "maintenance" weekends we've had, although everyone else's seems to keep working. Why? I don't know. No one will look into it. When I call IT about it, they just issue me a new key, and I re-authenticate. No one seems curious about what's different between my account and everyone else's'. IT isn't interested in looking into it. I'm sure other people's Blackberrys stop working, I'm sure IT has to go through this re-authentication procedure with all of them each time. I'm sure they get frustrated by it. But no one seems to want to fix the problem once and for all. The level of skill that passes for competency is just astounding.

But it's not just skill. It's intellectual curiosity. When something doesn't work, sometimes I spend the time to find out why. Sometimes I fix it forever, if I can, or at least make a note to myself about why something isn't working.

Are our expectations of software and IT procedure really so low that we just don't care about finding root causes any more?

I am in a state of despair.


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