There are times when you’re be-bopping along at work, getting things done, crunching numbers like a boss, and then you give your computer a command, and it’s all like, “Hmmmkay, Imma have to stop you right there.”
“See, I was up all night with a crying software update, and you just keep asking me to do this for you and that and the other thing, but whatever I do, it’s never enough. I’m the one here making your job easier—you can’t even spell or do simple math without me anymore, but do you ever give me any credit or, Great-Motherboard-in-the-Sky forbid, a single, measly word of praise? No. You just yell at me on the rare occasions when I’m moving a little too slowly to suit you. And you won’t give me so much as a smoke break…” Computer’s voice starts to break as she fights back tears, “So I’m sorry, but I just can’t even right now.”
And then you are frozen out, unable to get on with business.
As you stare at the circle of doom churning and spinning in front of that grayed-out Excel screen, you are really given no other option but to console yourself with poetry.
So here it is, the lyric of my Wednesday. I hope you enjoy it because, like all art, it was born out of profound suffering.
The Love Song of a Data Analyst
Do I dare
Disturb the computer?
In a minute there is time
For crashes and freezes which in a minute will reboot her.
For I have known the error messages, known them all:
Files known to lock up in the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with ‘Excel Not Responding’ spinning balloons,
I know the spreadsheets dying with a dying fall
Beneath no music, cuz it even froze up iTunes.
So how can I resume?
That’s as far as I got before my computer got over its snit and I got back to my grade distributions. Which is a good thing, because I was about to switch over and do a Sylvia Plath “Daddy” homage all about how my computer does not do, does not do.
Next time, computer, next time.