Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Saturday, April 29, 2017

See that picture on the right? That's me curled up in a ball saying "go away". Photo: cat with paws over eyes I really had a lot to write this week but found myself at sea with Win 10’s spontaneous installations. For some reason, a number of customers found themselves staring at their screens in utter disbelief. Without any prompting, their computers upgraded to 10. One person was in the middle of writing a letter when her screen was replaced with a “now installing” alert. To say she was a bit stressed doesn’t even begin to explain how panicky she became.

The installations went in without too many issues, but that isn’t the point. These customers had decided to wait on installing (and in 2 cases didn’t want to upgrade), and resented the forced update. It took a lot of handholding to settle them into a comfort zone with the new software. It isn’t that big a change, but when you are unprepared for it, it can be a shock.

I don’t use the term handholding dismissively. The forced update stirred up all sorts of resentments and anxieties. One customer, in her late 80s, who was extremely stressed. She thought she’d done something that would destroy one of her connections to the outside world. It took nearly half an hour to convince her she didn’t do anything and her computer was fine.  When you don't spend your days working with computers, it's not so easy to figure out what's going on. Today has been the first day free of excited texts, emails and phone calls so fingers crossed.

Rogers, in a moment of spectacular stupidity, contributed to the road kill week. I received a text from a customer that reflected both irritation and resignation. After over a year of battling Rogers about inaccurate billings, general screw ups with his service, non functioning features and more, last month we finally got everything straightened out. We managed to get his bill lowered as well ... oh we were so naive. He received the latest bill and we are back to square one - the changes are no where to be seen on his bill. Which means, he's being overcharged $70 this month despite having the new prices in writing. On the upside, for the first time in months he was actually able to log into his account and see his invoice without a major hassle. Dealing with telecoms is so bad, a sense of dread settles over me whenever a customer calls asking for help with them.

I’ve been tinkering behind the scenes of Bitter Grounds to improve the security and layout. I test off line, but every once in awhile problems don't appear until I've gone live.  I stumbled across an issue that had me perplexed for nearly a day. See that nifty little menu bar up top? When a person views my site on a mobile phone, a little hamburger menu replaces it… except it suddenly disappeared after I updated the backend. Sometime late yesterday afternoon I had an epiphany and sent an email to someone with an iPhone and asked him to check the site. It looked fine, no issues. I went back to my Windows phone and nada. No menu. Android? No issues. Win 10 phones? No issues. Something in the software update behind the curtain triggered off a glitch. Some Windows phone users can’t see the menus. Oh the irony – I can’t view my own site with my smart phone because the Win10 update isn’t available for it yet. I’ll fuss for a while and see if I can come up with a fix but I suspect I’ll have to change the software behind the scenes. I've been arguing it too much lately. On Monday, I changed the font and suddenly the background colour was changed to grey. It took me 20 minutes to figure out why the one change triggered off an unrelated change.  I'm a bit irritated still... you know irritated seems to be the watch word of the week.

Check out the new categories up top. I’m in the middle of rationalising the layout. Sometime this summer I’ll update the design … again. I have new layout I’m testing which will include a photo gallery and other goodies. It takes me a long time to decide on a layout. Hell it took me 3 months to figure out what typeface I wanted for my page… I feel very Ent-like some days .. don’t want to be too hasty.

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"Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life."

- Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

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Where's humour

If you want to see previous Humour entries, I've saved them for you -> http://bittergrounds.com/index.php/they-asked-what

I've decided to move it under the umbrella of Memoirs, which is the kitchen sink of all things.

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