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Author Topic: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt  (Read 2010953 times)

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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7410 on: March 08, 2013, 11:12:05 AM »
This is making me grateful for my ILs, who always do what they can to baby proof their house when we bring Piratebabe over there.  And sometimes they'll miss a few things, likely because he wasn't quite that tall the last time they saw him, but they're good at swooping in to move something.  Usually while laughing and saying "Well I didn't think he'd be able to get to THAT already!" as they move it higher.
Toddlers have expandable arms, like Inspector Gadget.  A toddler sitting on your lap at the table can reach things that YOU can't reach!

I had to watch my little ones like a hawk at the IL's house.  MIL got her nose out of joint when I asked if her cleaning stuff could be moved out from under the kitchen sink.  You'd think from her reaction that it was an hour's job, at least -- but everything was in a plastic caddy and could have been moved in 10 seconds!

Tell me about it. We have a bookshelf with a cabinet by the right end of our living room couch and the lowest shelf is on level with the arm of the chair.   One day DH put a cup of juice on the bottom shelf, thinking the little guy couldn't get it.  Well he did and he spilled it.  I, not knowing it was DH's cup, started to yell at my older two thinking it was them but DH said "That's mine! I didn't know his arms could reach that far!!"
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Shalamar

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7411 on: March 08, 2013, 11:50:19 AM »
Speaking of sour cream, my ex-FIL used to brag about how he only drank skim milk ("anything else tastes too rich to me"), but he'd eat sour cream by the spoonful.  He also loved piling tons of whipped cream on chocolate cake (not that there's anything wrong with THAT ...).  :)

lilfox

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7412 on: March 08, 2013, 12:04:26 PM »
Work is always a good source of brain-hurts.

I need to request approval to travel to a conference (first of several this year).  The way travel works, you either set aside funds for it in your project budget or you use general budget X.  This year we have significant cutbacks so using budget X is not an option.  No problem, since I set aside enough travel budget to cover all the conferences /meetings I should attend this year.

Well this year travel is being heavily scrutinized so now I need approval from two levels of management.  That's fine, of course, cuts down on frivolous spending.  The problem is, if the travel is not approved, they take that money away from my budget.  So I'm supposed to set aside money out of my already tight budget for trips I consider essential to the success of the project, but if I can't convince upper management then I lose the money.  That's painful, but okay, I get it, that money is considered "extra."

Nope, the real brain-hurty part is that apparently there is a set of 'code words' that will help get approval, and 'trigger words' that will almost always earn a rejection.  Lest you think a trigger would be something simple like "it's close to where my family lives/I've always wanted to go to that city," oh no.  Triggers include "publicizing company research" and "networking with other subject matter experts" and "building scientific credibility" - you know, the actual POINT of a conference.

So for the same conference, as long as I use the exact right words, I will probably get to go.  But if I justify it in a slightly wrong way, then no.  I feel like the managers have a hand over a buzzer and the minute I say the wrong thing, ZAP, sorry you lose.

Morale is ... not high.

o_gal

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7413 on: March 08, 2013, 12:15:10 PM »
I'm hopelessly incompetent with all things electronic, but I'm very very good at following directions to the letter.  Unfortunately, many instructions are written with the idea that some things are just 'obvious' so they don't include those steps.  (For me, it would need to start with something like "Push the button to turn your computer on!")

And then there's the opposite problem - when you are dealing with people who are expert at computers and think they can short-cut the extremely detailed directions, and then what they are doing fails.

At work, we were switching the computers in our common lab to a new OS. This entailed changing the setup of Outlook, and once you converted you could not go back. So everyone had to pick a time when they were willing to switch. I was the first one to switch, and I went to the help desk for instructions. The tech there wrote extremely detailed directions and said that you had to follow them to.the.letter or they would not work. She was correct and they worked fine for me.

So I posted her exact instructions on a wall in the common area. And I underlined her instruction to do it exactly as written. People in my work group knew that I had done it successfully, so when things blew up in their faces, they would come whining to me. I would ask what they had done and invariably, they would shortcut a crucial step - they knew that normally you could do X, then Z, and that step Y was irrelevant in normal course of action. But when switching over, it was crucial that you did X, THEN Y, then Z. And then they would get mad that first they had to call the help desk and have their account cleared so they could begin at step A again. But usually they then did the instructions exactly right :-)

Margo

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7414 on: March 08, 2013, 12:56:07 PM »
Speaking of sour cream, my ex-FIL used to brag about how he only drank skim milk ("anything else tastes too rich to me"), but he'd eat sour cream by the spoonful.  He also loved piling tons of whipped cream on chocolate cake (not that there's anything wrong with THAT ...).  :)

That doesn't hurt my brain at all (except the bragging part)
as I feel the same. I use skim milk, and find anything else feels/tastes really greasy in tea or coffee, and really rich in other situations - like drinking cream.
I like cream on desserts etc but I don't want to drink it :-)

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7415 on: March 08, 2013, 01:33:12 PM »
Work is always a good source of brain-hurts.

I need to request approval to travel to a conference (first of several this year).  The way travel works, you either set aside funds for it in your project budget or you use general budget X.  This year we have significant cutbacks so using budget X is not an option.  No problem, since I set aside enough travel budget to cover all the conferences /meetings I should attend this year.

Well this year travel is being heavily scrutinized so now I need approval from two levels of management.  That's fine, of course, cuts down on frivolous spending.  The problem is, if the travel is not approved, they take that money away from my budget.  So I'm supposed to set aside money out of my already tight budget for trips I consider essential to the success of the project, but if I can't convince upper management then I lose the money.  That's painful, but okay, I get it, that money is considered "extra."

Nope, the real brain-hurty part is that apparently there is a set of 'code words' that will help get approval, and 'trigger words' that will almost always earn a rejection.  Lest you think a trigger would be something simple like "it's close to where my family lives/I've always wanted to go to that city," oh no.  Triggers include "publicizing company research" and "networking with other subject matter experts" and "building scientific credibility" - you know, the actual POINT of a conference.

So for the same conference, as long as I use the exact right words, I will probably get to go.  But if I justify it in a slightly wrong way, then no.  I feel like the managers have a hand over a buzzer and the minute I say the wrong thing, ZAP, sorry you lose.

Morale is ... not high.

Holiday gift idea:  A hair sharpener, to keep your boss's hair extra pointy.
Location:
Philadelphia, PA

mmswm

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7416 on: March 08, 2013, 01:35:46 PM »
Speaking of computer conversations...

My mother is not great with computers.  She's great with her iPhone, and is pretty much the family help desk with those things, but can't manage a pc if her life depended on it.  She just got a new laptop.  It's running Windows 8.  Of course she's having issues, so she asks for help.  We have the following brain-hurty conversation at least twice a day.

Mom:  How do you do XYZ?

Me: I'm not sure, Windows 8 is really different from every other Windows OS out there.  I'll need to play with your computer for a couple hours before I can be of any real help.

Mom: I don't want anybody messing with my computer. 

Me: I realize that, but if you want me to help you, I have to learn the operating system, and the only way for me to do that is to actually use it.

Mom:  Well, you can't use my computer, but I still need you to tell me how to do XYZ.

Me: *walks outside to smoke before I throw something at her*
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

Diane AKA Traska

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  • Or you can just call me Diane. (NE USA EHellion)
Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7417 on: March 08, 2013, 01:39:41 PM »
Speaking of computer conversations...

My mother is not great with computers.  She's great with her iPhone, and is pretty much the family help desk with those things, but can't manage a pc if her life depended on it.  She just got a new laptop.  It's running Windows 8.  Of course she's having issues, so she asks for help.  We have the following brain-hurty conversation at least twice a day.

Mom:  How do you do XYZ?

Me: I'm not sure, Windows 8 is really different from every other Windows OS out there.  I'll need to play with your computer for a couple hours before I can be of any real help.

Mom: I don't want anybody messing with my computer. 

Me: I realize that, but if you want me to help you, I have to learn the operating system, and the only way for me to do that is to actually use it.

Mom:  Well, you can't use my computer, but I still need you to tell me how to do XYZ.

Me: *walks outside to smoke before I throw something at her*

"Okay then, here's the deal. There's something wrong with one of my recipes.  It doesn't taste right.  Now, without looking at my food or my cookbook, tell me what I need to do.  Not enough information?  My point exactly."
Location:
Philadelphia, PA

LazyDaisy

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7418 on: March 08, 2013, 01:43:40 PM »
Speaking of computer conversations...

My mother is not great with computers.  She's great with her iPhone, and is pretty much the family help desk with those things, but can't manage a pc if her life depended on it.  She just got a new laptop.  It's running Windows 8.  Of course she's having issues, so she asks for help.  We have the following brain-hurty conversation at least twice a day.

Mom:  How do you do XYZ?

Me: I'm not sure, Windows 8 is really different from every other Windows OS out there.  I'll need to play with your computer for a couple hours before I can be of any real help.

Mom: I don't want anybody messing with my computer. 

Me: I realize that, but if you want me to help you, I have to learn the operating system, and the only way for me to do that is to actually use it.

Mom:  Well, you can't use my computer, but I still need you to tell me how to do XYZ.

Me: *walks outside to smoke before I throw something at her*
I sympathize with your mom (and you). If she's used to the iPhone (and Apple OS technology in general) trying to figure out Windows is brain-hurty torture. As a graphic designer, I spend my life on a computer... a Mac. My parents think that means I can trouble shoot their Dell running Windows Vista. Nope. Try restarting is about the best I can do. If she just bought it, does she have any contract with the Microsoft support people?
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

Elisabunny

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7419 on: March 08, 2013, 01:45:59 PM »
Ah yes, sloppy communication. These days I'm impressed if they can just get the spelling right and not put apostrophes into plurals. I just saw this today on a restaurant sign: Field of Green's -- is the name of the eatery. Now, they can call it anything they want, it's their place. But the name implies that it belongs to Field of Green, not that it is a field of greens. Oh well, whatever.


Presumably, they stole the apostrophe from Starbucks.

Maybe it's owned by someone named Green? In which case, it's rather witty.

But in that case, the apostrophe is redundant, because in that usage "Field of" already shows ownership.
You must remember this: a ghoti is still a fish...

mmswm

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7420 on: March 08, 2013, 01:50:46 PM »
Speaking of computer conversations...

My mother is not great with computers.  She's great with her iPhone, and is pretty much the family help desk with those things, but can't manage a pc if her life depended on it.  She just got a new laptop.  It's running Windows 8.  Of course she's having issues, so she asks for help.  We have the following brain-hurty conversation at least twice a day.

Mom:  How do you do XYZ?

Me: I'm not sure, Windows 8 is really different from every other Windows OS out there.  I'll need to play with your computer for a couple hours before I can be of any real help.

Mom: I don't want anybody messing with my computer. 

Me: I realize that, but if you want me to help you, I have to learn the operating system, and the only way for me to do that is to actually use it.

Mom:  Well, you can't use my computer, but I still need you to tell me how to do XYZ.

Me: *walks outside to smoke before I throw something at her*
I sympathize with your mom (and you). If she's used to the iPhone (and Apple OS technology in general) trying to figure out Windows is brain-hurty torture. As a graphic designer, I spend my life on a computer... a Mac. My parents think that means I can trouble shoot their Dell running Windows Vista. Nope. Try restarting is about the best I can do. If she just bought it, does she have any contract with the Microsoft support people?

She does, but she wants me to help.  I'd have no problems helping, but I'm totally unfamiliar with the OS.  I'm pretty confident that if she let me mess around on her lap top for a couple hours (at most) I'd be able to talk her through all the issues she's had.  The brain hurty part is that she expects me to be able to help even though I have zero experience with that particular OS.  I've tried explaining that Windows 7, which is what I run is as different from Windows 8 as her iPhone is.  *sigh* I'm thinking about upgrading myself just to end the madness.

Diane, that's a great analogy.  I might use it.  Thanks!
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

Yarnspinner

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7421 on: March 08, 2013, 01:50:57 PM »
One of my otherwise favorite coworkers turns into a computer tyrant when attempting to teach others how to do certain actions.  When she was teaching me to take over acquisitions her favorite disclaimer when I went seeking help was "All you need to know is WHY you do it and the sequence should follow."  And I would reply "I KNOW why I do it, but if I don't know which little grey boxes to click on at which moment, the why is kind of going to be messed up by the WHEN."  She trained over a dozen of us on how to set up computers customized specifically for us and she went SO fast (and kept telling us "You don't need to take notes!  It's all on the cheat sheet."  The cheat sheet consisted of a numerical list, each number followed by a key word for commands to be done in safe mode and in other "hidden" areas of the computer...but without any instructions on how to get to safe mode or any of the artificially created "safe" areas.  Nor were there any explanations that you had to do things like right click while holding down two or three other keys at once.  Sure, the sequence was there, but there was no way to access the right places to perform the sequence.

Her response was that we were all technophobes.  THESE days she's been stuck doing things that don't come naturally to her and you ought to see the flurry of notetaking that follows.

And, I simply have to add a new patron circular conversation I just had in which the patron was trying (without success) to open up his gmail account using his home mailing address and various passwords because he wasn't sure which was the right password.  I pointed out that his email address would be whatever username he gave himself plus @gmail.com.

"Well, I KNOW that, but I don't know how to make that little "a in the circle thing"."

I showed him how to do that and he asks "Which of these is my user ID?"

"Uh, they both say password."

"Yeah, but which one should I try as my user ID?"

"Try one as ID and the other as password, and if they don't work, then switch."

"But which one LOOKS like a user ID?"

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Of course, we finally ascertained that both of those were passwords for his YAHOO account, that he didn't have a gmail account and ultimately, he had to create a whole new password and user ID.  This just happened within the last hour.

Ten minutes ago he trotted up to my desk with his NEW information and said "So it's asking me to log in with my user ID and my password.  Which of these do I put into the user ID box?  Which goes in the password box?"  AIGH.

Oh, and I should point out that this patron has been using and logging on to this internet and email just fine for the last year.  Not sure what happened today.  Maybe another personality is driving the bus and got lost. 

EmmaJ.

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7422 on: March 08, 2013, 01:51:31 PM »
Work is always a good source of brain-hurts.

I need to request approval to travel to a conference (first of several this year).  The way travel works, you either set aside funds for it in your project budget or you use general budget X.  This year we have significant cutbacks so using budget X is not an option.  No problem, since I set aside enough travel budget to cover all the conferences /meetings I should attend this year.

Well this year travel is being heavily scrutinized so now I need approval from two levels of management.  That's fine, of course, cuts down on frivolous spending.  The problem is, if the travel is not approved, they take that money away from my budget.  So I'm supposed to set aside money out of my already tight budget for trips I consider essential to the success of the project, but if I can't convince upper management then I lose the money.  That's painful, but okay, I get it, that money is considered "extra."

Nope, the real brain-hurty part is that apparently there is a set of 'code words' that will help get approval, and 'trigger words' that will almost always earn a rejection.  Lest you think a trigger would be something simple like "it's close to where my family lives/I've always wanted to go to that city," oh no.  Triggers include "publicizing company research" and "networking with other subject matter experts" and "building scientific credibility" - you know, the actual POINT of a conference.

So for the same conference, as long as I use the exact right words, I will probably get to go.  But if I justify it in a slightly wrong way, then no.  I feel like the managers have a hand over a buzzer and the minute I say the wrong thing, ZAP, sorry you lose.

Morale is ... not high.

Holiday gift idea:  A hair sharpener, to keep your boss's hair extra pointy.

Ha! I love Dilbert. I swear we work at the same place...

Cami

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7423 on: March 08, 2013, 01:55:55 PM »
I have a fellow volunteer who regularly makes my brain hurt.  Not just me, though, as she makes everyone's brains hurt.  The most recent example was:

Her: "Change the following verbiage on the website's Pink Tulips Page from 'this' to 'that'." [And notice the lack of a 'please" in that sentence.]
Me: "I don't see the verbiage 'this'. In fact, the website does not even have a Pink Tulips  Page!"
Her: "I know. I'm writing the copy for it now."
Me: "What the what? How can I change the verbiage on a page that doesn't exist yet!"
Her: "I don't understand why you can't do this! You're so unhelpful."

Elfmama

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  • Derailing threads since 2001!
Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7424 on: March 08, 2013, 06:32:19 PM »
This is making me grateful for my ILs, who always do what they can to baby proof their house when we bring Piratebabe over there.  And sometimes they'll miss a few things, likely because he wasn't quite that tall the last time they saw him, but they're good at swooping in to move something.  Usually while laughing and saying "Well I didn't think he'd be able to get to THAT already!" as they move it higher.
Toddlers have expandable arms, like Inspector Gadget.  A toddler sitting on your lap at the table can reach things that YOU can't reach!

I had to watch my little ones like a hawk at the IL's house.  MIL got her nose out of joint when I asked if her cleaning stuff could be moved out from under the kitchen sink.  You'd think from her reaction that it was an hour's job, at least -- but everything was in a plastic caddy and could have been moved in 10 seconds!

May I ask for how long a visit you were there?  Was it a overnight/multi-day visit?  I'm asking because I have a toddler neice and newphew who come with their parents for visits for an afternoon and I would never think to move things out of closed cabinent doors. But there are usually so many adults in the house that they never have a chance to get into too much mischief.
Always multi-day visits, usually 5-7 days.  And I was the only one who would watch them.  DH wanted to visit with his family, not chase toddlers.  The ILs just shrugged and said that since I was their mother, it was my responsibility. (MIL and I had a looooooooong and unpleasant history.  She hated being a grandmother.)
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Common sense is not a gift, but a curse.  Because then
you have to deal with all the people who don't have it.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


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