Plus ça change…

You know the saying, right? “Plus ça change, plus c’est le meme chose” The more things change, the more they are the same. Change is part of what happens every day. It’s part of life. It’s built in. It’s gonna happen. That doesn’t always mean we like it. It very often means we don’t like it.

Take this very platform, for instance. When I loaded up my site to begin typing, I discovered the host had changed the editing page without warning. Everything is still there – but I had to hunt for it, and it’s in a different place and it’s not as easy to just do what I want to do. This engendered some grumbling.

plus ca change cropI grumbled. And then I wondered why it annoyed me so much.

Part of it is habit. I’ve done things largely the same way for the better part of a year, and now, suddenly, it’s different. And there’s no way to change it back. It’s as if someone came in and rearranged my office. “Here – we’ve messed with your head. Now deal with it.” That feels like an intrusion, like it’s insulting and not fair, and how dare they! (Imagine awful pouty face here…)

But then – it’s not my software. I just use it regularly. And I suppose there was some reason for the change, even though I can’t see it. What feels bad is that I had no warning of it, no choice about what appeared on my screen, and no instructions about where to find the tools I needed. I just had to click around a while.

And that’s what really gets me – it changes, and I have no choice, and there’s no help figuring it out. AND then I have to spend time and energy re-learning what I already learned once, to continue doing what I just wanted to DO. It’s disconcerting and sometimes infuriating.

When software changes without warning or explanation, we don’t always have the time to adjust our practice to do what needed to be done. It’s as if your hammer suddenly morphed into an electric screwdriver and you have no idea how to use it for the purpose you intend. I wish tech people would recognize this. It’s no big deal to them, because they know what’s coming. It’s hard on end users, because we have no clue why the change was needed, let alone that they worked on this for six months and have ten reasons for everything that changed. To us, it’s just one more unprovoked attack on our time, energy, and attention. We get a little testy…

And then – because it’s what we do – we get another cup of coffee and sit down and figure it out and get on with the day. Because my dogs do not wait for software, and I don’t have time to worry about why some coding ninja stole my sharing panel. I’ll get it done anyway I can and sort out the sorry-a** shapeshifting menus on my website another time.


Stay tuned for more on the Here’s a Quarter blog next week! As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome – they are moderated (I know – adulting again), so they may take a little while to appear, but I read them all and appreciate that you were here. Thank you!

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