One thing that absolutely drivers me bonkers at work is when my dinosaur computer acts like a sluggish, uncaffeinated lazy bum and comes to a complete standstill when I’m trying to accomplish something. You know the feeling. You’re trying to open an e-mail, and you just wait and wait and wait; the screen image stays the same, nothing new opens, and no matter how many times you violently click your mouse or slide it back and forth on the mousepad (like that works) you’re stuck in this limbo land, caught between being completely productive and completely helpless. You either have to wait it out or restart your computer, which, if it’s a PC with 4584797859 programs like the one I deal with in the office, well, you might as well take your lunch break while waiting for everything to reboot.

The frustration and anger that arises in me during such encounters is not healthy, and at times I feel like my computer’s “Not Responding” message is synonymous with “Time for Jen to Turn into the Incredible Hulk.” I huff and puff and stomp over to my manager’s office, whining, cursing, shaking my fist at the invisible force that stalls my system. Stupid PCs. Stupid IT department. Stupid, ironic world in which technology keeps us from being productive.

So I’ve decided to do a little experiment to counter my rage. Every time I get a “Not Responding” message, I’m going to close my eyes and take a few deep belly breaths, using this “down” time as a way to regroup and clear my mind. If I have to restart my computer, what a perfect opportunity to step away from my desk and escape into the bathroom for a few minutes of light stretching and breathing.

Maybe it’s a good thing that my computer is a sluggish dinosaur; it may just turn me into one blissed-out editor.

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