Friday, March 12, 2010

Ready to throw my computer out the window...

A few weeks ago IT had to essentially rebuild my computer system--Office 2007 was acting up, and I wasn't able to schedule LiveMeeting appointments via Outlook (I know this is probably meaningless to many of you!). Suffice it to say that both of these are essential tools for my work, so I had to have them fixed.

After I got my laptop back, I was unable to connect at home via our wireless modem. Apparently they've had this problem frequently--something to do with Office 2007 or the new configuration for our computers. I spent an hour on the phone with our remote Technical Assistance Center (located in Denver), who finally gave up on me and said they'd escalate the ticket to local IT, but they didn't hold out much hope they could fix it. (I said, "so you are telling me that I will never be able to work at home again?") The most frustrating piece was that they were implying that it was something defective in my home wireless setup, even though it was working just fine until IT rebuilt my setup.

This whole ordeal caused me a great deal of stress, because I wasn't able to do my usual "work at home on Friday" and I also wasn't able to access the internet or e-mail from home in the evenings. (Although we have a desktop in our office, that's the computer Mike typically uses and it's not as easy to access my work resources from that computer.)

The local IT tech was much more helpful, although he often works offsite, so it took awhile to get him to focus on my problem. A week and a half later, after trying all sorts of trial and error things when I would go home each evening, I ended up reinstalling our home wireless setup...and it was FINALLY fixed.

Flash ahead a few weeks, and I continue to be having problems, although different ones. Last night I worked from home until nearly 11 p.m., finishing up a draft of a proposal I'm working on (it's in review today). At about 8:30 p.m., something truly funky happened in Word 2007--my 25-page proposal suddenly went to only 3 pages. PANIC!! I saw via Microsoft Communicator that my pal in Boise was still online (one of my very favorite coworkers) and I instant-messaged her for help. She had experienced the same thing with Office 2007, so she gave me a few suggestions. Fortunately, I discovered that the text was all there when I viewed it in "Print Layout." I ended up copying and pasting the entire document into a new document. I had to reformat, but the text was all there, thank God!

This morning a few of the reviewers were unable to read the file, so I had to save down to Word 2003. Something clearly is still wrong with the file. That is a scary idea given that this is a proposal! (Proposals are how my firm wins its work--if we are late in submitting on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m., we do not get any second chances, and all the work we have put in goes down the drain, not to mention all the lost revenue from not winning the job. So proposals are critical!)

I'm working at home today, and I had to reboot my computer several times this morning because of problems accessing e-mail and our network. Finally, it appears to be working--but everything is sluggish.

I started blogging as I was waiting for my files to open and stabilize. Things seem to be working a bit better now, so back to focusing on my work I go! Thanks for reading my rant. Computers (and Microsoft)--love 'em and hate 'em at the same time!

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