Friday, February 6, 2009

Computers and Other Friday Idiocy

This will not be so much a blog or even a rant more like a creaky whine. That's because I have a bellyache. The reason I have a bellyache is See's candy. See's candy boxes appear regularly when you work in a West Coast radiation oncology facility, usually bestowed by grateful patients at the end of their treatment courses. I love See's candy. If I eat too much of it, however, I get a bellyache and a headache like I have now. It was definitely a weird day today and a testament to the stress level is that the department collectively pounded down about 80% of a 2 lb. box of See' s in about 3 hours.

Why the stress feeding? Because the bulk of the computers decided to arf today. The normal work flow slowed to a crawl, and things we do routinely with no thought became tedious and difficult. Dare I say it, it made me long for paper charts rather than the baneful and arcane computers we have come to rely on. It reached the point by 4 pm that my coworkers were not so much throwing in the towel for the week but flinging it from them and fleeing as if that towel was a metaphorical angry tarantula itching to bite.

So here I am all bellyachy in both the actual and the whiny sense. So my whine-posing-as-a-pseudo-rant comes from my irritation with technology. I know I would hate if if we had to use paper charts, as they are a pain. I also, however, am not so fond of technologies that don't talk to one another. Our computers have three different operating systems in the department. Some are associated with particular treatment software, and even the OS can be subject to FDA approval, so it's not like we can just change or update on a whim. The flip side is that Microsoft has notoriously and to my mind evilly chosen to poorly support its past OS's, with the mind of forcing users to upgrade. The greedy bastards.

Frankly, I am using an old laptop with Windows 2000. Outdated? You betcha! I cannot afford another laptop right now, however, and it irks me beyond measure that I should have to shell out many $$$ just to have a computer that runs decently. Grrrrrrrrr.

Anyway, it's time to step away from all computers and do something more low-tech like pick up my needles. It is Friday evening after all, my weekly time to say "Enough!" and admire the potential of an unfolding weekend--two whole days and time to choose what to do...

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