Sharing Control (Issue 733)

In which we are reminded that “collaborative conversation” with clients is frequently better than “we keep control.”

It was all I could do to keep my hands off it. I wanted to strangle it, wring every last breath out of its scrawny neck and drive it to the floor, twisting it into unrecognizable shapes.

Instead I very deliberately lifted my hands from the keyboard and scrunched and fidgeted around in my chair.

And waited……….. looking at the screen…..30 seconds….. a minute….. no response to my (I thought) simple request to delete a word.

“What…are… you… DOING?” I shouted, hands raised in exasperation.

I looked at the clock. Not time for a scheduled back up which slows my machine to a crawl and the disk drive light was lit up solid.

The word languorously disappeared from the document.

I typed several more words. They appeared   one    by   one    on the screen, with about a one second delay following my key strokes.

It went on like this for about 15 minutes.

I closed the applications I wasn’t using. No impact.

“Seriously,” I shouted. “What are you DOING? I don’t have TIME for this!”

I waited…… looking at the screen…… 30 seconds…… a minute….. the application closed.

I don’t know how  to get Windows’ attention. In Task Manager I don’t know which processes I can stop without ruining something else.

Absent other ideas, I hit “shut down” and waited…… 30 seconds…. A minute…. Two minutes…. The screen finally went black. There was nothing else I could do. The thing had a life of its own, following its own scripts over which I had no control.

I feel that way, sometimes, when vendors call on me. They go on and on, following their own scripts over which I have  no control. I twist and fidget in my chair. I want to twist their necks into unrecognizable shapes as they insist, narrow focused, on their scripts or questions. A framing question like, “What thoughts have you had to this point about ___?” would go a long way toward connecting us together.


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