We’ve been working remotely for a while now, and with the coronavirus refusing to go away peacefully and quietly, it looks like we’ll be working remotely for a while longer. That means technology will continue to play a key role in our ability to earn our living, and on a regular basis, new programs and applications will be rolled out for us to use in the remote working space. And then we’ll have to learn them, and figure out how to incorporate them into our work days.
I accept all of this — really, I do. I’m grateful for the tech geeks and programs that have kept the ball rolling during the shutdown period. But there’s one thing about these new software applications that really, really bugs me — the reminders.
Here’s what always happens. The new application is rolled out. You sign up for it . . . warily. And then the onslaught of reminders begins. At first the reminders are somewhat friendly, like “Hey, we’re glad you’ll be using McGuffin. Learn how!” But quickly they become increasingly insistent. “The McGuffin will help you collaborate seamlessly. You can be trained on it through this free webinar!” “Follow this link to take your McGuffin training!” “Don’t forget your McGuffin training!” “Hey, buddy boy — nice little remote working arrangement you’ve got here. Be a shame if something happened to it because you didn’t take the McGuffin training.” (OK, that last one is a bit of an exaggeration.)
And if you do take the training, the emails don’t stop. “Please rate the McGuffin training.” “We’ve made great new improvements to McGuffin. Click here to find out about them.” “We noticed you haven’t been making full use of McGuffin. We’re monitoring what you’re doing, in case you have any doubt about that.” (OK, that last one is a bit of exaggeration, too.)
The constant nagging quickly reminds you that you are up against a soulless computer program that will never tire or falter in its relentless quest to get you to click on the links and complete the stupid training. You can’t ignore it. It will keep bugging you to do its bidding and filling up your inbox with totally unwanted reminders. It’s like an annoying, whining kid constantly tugging at your pant leg and asking you to buy it an ice cream cone. Its need for immediate attention and responsiveness on your part becomes unbearable.
There’s probably some new application out there that could stop the never-ending flow of reminder statements. But if I sign up for it, the whole process will start over again.