Today's rant concerns the lowest common denominator as concerns the Common Operating Environment (or COE) on the computers at work. I don't know all the mechanics - I'm not the network wiz I'd like to be, and there is no telling exactly how the Great Minds in MITS (our computer folk's current acronym) have decided to implement their chosen protocols. What I do know is that if I try to change my settings so that they are the least bit out of the ordinary, default (l)user mode, the system doggedly changes them back. Randomly.
See, that's what gets me. If they reset every time I logged out, I could understand that. Or every time they pushed a new image out over the network, or something like that. Nope. As yet there is no discernable pattern other than 'eventually'.
Worse yet, after a number of protests by those of us who resent being shoehorned into hamstrung mode (or even just being forced to use the standard color scheme and desktop wallpaper) they have theoretically set things up so that we have user profiles that will retain our changes from session to session, so that we can customize our environment without having to re-do the settings every single day. This has resulted in the haphazard retention of settings about which I am complaining.
The color scheme, for example, is the only thing that has stayed put so far. If I change the screen saver I must do so every day. Network printers randomly uninstall themselves; we have enough of them that what I've done is put shortcuts to them on my desktop, then I can just install them as needed from the right-click menu without waiting fifteen minutes for the list to load.
The real irritation, however, is where I keep my files. I don't store my working files in the default directory - thus every so often, MS Office "forgets" where I've put them. Sure enough, I go into the settings menu and find it's reset itself to the defalt folder that I don't use. I redo my settings and everything is (usually) fine. Outlook is the only real pisser (hands of those surprised? I thought so.) because it not only resets all the file locations (so none of my shortcuts work) it renames the various *.pst folders I have set up back to either "Archive Folders" or "Personal Folders" depending on some random factor. So I open up Outlook and suddenly it is telling me half my folders don't exist any more, because of course it can't find them since they've been renamed...
So why don't I phone up the help desk? Oh, I have. But their one-size-fits-all answer doesn't fit - most people don't even use archive folders, they just never empty their delete folders, then complain when the system comes along and does it for them. Oh, yes - another daily irritation is I am not authorized to turn off the "are you sure you really want to delete everything" question, so every time I close out of Outlook, it asks me. Yes, I want to delete the stuff in the delete file - other wise I would have filed it somewhere else! Auuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh!
I'm not taking comments because there is quite literally nothing I can do. This is the government, the COE is what everyone will use, marching along in lockstep, even if it makes it harder for me to do my job because I've gotten used to being an advanced user. I have registered my suggestions and complaints using the avenues available to me, and that's the end of that.
Just one more reason why I need to be doing something else, somewhere else.