Thursday, November 12, 2020

Small things that are plaguing me

I appreciate the comforts of the modern world, especially infinitely downloadable books.  I like a hot shower and air-conditioning as much as the next person.  I even quite like Zoom for teaching and sociability; I like not having to pry myself out of my apartment!  I'm not a technophobe, I don't mind doing mildly technical stuff.

But my brain is NOT suited to all the annoying bits and bobs of doing business online in pandemic times and this is a list of the things that are currently plaguing me....

  • Google Drive, my inability to organize documents into folders therein, difficulty of setting to different levels of access, etc. etc.
  • Doodle - my longtime hatred, and increasingly a source of blocks on trying to arrange meetings for the endless committee and subcommittee work that is taking up much of my attention this year
  • Lionmail, Columbia's proprietary gmail - don't even really know how to save things into folders, the whole thing is an absolute mess, need to develop some kind of system (filters?) but don't have spare wherewithal
  • Concur - newly introduced reimbursement system, may make everything more convenient ultimately but setting it up is asking for attention I do not have to spare, strong suspicion my FRAP money is just going to go unspent this year as a result
  • Documents that need a human signature i.e. printing and scanning (or photographing - my home scanner is broken) - I got an Apple Pencil in the summer for my iPad and surely I could do this without printing but it will take half an hour of attention to figure that out (have still not used/set up Pencil) and I can't make myself do it. I woke to TWO requests of this nature, both on pieces of business I thought already done! I literally feel like stabbing a fork in my eye when I think about having to deal with this.
  • The impossibility of sending accurate scheduling emails in a time of pandemic - I think every single invitation I have sent in the last couple weeks has had some confusing glitch (day/date correct in book party invitation subject line but wrong date in email; wrong access setting for Google Doc with Zoom meeting scheduling; correct time in subcommittee meeting invitation text but wrong start time on Zoom meeting link).

My amazing RA Diana is going to give me a Drive tutorial next week after her dissertation chapter is distributed.  But frankly I can't concentrate while working at the computer, even at the best of times.  My brain is not made for this!  What a waste of time and attention that could be purposed to genuine  intellectual or administrative work, actually LISTENING to a student, etc.