Rest in Peace Mr. Mouse
By Cait Collins
I never fully understood the importance of my computer mouse until my company updated my system and provided a new mouse. At first Mr. Mouse seemed happy to have me as an owner, but last week for some unexplained reason, he went rogue. I couldn’t understand his problem. I’d ask for my work list, he’d give me the program manager. “Open search results,” the click commanded, but he gave me the completion page. I spent twenty minutes building a complicated search of provision screens. When I hit print to attaché the screens to my proof package, “Abort Print” flashed on the screen and my twenty minutes of hard work disappeared into cyberspace.
His misdeeds continued when I read my email. I keep my inbox set to sort by date received. I’d open a new email and Mr. Mouse would resort my inbox. Not just once, mind you, but every time I opened a new item he’d jump in and move my purple flags to the bottom of the list, or put old emails on top. Deleting was a real trip. Highlight one item, delete three. I spent my time searching the deleted items folder for the emails I needed to keep. My patience with this rodent was wearing thin. The lyrics of a song from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast kept running through my head. I could hear Gaston inciting the crowd, “Kill the Beast!”
My manager sensed my frustration. Thinking the problem was related to the mouse’s speed, we applied electronic Prozac in an attempt to slow him down. No luck, he became more diabolical. He attacked my quality review file.
Part of my job requires I review correspondence produced by other team members. The letter I was editing needed some additional information, but the mechanical rodent would not let me insert the phrases. I spent an hour editing a one page document because that hunk of junk kept jumping from one line to the next highlighting text I needed to keep. I had to adjust the margins on this document. Piece of cake. Yeah, right. I could read his mind. “Oh, you want to reduce the top margin to .9. You really want a .7 margin. And the side margins, let’s make those .6. I had to battle the gadget to reset margins.
Fed up with the tomfoolery, I place a call to our help desk. The technician searched for possible solutions, but she couldn’t even find a problem. So she called in a Dell technician. He arrived about 15 minutes later with a new mouse.
“I hear you are threatening to smash your mouse.”
“No, I said I was going to put a bullet in it.”
“You’re not the first person to say that. Give me a couple of minutes and I’ll fix the problem.”
Seconds later, Mr. Mouse was dead. His lifeline disconnected from the energy giving electricity and programming my computer provided. In his place was a docile, responsive instrument. I could work again.
I thanked the tech for arriving so quickly. He told me it was no problem. He’d take the offensive piece of trash and throw it away.
“You mean I can’t have that honor?”
He handed the mouse to me. “Have at it.”
Kerthunk! My enemy landed in the bottom of my trash can. Throughout the day, I buried that monster under my empty coffee cup, the wrappings from my lunch, and my empty bottle of green tea. How satisfying. We had finally killed the beast.