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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Vicki versus the Word

I've been using MS Word for probably 20 years.

I wouldn't say I'm an expert user because there are several advanced features I've never had reason to use.  But I am very comfortable with it and what I don't know how to do I can usually figure out relatively quickly.

And then I was tasked with printing addresses directly on a postcard.  For whatever reason labels were a no-no.  I don't ask why, I find a way to get the job done.  This was no biggie, though.  I opened up Word to create a template so I could merge the addresses in from the database and I could print as many off as I needed to.  I've done this sort of thing LOTS of times.  It shouldn't have taken more than 20 minutes, TOPS.

It took longer.

Lots longer.


Yes.  HOURS.  The problem was the size of the postcard.  I'd never run paper that small (6x4).  I had to use the envelope feeder, but no matter WHAT I did, it would not print where I told it to.  I used the Postcard template in the Labels/Envelopes menu but THAT would only print from the main paper drawer which couldn't 'pick up' the 6 x 4 card.  

I tried to set a custom paper size in Word, but the printer wouldn't recognize anything smaller than 8.5 x 11 unless it was an envelope but if I tried adapting an envelope to my purpose, it would put the text clear off in the boonies.

I was getting frustrated.

I changed every setting I could think of but nothing worked!  It SHOULD have worked.  All logic pointed to it working.  I could see it on the screen lined up where it should be but it would print in some hokey spot.  

I tried reverse psychology.  Figuring if it's on the right side of the screen but prints on the left side of the paper, then if I move it to the left side of the screen it will print on the right side of the paper, right?

Uh,no.  Computers are not to be trifled with.

I'm not afraid to admit I spewed some pretty colorful adjectives, my friends.  I think there were a few I could loan to drunken sailors to spice things up a bit next time they're on leave.

But I didn't give up.  

I'm ridiculously stubborn at moments like this.

Some might say pigheaded.


And today, I figured out a way to make it work.  It's sooooo not pretty, but it works.  

YES!  Success at last!

I heard some nature photographers talking about what it takes to get "the shot".  They said they had to be stupidly patient. When normal people gave up, they waited.  When abnormal people gave up, they waited some more. When saints gave up, they waited longer still.  And eventually, after weeks or months of nothing, they would finally see the egg hatch or the bear give birth or whatever.  

Do you see the analogy here or do I need to spell it out?  You need to keep fighting/working/querying/trying.  When it gets hard.  When the odds are against you.  When you're tired and discouraged.  

Stupidly patient.  

Impossibly persistent.

Are you up to it?  If I can beat Microsoft Word, I can beat ANYTHING!


Stephanie Thornton said...

Dude, I could teach those sailors some words too. Just so long as my daughter's not around at the same time- I think that falls under the category of bad parenting.

I'm definitely up for the challenge!

Jolene Perry said...

Evil empire, I'm telling you... ohhhh... those microsoft people with their wee beady eyes...
(Okay sorry, not everyone likes So I Married An Axe Murderer with the same passion as me)
I HATE crap like that. I got a headache just reading your post. But it still made me laugh, as usual.
Glad you won.
Great quote -
"My computer beat me at chess but it was no match for me at kickboxing."

KarenG said...

LOL good analogy! I was hoping you'd give us directions on how to print the postcards however.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Oh man, I've dealt with this sort of thing. Computers are strange beasts to be sure. Excellent analogy, m'dear. Must keep at it!

Talli Roland said...

Haha! Yes, if you can beat a computer programme you can do anything. Nothing drives me mental like computers. Go go go! :)

Nicole MacDonald said...

*hee* oh I get it!! 8th re-write and counting ;p am working on including an action scene at their training circle :)

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Haha. Oh yes, great analogy.

I had my own microsoft battles yesterday, with microsoft word. But, if I can shut down and reboot I know I can keep going with anything. :)

Candyland said...

Depends on the day. Ask me again tomorrow!!!

Christine Fonseca said...

FINE! I'll be more patient as I endless WAIT!

Jaydee Morgan said...

Congrats on finally beating the system!!

Yes, patience and persistance is definitely needed :)

Meredith said...

Haha, "Computers are not be trifled with"--so true! Great analogy. I definitely hate the waiting game, but I've got enough stubbornness in me, I guess.

Saumya said...

Haha, this is great and so relateable. MS Word has literally taken me to the edge of my patience for things that I thought would be SO easy!! I'm glad you figured it all out :) You CAN take on anything now!

LTM said...

you = my hero. God, I hate fighting w/computer software... Have you even TRIED the new Word w/Office 2010? Got it for my job and it is ... like learning a whole new program.

WHY do they do this? :o|

Margo Berendsen said...

I loved the oinkgruntoink insert! But seriously, what a great motivational post. Ah, this is why I love blogs. I need my daily inspiration. I've had my moments wrestling with software too - and small children - and believing in something no one else cares about.

Clarissa Draper said...

Wow, that sucks. I'm sorry it's been so hard for you. I've never had to make postcards before but I'm sure I would struggle with it as well.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I feel like that with Word some days. Congratulations on your victory over the evil Microsoft program!

Hannah Kincade said...

LOL! I love your analogy! Trying your best is the best way to overcome most obstacles. I just sometimes worry that my best is not enough.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

You go girl! You are the master of your ms...and ms word! (wink)

Ed Pilolla said...

the sense of accomplishments that accompanies figuring out technical crap on the computer is high. yes. i myself rarely experience those peaks.

Carolyn V. said...

That's right! You go girl! =)