COVID-19 Journal: Day 37

Bit raw today. Finding work stuff hard.

I've been hit by COMPUTER SAYS NO as a response to something I really needed, delivered by a human. I hate it when that happens. I understand why it happened, and often I feel sorry for the human who must give me that response, but the conversation goes weird because I'm stuck and they're stuck and there's no room for discretion of any kind. The human can't modify the system or its rules. It's especially annoying if that lack of flexibility is presented as policy, mostly because it's hard to say whether the policy emerged as a result of the software's inflexibility or it was actually policy that generated it.

"We can't change it after Date xyz because..."
"I have to charge you right now otherwise the system won't close the booking."

I used to say a slightly weird thing on web bios, which was that I'm interested in organic information systems. Systems that can flex and warp, or relax if there's no pressure. The vast industry of Service Design that's sprung up in the last... 5-10 years (?) is all about mapping systems that people need or use and making software that represents them. The dance of policy development and the rigidity of even iterative software development is very difficult work if you're not a VC-funded unicorn making vapourware with no customers. If there's a new person or a new question or a new influence or pressure on an element of these software systems, that's that. It's really hard to make a computer be like the butcher who throws in an extra chop because you're a regular.

I could really have used that butcher today. And I bet you ten bucks the human I talked to would have liked to give me an extra chop too, but we didn't each other at all, and she couldn't flex at all. Poor thing. She'd been telling people that same thing for hours, and everyone would have been trapped and fucked off.

I was so extra double fucked off and disappointed (and on hold for three hours waiting to talk to a human who gave me the answer I knew was coming but didn't want) that I made corned beef hash for the first time. I'd bought two cans of it before Shit Got Weird. Next time, if there is one, it'll be better. But, it wasn't bad, saved with a lot of Wooster Sauce and the rest of the Bastarda.