[For people who aren’t from the UK:] There’s comedy character called “Victor Meldew” who’s figures in a SitCom here called “One Foot in the Grave”. I don’t think the show ever really made it stateside, or even across the Channel for that matter. Victor is sort of guy who gets annoyed at the frustrations of modern life, and his catchphase was “I don’t believe it”. The show is getting on a bit now – I guess we call Victor’s rage/rants “First World Problems” nowadays…
A couple of weeks I was speaking at the London VMUG on the subject of whether IT folks will deploy automation technologies that could automate them out of job. I dotted my presentation with ancedotes about my own personal experiences, and frustrations – so much so that that the VMUG Leader there, Alaric Davies – was inspired to tweet “Mike Laverick = Victor Meldrew”. Of course, that made me laugh/smile. Yes, it was of the smiles of recognition. I’m increasingly getting Meldrew like as I get it older.
It was only later this week that I began to see the potiential in the comparison. Perhaps its my rapidly approaching middle-age, or 20 odd years of combat fatigue in the world IT, but I find as I get older I have increasingly shorter fuse for things “not being as they should”. Normally, the “Red Mist” will descend at the first sight of Java or Flash update. You know that feeling where everything in your body is holding you back from wanting drive a fist through your screen – and declare that if you never see a computer every again it will be too soon? When I’m faced with the descent of red mist, my wife and I have found ourselves exclaiming in the manner of frustrated Nordic dectective. I’m not sure how describe that but it sounds like you about to say For ****s Sake – FA-FAAA!
Anyway, I guess you get the picture? One of the more slightly annoying aspects of the 1st World is somewhat gunho optimism that technology ALWAYS improves year-on-year – like some marketing slide that show ever increasing sales. The truth is as we know technology isn’t always like that…
Of course, this could “I don’t believe it” could be a license to rant. It was funny I was talking on call last week. And someone called me out on that. They basically said “Your ranting”. And I was likely, yes – your right. Ranting isn’t very productive, and its often more about someone just wanting to blow off steam. BUT. (and that’s a big but by the way, hence the capitals). I think its important to name-shame because its precisely these sort piss-poor experiences that are the beign of all users lives – and if we just learn to accept that life is far from perfect, I think that’s the first step in accepting nothing every changes, except the status quo.
I guess if I was different personality type I wouldn’t rant, and I just consider my heart and trying roll with the punches and just accept that nothing is perfect in life. After all there’s more important things to worry about in life, right. BUT, (and there’s another big but there… I like big buts, I can’t deny) if that was the case I would have gotten there by now. So anyway, cut the chase. I’m starting a new series – it’s called “I Don’t Believe IT”. It’s not dissimiliar to something I tried to start on TechTarget called “Stupid IT” was semi-expose of failed IT projects that successive governments have tried to quietly bury. This series is going to be a bit more personal. Every Victor Meldrew moment I have will result in a “I Don’t Believe IT” post.
Hope you enjoy them….