Microsoft’s Most Pernicious Application

Surely it’s PowerPoint, you will say.  Actually, no.  PowerPoint, while dangerous, is usually a threat only in meetings, which can usually be avoided.

The worst thing Microsoft ever foisted on the public is the Office Communicator, which allows employees to “chat” with each other using “instant messaging.”  This is roughly akin to having a particularly tedious and boring couple show up at your house unexpectely while you’re watching the ball game, plop themselves down on the sofa, start talking and never, ever leave.

How am I expected to feel?  I’m on line in a database where the connect charges per hour are similar to the fee for a senior associate at a white-shoe law firm.  Suddenly a little window pops up: “Hi, Greg!  Got a minute?”  No, go to hell.  I don’t have a minute, especially for some interminable chat session.  Right now, all my minutes right now belong to other people.  One thing I’ve learned over the years:  important to me doesn’t mean important to anyone else.  So go away, send me an e-mail, even call me (yes, considering how much I hate talking on the phone, I’d rather they do that).

Finally I turned the damn thing off.  No, I’m not online, now or ever.  Then people are astonished and disappointed.  “I tried to send you a message but it said you were off line!”  Good, that’s what I intended.  If I ever come across Office Communicator’s developer, I’m afraid I’ll have to punch them, hard.

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