October 8, 2010

Dear Microsoft Word

It has come to my attention that I have some very strong feelings about Microsoft Word. Computers in general, maybe... but mostly, WORD. Many of these sentiments are similar to what one might feel for a human person who has wronged them repeatedly. It's gotten personal. I have drafted a letter in an effort to therapeutically unload and express some of my word processing baggage. As a trained counselor, I feel that this catharsis is necessary. This is very emotional for me, so I ask that you be sensitive to my vulnerability. Thank you.

Dear Microsoft Word,

Hi. I feel a little awkward bringing this up... so publicly... but you've left me with little choice. This is what it has come to. Where do I even begin? We've been doing this dance for years, you and I, ever since you first betrayed me by losing half of my Good Life paper senior year of high school. Do you have any idea how hard I worked - how much heart and soul I put into that paper - only to have it ripped right from my hands the minute I turned my back for a moment? It took a while to regain my trust - I'm sure you remember the rocky years we had - but I always came back, even though the wound of that night still remains. I never left you. I never turned my back on you. And look where it's gotten me.

In college, and then seminary, you were never perfect, sure... but then, I never expected you to be. I didn't ask for perfection - I'm certainly not perfect myself. For a brief few years, I was happy. I let my guard down, and I let you in. I took a risk in vulnerability. How wrong I was. It wasn't long before I became wary again; I started feeling paranoid, living in fear of the heartbreak and document loss that lay ahead. It was hard to be content, hard to focus on anything at all with you constantly testing my patience, moving my margins, when I needed you at top performance. Is this fun for you? Is that it? I just... I just don't understand. I suppose I never will.

Lately it feels we are on the brink of destruction - I am this close to ending this thing once and for all. All I want to do is create documents that are well-formatted and attractive. Why won't you let me? Are you afraid of what will happen if my documents are pretty? Are you jealous, is that it? Is it because I said that thing about loving handwritten sentiments most? Is it because I use blogger to do most of my writing and not you? Well, why would I use you?!? Nothing I could ever say or do affects your choices - you have made up your mind and no amount of backspacing or CTRL+Z can change that. You are inconsistent, unpredictable, and impulsive. I think that's what bothers me most - the inconsistency. When I click "Tab," I want to know what to expect. Are you going to move an inch or all the way to the other side of the page?! I can never tell!! From one line to the next, I cannot predict your behavior. I feel on edge all the time. Flinching with each error message. Cowering every time I see the little paper clip guy come into the bottom right corner. I fear that our relationship has become abusive.

I tried being supportive, I did. I went to the Help menu, I tried to correct auto-formatting. I even spoke sweetly to you, stroked your ego, promised you my undying devotion, to reassure you. But nothing worked. Nothing. I continued to flounder, always afraid of your next move. I know I've been reactive, I've called you things that would make a sailor blush, but still you misbehave. I'm out of options. This isn't me! I don't even know who I am anymore. You have ruined my resume one too many times. Why must you sabotage my efforts to find a job? Are you afraid if I succeed I won't need you anymore? One too many times, you have refused my attempts at formatting when all I'm trying to do is make pretty signs for a charity event. A charity event, Word. What kind of monster do you have to be to get in the way of something like that? Your constant need to restrict my creativity makes me sick. You are controlling and manipulative. Let me choose how I want the wording centered! Let me decide how I want my lists indented! You don't always know best which font I should use. You can't fence me in. I will not be your doormat any longer. You can't continue to treat me like my opinions don't matter. Like I'm not a person with feelings. I'm done letting you walk all over me. This is an ultimatum.

I hope you will consider the things I have said, and I hope this is not the end for us, I truly do. I'm sure you have made and will make some people very happy. But I know I am not the first woman you have disappointed, and I'm certain I will not be the last. And I care about you too much to let you keep making the same mistakes. Maybe this will be a wake up call for you. More than anything, I feel sorry for you. I really do.

You leave me no choice but to wait for another word processor - one that will meet my needs, one that will treat me with the respect that I deserve. I wish you the best, I truly do. Get help. Until you do... well, I guess this is goodbye.

Sincerely yours,

1 comment:

michael_feyen said...

Dear Microsoft Word User,

Soon you will be forced to upgrade to MS Word Office 2010. We are pleased to announce that you will receive no functionality. We just move around the buttons and change the menus so that you cannot find anything.

You are welcome,