Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Computer and Office Dilemmas

I like to observe and analyze different things all of the time. There have been a couple of things going on at work lately. Unfortunately, this is the place I can observe the most since I spend more time here then anywhere else. Some things have led to changes; others I still need to figure out what to do about especially since it affects me at work.

I have my computer on the lowest brightness setting I can stand; even to the point where there are times when I want to see a picture or graphic, I actually have to turn up the brightness in order to to see it more clearly. However, I still have problems with some application software, Internet sites and other areas I view on my screen.

Email was the first application I started to notice. The funny thing is that it was a constant flow of emails that came from one person that started keying me into these problems. Her emails always came through with huge lettering in a bold font.

I'm not really the type of person to take offense to someone who uses all caps (not what she was doing), where the typing is seen as yelling, but that is sort of how I felt with these emails no matter what the content was in them. It made me start to look closer at these until I realized what the true problem was. The huge, bold, black letters were too much of a contrast for me against the white background!

I knew some people had this fancy stationary setup as their email background, but that would really not be something I was interested in using. As my first step in trying to resolve this issue, I created my own stationary. I didn't put any designs on it; all I did was create an ivory or off white background. This was working out really well. The only problem was that if I replied to an incoming email, it didn't use my stationary or when I read an email from my inbox, it still had the bright white background and I still had the same issue with the big, bold lettered email on the bright background from the one lady.

Finally, the resolution to this email problem ended up resolving other computer application issues too. I changed the display on my computer. The active window background on my computer is no longer white. It is an ivory or off white color now. It is this way in email, my windows office applications, my Internet windows and really most windows that had this white background.

It was strange going into excel in the beginning and not seeing the white cells, but it is so much easier on my head now. Plus I am the only one who sees the off while color. Anyone I send an email to or a copy of my spreadsheets will see the bright white backgrounds on their side since this is how it displays on my computer only. Even the big, bold lettered email is not as attacking for me any longer.

The other work dilemma I need to sort through is a little trickier than the computer issue. I don't have a solution for it yet and it took me some time to identify the problem.

I have a light accommodation in my office. I would not be able to survive at work without it. The problem? I have found that I avoid going into other offices because of the piercing pain their lights cause me. Sometimes I may stick my head in their office to talk, but I don't like to go in there, sit down or do a conference call with them in their office. However, there are times I will force myself to go into some of these other offices. For example, when my email lady has a conference call, I make sure I go into her office for those calls even though I would prefer to call from my own office. I have found that she is more likely to partner with me when we are face-to-face on the phone rather then in different rooms.

I know it would be unreasonable to have my company do something about the lighting all over the building or even just on my floor so that is something I would never ask for. Most of the conference rooms have a different light fixture than the offices which deflects the light up so these rooms aren't too bad when we have meetings in there. I find that no matter what room I go into, the first thing I do is check out the lighting and pick the darkest area in the room to sit. Does anyone else do that?

I still don't know what to do long term about going into the other offices, but eventually I'll figure out something or become the biggest my office homebody at work.

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