Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wasted day

I am super frustrated right now. I keep trying to make peace with the speeding ticket I got two weeks ago, and it keeps throwing a wrench into things. First, it was getting my license. A trip to the DMV is never on the top of my list of fun things to do on a day off from work, and I had to make the trip not once but TWICE because they wouldn't accept my passport with my maiden name as ID the first time.

Yesterday I phoned my insurance company and sure enough, they would raise my rates if points were assessed to my license. So I decided to take the 4-hour driver improvement course offered by the state of Florida to avoid having points assessed. (I still have to pay the ticket.) I looked into options for the class and there's one school where you can take the class online. Awesome. If I have to do it, doing it at home in my pajamas is going to be better than being in a classroom somewhere for four hours. I registered and could start right away. Great. I'll be over and done with this today.

Here's where the wasted day comes in. You absolutely have to spend at least four hours on this "course." I say "course" because really its just long web pages with text and a few pictures. What time and effort they didn't put into making the driving course exciting and interactive they seem to have put into ingenious ways to waste my day. Now, I know a lot (most) of people taking this course are extremely uninterested in reading the "lessons." To ensure that proper attention is paid and time spent, there is a timer built into the web page. You can not press the button to move forward on to the next lesson until 50 minutes have gone by. I had no intentions of half-assing the class. I started reading. And was done in 20 minutes. Right about as I was finishing, my screen changed all of a sudden and a yes/no question popped up. I had two minutes to answer or I would lose credit for the class. OK, I've still got 30 minutes to kill and this thing will know if I walk away to take my shower or something. That's kind of annoying, but hopefully I'll be able to work around it. I figure I can do some dishes, fold some laundry, etc. and I'll just have to carry my laptop around with me in case another question pops up to prove that I'm still there. Whatever.

About 15 minutes later, I'm in the kitchen doing dishes, keeping an eye on the computer. When I look over, it says it logged me out and I won't get any credit for the class because I wasn't actively scrolling on the page. I freaked out for a second thinking the whole thing was wasted, but I was able to log back in and start over with 10 minutes still on the clock. But it's impossible to do anything else. I literally have to stare at a screen and randomly click my mouse. I can't really think of anything more boring. Then again, my mind is pretty zoned out right now, so I'm sure there are more boring things, I just can't think of them.

The part that's so annoying and ironic is that I ACTUALLY READ ALL OF THE DAMN LESSON. I feel like I'm being punished because I'm smart enough to read something and comprehend it quickly. I'm not trying to find ways around actually doing the reading, I've just finished it in less than half the time they gave me. And now, I am not being allowed to accomplish anything useful around my house. This feels like such a wasted day.

On top of that, my printer is acting up again, printing really crappy quality. This is the fourth time this has happened since October. Kodak customer service has always been pretty good at fixing things, but I'm getting pretty frustrated having the issue return so many times. If I make it through all of the driving course, I have a super-fun customer service call to look forward to. Sigh.

At least writing about things helps me put things in perspective. I mean, I may be really frustrated by all of this today, but as bad days go, this one is pretty mild.

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