This is the most spectacular Pennywise I've ever assembled.
‘Ideopathic Migratory Arthralgia’.
I’d arrived at this physician’s office complaining of mysterious hives and painfully swollen joints. One day a knee, the next an elbow. A wrist, then the bottom of one foot. Five appointments, countless tests, and more vials of blood than seemed possible later, this was his diagnosis? Ideopathic =unexplained. Migratory, meaning periodically moving. Arthralgia I had to look up-it means swelling at a joint. So: unexplained shifting swelling of the joints. I knew that much before we started!
This was well over twenty years ago, but I was reminded of it while dealing with some recent website issues. When the pandemic hit, we quickly moved to offer more online purchasing options. More specials. More staple products. And because online sales are largely visual, many more images of all of the above. And that was a problem, because at that exact moment, the site stopped accepting new image uploads. The memory wasn’t overloaded. I’d changed nothing in either process or equipment. And it’s difficult to sell products you can’t see, so I reached out to the web developer.
‘What do you mean, you haven’t changed anything? In order to investigate this properly, I’ll need to know the exact specs on each piece of equipment in the process. And the pixels of the images. What you probably should do is download these two additional apps, to edit and resize the images before you upload them. I’m sure it’s nothing on our end.In any case, you’re not explaining it right.’ It seemed like we had more of a language problem than a tech problem.
Technology is all-pervasive; so much commerce and communication happens online that whether or not your core business is tech, you are nevertheless in the tech business. I not only understand that, I embrace it. But if tech is not your native land, is it too much to ask its purveyors to communicate in English? I might not have the precise jargon that she’d prefer, but I felt like this web developer-like the doctor- was disguising her inability to diagnose the problem by weaponizing language.
After some tense communication, they found the problem and fixed it. Then I weaponized my charming and tech-savvy 21 year old to research web developers who were also fluent in plain English. She-and they- did an absolutely splendid job, and the site is literally better than ever. Better organized. Better filtering. Better customer interface. We’re uploading more products daily, and can’t wait to use these new options for our next Online Pennywise. (August 13-16)
Check it out. It’s all in plain English, no techsplaining at all.