What’s your Futz Factor?
My Futz Factor is extremely low.
A Futz Factor is how much a person is willing to futz with a thing, usually a piece of technology, computer software maybe, trying to fix it, before they just give up. Usually in a burst of anger and swear words.
On a scale of 1 to 10, my Futz Factor is about a 3½. I’ll restart an app. I’ll unplug and re-plug in a computer. But any more futzing and I start loosing patience… quickly.
Unknown glitches caused the New York Stock Exchange, United Airlines, and WSJ.com computers to crash today. I’m sure some very patience people with astronomically high Futz Factors got them back on-line.
I had pretty much the same exact experience only with the Fitbit I got for my birthday almost a year ago. Last week Saturday, it just stopped communicating with its app on my phone. Just like that, the Fitbit decided the two of them weren’t on speaking terms anymore.
I clicked around on the app a bit, searching for the device. Searching… Searching… Nothing. I went to Fitbit’s website, tried a few troubleshooting “tips.” Each tip involved multiple steps, waiting for stuff to reboot, waiting for stuff to charge, or in one case shoving an unbent paperclip into a hole I didn’t know my Fitbit had… Still nothing.
I could feel my Futz Factor kick in and start to build, ratcheting up: 1… 2… 2½…
That’s when I gave up. Screw it; I didn’t need that kind of stress. I sent Fitbit a quick email to tell them their handy hints did not do the trick, buh-bye, it’s been a slice.
Four or five days later, after I’d let it go, an email reply set off an exchange between me and more than likely a customer service algorithm. It suggested possible fixes, the same ones I had already tried. I tried them again anyway, my Futz Factor climbing, muttering the whole time with outbursts of: “Why doesn’t this damn thing work?” “This thing should work, dammit!” “For a hundred dollars, you’d think the damn thing would work!”
Fitbit and I have now shifted into the “sift through old credit card statements to find the futzing receipt” phase of the futzing process that will more than likely lead to the tracking-down-a-futzing-box-the-right-size and standing-in-the-futzing-line-at-the-futzing-post-office phase.
So it’s a real good thing I wasn’t in charge of today’s technical snafu. I would’ve hit my Futz Factor in the first ten minutes and plunged us into another stock market crash in a covered wagon.
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