Friday, November 05, 2004

Refresh the Page

Oh boy, now this one is fun.

Wait: Insert "NOT" before the word 'fun' in the above sentence.

That's better.

The other day I was registering for my classes. Nothing too spectacular was going on, and I was getting excited as my "time" drew near.

At my school, everyone is assigned a special "Date" and "Time" that the mainframe will allow you to register. It's because there are 20 thousand people at this college...but no matter...

So I go to my "iCampus Portal" at the PRECISE time (down to the second, I don't want to waste any precious time when I'm actually ALLOWED in to register).

Please note that everything is also online, in case you are dense and have not figured it out yet, I will say again: The registration process is -- Online. Okay, dense people down, geniuses to go.

So I click on the link that says "Register Here". It comes up...and stalls for some reason. My computer seems to have frozen --

And it crashes.

"WHAT THE HELL?!" I yell at my computer, feeling as if the destiny of my very life was melting away. I quickly jam the Power button on my computer, and it snaps shut, as if irritated at me instead.

Damn computers.

I eagerly turn it back on after about 10 seconds, shooting a glance at my clock. "4:02" it glares back at me, mocking my very existence, as my entire life seemed to be poised at this very moment.

I click on my "iCampus Portal", click on the same link to go to my registration process...and...

My computer stalls.

I sit quietly, praying for tranquility within my soul at this point and the patience to resist serving my imaginative mind, which involves my computer and a blowtorch.

For the grace of God, my computer sprang back to life! The page reloads, and...

"An error has occurred, please go back and try again."


I can do this.

I click on the link to take me back. I click on "Register Here." again.

"An error has occurred, please go back and try again."

So, I did it again.

"The portal is down for maintenance. Please wait a few minutes, then refresh the channel."

I waited approximately 2 and 1/2 minutes, bringing the time to a stunning "4:07".

"The portal is down for maintenance. Please wait a few minutes, then refresh the channel."

By the grace of God, I wish now my computer would have shut off again; then I would have had the time to fire up the blowtorch at least...

Instead, I am left staring blankly at the neon-green font, flashing across my monitor screen again and again.

My roommate walked in a few minutes later, and leaned over to see "What was up." I couldn't speak, or move. I just sat there, my elbow on my desk clutching my hair into a tight ball in a strained sort of way. I just kept refreshing the channel over and over again, like some sort of weird human-robot.

The neon-green lettering was burning into my retinas now, but I didn't care if I had to see the words "An error has occurred..." for the rest of my life - as long as the registration would work...

After a few minutes of staring at the crazed person clicking 'Refresh' every 5 seconds or so, she chortled because she doesn't register until next week.

"Look on the bright side," she said bemusedly, looking at my clock, which now read '4:17', "At least no one else will be able to register now, right?"

"Don't make me throw this at you." I say grumpily, indicating my desktop computer.