Introducing Maslow's Pyramid of Irritation

Last weekend Buddy and I had the honor of officiating at a friends' wedding. We stayed up late the night before the wedding, putting the final touches on the bilingual ceremony. We had one document with the English text in it and another with the Chinese. Our printer was broken so our plan was for Buddy to save both documents to a USB stick and drive to the local equivalent of Kinko's the next morning and get them printed out just in time for the ceremony. He set out bright and early.

But around 9:20am, he called me from the print shop and said that he had been able to print his Chinese document but not my English one. The reason? He had saved his file as a regular old Microsoft Word document. But I had saved my file as an .odt file, which is one of the extensions used for Open Document files. You can create them using Open Office. If documents were light bulbs and word processors were lamps, .odt would be a normal light bulb that fits into almost any lamp, while .doc would be a complicated halogen bulb that only fits into Microsoft lamps and Microsoft lamps would only take that bulb. (OK, that's over-simplified but for any non-techies reading this blog, that analogy gives you the general picture.)

Anyway, the local print shop only had Microsoft Word – not OpenOffice. So they were able to print Buddy's .doc file but not my .odt one.

For me this meant that I had one hour and 40 minutes to write the ceremony out by hand. Yikes!

I did what any mature person would do in this situation. I began to work my way up Maslow's Irritation Pyramid.

First, I directed my irritation at the most obvious target – my husband. Just to be safe why had he not saved my file to the USB stick as a .doc file (OpenOffice can do that!) or even an .rtf file or .txt file for crying out loud?

But being mad at my husband is too easy. He's the little guy here.

I worked my way up the Pyramid to be irritated at the .odf format. Why can't you be more ubiquitous, you stupid file format?! Who cares if you're backed by hundreds of entities around the world like IBM, Sun and even the State of Massachusetts? If my local print shop doesn't know about you and doesn't know how to open you, you are useless to me!!!

Finally, I made my way to the top of the Pyramid – Microsoft Word. Yes, I was ready to throw rocks at Goliath. OpenOffice can open .doc files. Word, why can't you return the gesture and have the decency to open .odt files?! And yes I know about the plugin that I can download but that's way too much work for me and obviously for my local print shop too.

Now Dear Readers, you might ask if anywhere along the Irritation Pyramid if I was ever irritated with myself for waiting until the last minute to print out the ceremony. My answer is of course not, what good would that have done?

If you want to see the ceremony Buddy and I finally used please tune in tomorrow.

Comments:

Why didn't you just use pdf? OpenOffice has great pdf support. Word possibly doesn't but CutePDF comes to the rescue :)

Posted by Shubho on November 05, 2007 at 03:06 AM CST #

i was also very angry with Microsoft Powerpoint before cos I did a presentation using Open Office and couldn't open it later on when I was going to present it. Grrrr... understand how you felt, totally.

Posted by tjmummy on November 30, 2007 at 08:03 AM CST #

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