Yes, I freely confess that I’ve become a Grumpy Old Man. The latest thing to trigger a stream of grumpiness from me is the experience I’ve just had with the many-tentacled Google…
It all began innocently enough. I went to check what new postings there were in the Help forum for Picasa. When I arrived, it was to discover that the furniture had been rearranged, so to speak. The old forum had been replaced by a Google Product Forum. Well, that’s not so bad – the old forum capabilities were pretty limited (you could not post images or screenshots, for example), but one thing really irritated me: the display language had been changed to Dutch. Yes, I realise that I live in the Netherlands, and I do speak Dutch, but, call me old-fashioned, I just prefer my PC and web environment to use English whenever possible.
So I then spent the next ten minutes trying to find out how to change the Dutch pages back into English. Finally, after much hunting around, and wandering through various haunted wings of the Google palace, it dawned on me that the change of the forum software was not all that Google were up to. It seems as though they want us all to move over to Google+, and change over our old Google accounts to Google+ accounts.
Oh, mercy, not yet another bloody Facebook social networking and time-wasting gewgaw! I have thus far successfully resisted joining Facebook, and I really did not want to join Google+. However, I underestimated the sneakiness of Google (whatever happened to the “do no evil” mantra that Google were supposed to have? Seems to me that they are just like any other faceless Corporation). It turns out that I could elect to have the new forum (and other Google sites) displayed in English – but only if I signed up to Google+ and upgraded my account. Sigh, so that’s what I’ve done, I’ve drunk the Kool-aid.
And then, to really light a fire under my grumpiness, I then received an email from Google+, that started off as follows:
Er, “Hey Geoff”? I’m sorry, but that’s Hello Mr. Coupe, to you, you insolent young whippersnappers. You already know my age – it’s in my old account – and I expect to be treated with a modicum of politeness as befits my age. And I very much doubt that “you’re glad I’m here”. I suspect the phrase has all the sincerity of “have a nice day” being uttered by some poor benighted wage slave in a fast food establishment. Also, if there’s a word that invokes in me the same pain that I feel when I hear fingernails being scraped down a blackboard, it’s that last word in the screenshot above: “cool!”. People who use the word “cool!” (the exclamation mark is audibly present) as a term of approbation deserve to have a special Circle of Hell invented just for them.
Oh well, I’ll just wallow in my grumpiness for a bit longer. I expect I’ll have to go and pat the dogs at some point to restore some semblance of normality.