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Feeling the Hardware: The Emotionality of Technology-Based Organizational Change
Unformatted Document Text:  Feeling the Hardware, p. 13 Roxanne was noticeably frustrated at this point, shaking her head from side to side. She mumbled and said "It’s rubbish!" A few minutes later, she exclaimed, “Oh, I give up. I can't understand this. It's not an easy system!” Interestingly, Gary displayed little overt reaction to Roxanne’s expressions of frustration. He maintained his calm, patient demeanour and continued to ask questions of Roxanne and make notes based on her answers. He and Mary both seemed to ignore the negativity of Roxanne’s comments, or at least not to react overtly to them. For example, immediately after the “not an easy system comment” Mary was working at another computer and announced how long it took to enter a form “That took 3 minutes. Gary, I wonder if you would follow me for just a minute to see if I'm missing anything.” Gary walked over to Mary’s work station to observe her and Roxanne shortly afterwards got up and did the same. While observing, Roxanne asked a couple of questions to clarify how certain features worked. It seemed as Gary’s calm, non-defensive manner, his easy, non-threatening questioning of Roxanne acted as a “palliative” (Drake & Moberg, 1986) in dealing with her frustration. Even when Roxanne’s expressions of frustration were directed at him, he did not react. For example, Gary had prepared a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet. Roxanne’s copy of it was on the work station where I was seated, and I noticed she had gone through it with a pencil and made some rather pointed criticisms of some of his answers. For example, one of his answers suggested that upper and lower case should be used in entering data. Roxanne’s pencilled-in comment was "Matter of opinion only, not factual." This issue came up in their conversation and the tension was obvious: Gary: I can see why it would be important to put in capital and small letters. Roxanne: Yes, well as far as it looking yuck, that's a matter of opinion. Not fact, opinion. I don't go on opinions, only facts. We've found the system is not case sensitive so it doesn't matter.

Authors: Zorn, Ted.
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Feeling the Hardware, p. 13
Roxanne was noticeably frustrated at this point, shaking her head from side to side.
She mumbled and said "It’s rubbish!" A few minutes later, she exclaimed, “Oh, I give up. I
can't understand this. It's not an easy system!” Interestingly, Gary displayed little overt
reaction to Roxanne’s expressions of frustration. He maintained his calm, patient demeanour
and continued to ask questions of Roxanne and make notes based on her answers. He and
Mary both seemed to ignore the negativity of Roxanne’s comments, or at least not to react
overtly to them. For example, immediately after the “not an easy system comment” Mary was
working at another computer and announced how long it took to enter a form “That took 3
minutes. Gary, I wonder if you would follow me for just a minute to see if I'm missing
anything.” Gary walked over to Mary’s work station to observe her and Roxanne shortly
afterwards got up and did the same. While observing, Roxanne asked a couple of questions to
clarify how certain features worked.
It seemed as Gary’s calm, non-defensive manner, his easy, non-threatening
questioning of Roxanne acted as a “palliative” (Drake & Moberg, 1986) in dealing with her
frustration. Even when Roxanne’s expressions of frustration were directed at him, he did not
react. For example, Gary had prepared a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet.
Roxanne’s copy of it was on the work station where I was seated, and I noticed she had gone
through it with a pencil and made some rather pointed criticisms of some of his answers. For
example, one of his answers suggested that upper and lower case should be used in entering
data. Roxanne’s pencilled-in comment was "Matter of opinion only, not factual." This issue
came up in their conversation and the tension was obvious:
Gary: I can see why it would be important to put in capital and small letters.
Roxanne: Yes, well as far as it looking yuck, that's a matter of opinion. Not fact,
opinion. I don't go on opinions, only facts. We've found the system is not case
sensitive so it doesn't matter.


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