Some say change is good. For me, too much is changing too fast. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on something, poof. It changes again. And finding help to adapt can be quite frustrating and time consuming. My two undergrad and two graduate degrees and general intelligence prove useless against unrefined search engines and insufficiently detailed FAQs. Worse, you can get different answers to your questions and not be sure which is right.
Health insurance: As if paying $461/month isn’t enough, Aetna now says I’ll have to pay $527 to keep my plan, a 14.3% increase. The letter says if I switch to a higher deductible, the rates quoted aren’t guaranteed. But when I called the number listed, I was assured that the letter is merely a template and my new rate is guaranteed, and without reapplying. Only if I switched to a plan that didn’t exist when I first started with Aetna would I have to reapply. But when you look at the plan descriptions, I can’t find where it says when the plans began. Hmmm. And if/when the Obama plan/public healt insurance comes to fruition, will we be able to understand and use it?
Facebook: The recent “upgrades” not only annoy me, it seems some of my friends’ updates are displayed randomly instead of all the time. And how do you get status updates to display as your default instead of the endless news feed?
The publishing industry: aspiring authors now have a mind-boggling number of venues/options to choose from. Should we pursue the ever-shrinking market of traditional, NY print publishers? Seek a small press? Try an e-publisher, and if so, which one…especially when some come and go within months? Self-publish…through whom? With the explosion of social media and number of messages competing for our time and mental bandwith, how do you make any book stand out in a crowd?
Technology: Windows XP on my PC, Vista on my laptop. Who knows what great features these have I’m not using. Now there’s Windows 7. Every time you get a new phone, the learning curve grows. I was gifted with a nook, and it took 10 minutes to figure out just how to get the thing out of the packaging. Figuring out non-intuitive features…like the fact that you can’t use your finger on the scroll bar but only on the actual list of options–was frustrating.
Job applications: Changed from mail to online is fine, and saves postage. But every position, every site requires inputting different information; it’s a lot harder to reuse cover letters or answers. You don’t even get rejection letters or e-mails anymore. Yesterday I got a text that read like spam about a job I’d applied for, plus for some reason it showed up in a list of unrelated texts. Apparently it’s from a legitmate applicant vetter, so I’m glad I called.
Auditioning: Trending toward more online, which is easier. It saves the time/expense of traveling and can be done at your leisure within a certain time frame, instead of exactly at your appointed 5 or 10 minute time slot. But it’s impersonal. There’s no opportunity for building relationships, because you don’t get to meet those doing the casting or chat with your agent. You don’t get to network with others auditioning. Nor do you get any feedback or direction on your submission; directing yourself is difficult.
What changes will today bring?
Some articles on dealing with change: