I’m writing this on Friday at 8pm. Slightly soused, if you must know.

Just a scant 2 hours ago, Alex and I wrapped up our infamous 30x500 Bootcamp, 7 (really 8) hours a day, two days in a row. Yes, the lessons are pre-recorded, but the homework critique, the guidance, the Q&A? Totally live.

Then Alex and I walked to the restaurant where we’re hosting our speaker’s dinner to talk details.

Then I drank 2 mojitos.

This normally wouldn’t touch me, but I’m wrung out and tired, and the bartenders are friendly and I still haven’t recovered from my mojito deficit incurred by 4 years in that infamously mojito-free zone, Austria.

So believe me when I say: I am sick and tired of fucking missing and shitty tools, ok?

THIS IS WHY I’M PISSED

Yesterday, 30x500 ran like an engine with a timing belt. We were bang on time. The evening Q&A ran a little late, but it’s always a bit of a wildcard anyway.

Today, we blew our schedule first thing.

Somehow we managed to end, again, on-time-ish.

Up til that point though, when we said our final farewells and high-fived, Alex and I kept having to juggle our attentive student-wrangling duties with constant math.

Clock math, which is the worst kind.

Here’s what happened today, & every day, everywhere

This morning Q&A ran 15 minutes over time. Oops. Alex suggested we skip homework review to make up time but I vetoed. Homework review is sacred.

So then we were 25 minutes overtime. Before lunch!

When would we break for lunch?

Would we have to kill one of the coffee & pee breaks?

Is there something we could shorten?

How was this going to work??

To find out, we had to take calculator breaks.

Not even fucking kidding.

Why??

Because product designers are lazy dickheads!

In case there are any event management tool product designers in the audience, I am going to speak slowly and extra clearly:

THIS IS MAXWELL’S DEMON FOR EVENT ORGANIZATION: Time passes, shit gets later. And later. This means:

Shit runs late.

Shit then has to reflow.

Shit then may, or may not, have to be sacrificed.

It’s motherfucking entropy!

Now, you may be all:

Kim Zolciak \"Duh Bitch I Know\"

But product designers seem to have never run or attended an event in their lives, so please feel free to beat them about the head and neck with any trout or other fish you may have about your person.

Maybe then we’ll get software that handles over-runs for us sometime before the heat death of the universe.

Until then…

Muddle-fucking-through!

That’s what we have to do til we all die in a pit of fire or ice. Because of the sheer and unadulterated — nay, joyful! — incompetence of product “designers”, all us conf & event organizers run our events on, basically, stone fucking tablets.

Alex and I use Hackpad (Hacktablet?), so we can “check off” each section as we go (because, NB, no scheduling tool hides shit you already did). But of course any clock times in the schedule are just plain goddamned text, typed and calculated entirely by hand and subject to error.

So, the headline may be: LUNCH 12:15PM but that can be wrong. Was wrong. Alex tweaked times and moved things. And until we actually closed out the last fixed length thing, we couldn’t know.

This is not some fucking special snowflake case. Last time we ran BaconBizConf, we accidentally “gained” an hour in our schedule just this fucking way. In the midst of everything else organizers have to do, we made a simple mathematical error.

We discovered this late. Very fucking late.

I feel like I need to apologize again to the lightning speakers we had to bump.

No, Apple/Google/Yahoo!/Path Calendar will not do the job.

Smartass. Why? This is why:

Apple Calendar App screenshots

There is not a single damn thing about using a calendar app that helps you do this job better, just more goddamn busywork.

What really gets me is this stuff is obvious to anyone with a pair of eyes, and for fuck’s sake, simple to fix!

For fuck’s sake, this is 2014!

We’re in the TWENTY FIRST CENTURY! Doing clock math, by hand, for an activity the human race does thousands of times a day across the world and online specifically!

Why!?!

The Big Lebowski gif

This right here is a big reason why:

@copyhackers @amyhoy well that, and, the total market size of “people who have money and organize conferences” numbers in the 100s globally

— trcull (@trcull) April 18, 2014

No offense to this dude but until I pointed out otherwise, he thought there would be like 100 customers in the entire world for this. Maybe 200. But definitely less than *1000.*

Well, actually…

Event planning and management is a huge fucking industry and it grows bigger moment by moment like some cyclopean creeping horror.

There are DEGREES for it.

Have you ever heard of convention centers? What do you think they build them for, anarchist parties that have no fascist start and end times?!

Tech confs alone are big business, but every industry has events! You think tech confs are big? Specialty medical conferences can have 40,000 attendees!

RubyConf once shared an event hotel with a tanning bed sales conference! It was exactly as weird and orange as you’d expect!

You want to sell tickets? Great, you’ve got 5000 options. You want to actually, you know, run the event you sold all those tickets for? GTFO.

Promise of the future my ass!

The other reason this is really idiotic is that computers are really good at math and ordering things, and humans suck at it.

Which is why it’s extra special stupid to foist computer-work on people, and people work (“promote your event!!”) on computers.

Charlie Chaplin crashing car gif

Event planning software designers: Smart move, you guys.

I don’t ask for much. I really, really don’t.

If there’s a glass slipper out there that does what I’m demanding the universe deliver, I sure as hell can’t find it.

Don’t believe me? Go ahead, Google:

I googled a lot more than this but, believe me, the barren results you see from the above only get worse.

Fuck this\, fuck that cat gif

Again: Not a special fucking snowflake.

Every event needs the tool I am describing. Any you attend, you’ll find an organizer standing in the corner, nervously checking her watch against a piece of paper printed in Draft Mode because, of course, she’ll be reprinting it later. When shit runs late.

Because it always runs late.

And yet the only calendaring tools that exist just keep on keepin’ on, showing you the entire day in the same colors even though things are definitely in the past, cackling while it forces you to act like a glorified Skinnerian pigeon clicking and dragging and clicking and dragging and clicking and dragging just to do the fucking work that rightly belongs to the fucking circuits that add and subtract.

Sometimes I just can’t believe it.

Am I the only designer paying attention?

Because sometimes it feels like it. Don’t think this is self-aggrandizement; in fact, I don’t think I’m in any way a hot shit designer. But I think about things.

Which is why, up til the point that I screamed in frustration and drew a series of stacked parallel lines on a piece of paper, all time zone tools looked like this:

Time Zone Converter Time Difference Calculator

And then this:

The World Clock Time Zone Converter

And since I literally became so apopletic I cried, “Fuck this!”, ripped a piece of paper from the printer and practically assaulted my husband with my furious, slapdash doodle of stacked time lines with city names, and he very gamely implemented and polished it, and we launched it — Every Time Zone — time zone tools start to look like this:

Every Time Zone screenshot

Now people are copying us and acting like duh, obvious, time is a line bro, of course.

And people praise us every day and we get thousands of hits.

For a fucking time zone tool, guys. A TIME ZONE TOOL. After medical records management, the most boring thing you could ever do.

All because I bothered to take 5 minutes and think: Why does this suck so much, and how could it not suck?

In closing:

Time is a line.

Time is a fucking line, guys. It marches inexorably towards the future. And yet, it is different times simultaneously in other places.

And: Events run late. Always.

And yet the most basic of tools for these most basic principles of the universe either suck horrendously, or don’t exist at all.

Time is a line. It’s a motherfucking line. Please for fuck’s sake don’t make me draw it by hand. Please stop forcing me to break out the software equivalent of rounded kindergarten scissors and Elmer’s Glue to do something the fucking computer should do for me.

Fuck innovation. No, seriously, fuck it.

And please, pretty please will somebody, for the love of god, make me a dead simple event scheduling tool so I don’t have to design and develop it myself.

Please?

cartoon people shoveling money into fire

Drunken call to action

“You forgot a CTA,” my husband texted me from the bath tub where he read this and laughed and laughed (with me, I think).

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