August 17, 2012, 11:21 AM — For reasons I cannot begin to fathom, it seems I am on Google’s s**t list.
First there were my problems with my sarcasm site being booted off of Adsense (twice) with no chance for appeal. Then Google put my G+ account on double secret probation for a month after apparently confusing me with some spammer. Now, it seems, Google Docs is out to get me.
Frankly, I have never been a big fan of Google Docs. I have always found it sluggish and laggy; it changes fonts on me randomly, and sometimes simply doesn’t do what I tell it to do, like delete certain words. But I decided to try it again because I was using a computer on loan and didn’t want to hassle with installing Dropbox on it or emailing files back and forth to myself. And, I thought hopefully, maybe Google had finally fixed these problems.
So I opened up my document this morning and discovered something that looked like this:
I took a deep breath, calmed down, and reloaded the page. Instead of being all bollixed up with HTML code errors, I got nada – no document, no text, nuthin – with all the menus grayed out. I restarted my browser, logged out and logged back in. Still blank.
It wasn’t a long document – only about a page and a half – but it was due TODAY. So, attempting to quell my panic, I went to the Google Support Forums, which is the only form of help Google offers. And there I found people who had the exact same problem as I did, all of them within the past few days. Like this one, for example:
My documents all went blank yesterday also. Table are fine, but documents are all grayed out. You can't check revision history because you can't open any commands. This is a terrible situation for a writer! Anyone at GOOGLE listening?????
Some Level 13 Google volunteer named “Ziggy” was trying to help them, but he clearly did not have a clue. Fortunately, another similarly afflicted user weighed in and noted that this problem only happened in Chrome. Google Docs worked fine in Internet Explorer and Firefox.
Yes, that’s right: Google’s own browser doesn’t work with Google Docs. That sound you hear is my hand slapping my forehead.
I quickly opened IE, downloaded a copy of my document, and kissed Google Docs goodbye. Actually, I waved to it from a speeding car and then threw trash on its lawn.