Lately, my response to everything is, “I’m retired.”
If I’m asked to lift something heavy, stay up late, or work too hard, I simply say, “I’m retired.
It’s amazing how well this works and how quickly you can train others to think of you as retired.
A few weeks ago, when I was sitting in a chair watching my sister Therese arrange merchandise for her flea market sale, our sister Kathy looked at me resting and then looked at Therese and asked if there was anything she could do to help.
Therese said no and that she didn’t expect anything of me, either.
“You know, Geri’s retired.”
I’ve trained Therese, now I have to train the rest of the world.
In my mind, the rest of the world should just know. Store clerks should see me walking down the aisle and think, “She’s retired. What can I do to make her life better?”
On weekdays, the rest of you who work should get in your cars, drive to your work place, and stay out of my way for eight hours. After all, I’m retired and shouldn’t have to compete with traffic and other people while I walk, bike or grocery shop.
Above all, technology should understand that I’m retired. Well, technology needs a good talking to because it’s not cooperating.
After closing up shop at my vintage sale Saturday after three long, rainy days, and making sure Therese’s van was fully loaded and road safe, I trudged into the house to relax with some HGTV. But the previous night’s storm had knocked out my cable which caused me to make the dreaded call to the cable company. After several minutes of fruitless trouble shooting, she asked me if the TV was on the right station. One click of the button and problem solved.
I then recalled that’s what happened the last time there was a storm so why isn’t that the first question the cable employee asks a frazzled homeowner? I’m retired so I can’t be expected to think of things like that.
That, however, was the easy task. Next, came internet connection. She transferred me to their internet trouble shooter and we immediately had trouble because he didn’t speak English — at least, not the English I speak. For some reason, tech guys have a language all their own and they refuse to acknowledge they might be talking to someone who doesn’t understand geek speak.
I finally snapped when he asked me to carry my laptop over to the router and modem and connect it directly to the modem.
“That’s ridiculous,” I snapped. “I’m not going to stand around next to the TV to use my computer. That won’t work.”
“This is just for troubleshooting,” he calmly explained.
The bad news is that he proclaimed I needed a new router. The good news is that I think he knew I was retired because he never snapped back at me.
So off to the electronics store I trotted where I snagged a guy wearing a Samsung shirt and demanded he find me the easiest to install router ever created.
“I installed this for my mom. It’s really easy.”
“Well, you installed it, not your mom. Think of me as your mom,” I growled, in a tone his own mother has probably never used with him.
“My mom said it looked so easy she could probably do it,” he assured me.
“If you’re lying to me, I’m coming back here and I’ll find you,” I said, with the kind of smile that warned he should leave work immediately and not return until my router was hooked up.
As I suspected, it wasn’t easy so I had to call the store and ask for a tech person who immediately started rattling off gibberish which I didn’t understand.
“Slow down,” I yelled into the phone. “I’m retired. I don’t understand what you’re talking about.”
He continued jabbering as if I’d never even spoken, talking about how some installs are easy and some are difficult and it’s not his fault I didn’t buy tech support.
“When I spend $44 for a piece of equipment that I’m told is easy to install,” I should be able to plug it in and have it work without having to pay someone to install it,” I yelled back.
He didn’t hear me because he was again jabbering about cords.
I finally yelled, “Be quiet and let me ask one specific question.”
He let me ask the question. He couldn’t answer it. He started talking about whose fault it was — not his — and again not listening, so I told him I was disappointed in him, the store, and technology in general.
Then I slammed down the phone, banged around on the computer some more, and accidentally installed it by myself.
By the time that happened, I was tired I didn’t want to use the Internet anymore.
Hey, I’m retired. I’ll resume the fight with technology tomorrow.