I have not been an early adopter of technology.
Quite the opposite.
If I could still be using a manual typewriter to communicate, that would probably be my favorite option.
Alas, unless I want to share my thoughts with one reader at a time, that’s not working so well.
So, yes, I use a computer. But I do not embrace it.
I am justified in my feelings of animosity considering the events of the last five days.
On Saturday, after a two-hour power outage, my router refused to return to action. This is not the first time. In fact, whenever there is a power outage I end up buying a new router.
When I called the router company, I was told my free telephone advising days were over. But the woman from India with an accent I could barely decipher told me she would be happy to help me for a fee of $129 a year.
I believe I called her horrible and an employee of a horrible company. I then hung up and called Charter, having decided I would rent a router that Charter would then fix for free.
“It will take you 10 minutes to hook it up,” said the cheerful Charter employee when I expressed dismay about being able to install it myself.
“How optimistic of you,” I replied, trying to keep a scowl from my face.
Hate to say I told you so, but I ended up calling Charter to talk me through the process before the phone helper decided she would have to send out a technician. (I am proud to say that my complete lack of understanding for all things bytes has broken more than one would-be helper’s spirit.)
The technicians arrived the next day, did their diagnostic thing and got everything running and tightened the connections. So by Tuesday afternoon I was back in business.
Have I forgotten to mention that automated phone operator from hell? I talked to her at the router company and again at Charter. She is so relentlessly cheerful that she never listens to what I’m actually saying and tries to help me until she finally concludes, “I’ll let you talk to an agent.”
It was exhausting, but I got through it. My technology was all operating now and all was right with the world.
Then I left the house this morning only to find a UPS box on my doorstep. The name on the package was not mine and the address listed on the package does not exist, so UPS chose my doorstep as the next best thing.
So I called the number on the package. That turned out to be for tracking hazardous waste.
That person gave me a number for Amazon Prime. More automated operators, more agents who couldn’t help me. They told me to call my UPS office. That automated message told me to call the UPS 800 number. And waiting for me there was that relentlessly cheerful automated voice who would not accept my statement of my problem. My package wasn’t missing or damaged or late. It simply wasn’t my package. After a few minutes of yelling into the phone, “Let me talk to an agent,” she relented and said, “I’ll put you through to an agent.
Now I had to read off tracking numbers and explain again that this isn’t my package and this address doesn’t exist.
“Just pick up the package,” I said, creeping dangerously close to my yelling voice. “I’m leaving it on the back step and you need to send someone to pick it up.”
“And what was that address?”
So I had to tell her the whole story again.
When I hung up, I advised myself to step away from the computer. And for once, I ‘m taking my own advice. I’m getting out in the garden where I belong.