please wait while we try to connect you…….’
Not even my nearest and dearest would suggest that I am anything more than vaguely competent technically. It’s therefore a little worrying that my entire life now seems to depend on iCloud, iMac iPhone and iPad. Oh, and on my reading glasses too, as it happens. I am the perfect example of Steve Job’s genius in creating essential tools we didn’t know we needed. It’s just a shame that the only App for Patience involves playing cards rather than soothing music when it all goes wrong.
And boy, has it gone wrong. I am currently in the middle of a technological nightmare, and my naturally chilled and laid-back personality is under a certain amount of strain as I attempt to reconnect myself.
Firstly, Death, War, Plague and Famine have a new Horseman: the Glitch. The Glitch rode into my life hot on the heels of my last blog post, and laid waste to the insides of my iMac. Of course, this was timed to occur exactly a fortnight after the manufacturer’s warranty expired, and produced the spinning beachball of death that is the stuff of Apple shaped nightmares. It was tempting to blame the slowdown on my attempts to upload photos of HN relaxing on holiday, but as the system began to grind to a halt it became obvious that it had a major problem.
So, therefore, did I. My dissertation’s trapped inside. Cue a major meltdown. Mine, that is.
Eldest son nobly attempted to rescue my sanity, if nothing else, and proceeded to uninstall the Operating System. This was not good for my nerves. I do have TimeCapsule, another entertaining little Apple gadget that my youngest child thinks will allow time travel at times of crisis, possibly to escape my yelling. TimeCapsule didn’t want to know. Things weren’t looking good.
Ah, well, at least I have an iPad……..
……except that the Glitch is back. I have an email from my data provider informing me that my rolling data plan payment cannot be collected because my card is due to expire. In six weeks time.
The conversation with Customer Services was enlightening and infuriating in equal measure.
– Hi, you’ve declined my card? Without warning?
– Yes, the computer requires cards to have a valid until date of 3 months or more. You need to register a new card.
– But it won’t let me register a new card.
– You can’t do it via wireless. You have to use your 3G connection.
– But you’ve just stopped my data plan. Without warning. I now don’t have a 3G connection!
– Sorry, you can only update your count via your iPad settings. When you have 3G, update the card details then.
Customer bangs head on desk…
Later I ring back again to speak to someone who might understand my plight. I’m in luck.
I have to give her my micro sim serial number. I have no idea what or where that is. After some rummaging down the sides of my iPad I locate a hole I can stick a pin in. Except I don’t have one. Call handler waits patiently while I rummage in my desk drawer for a paper clip that will fit. Bingo! Excitement as the micro sim pops into view is short lived, as I promptly drop it from its teeny tiny holder onto the carpet. Call handler reads a book while I rummage through two handbags for my reading glasses so that I can a) crawl across the carpet looking for the bloody thing and b) read the teeny tiny numbers printed in suitably microscopic print. She says it’s ‘burnt out’ and I need a new one. I know the feeling.
My normal response to stress is to drink coffee. Wandering into the kitchen, I encounter Paul and John, the builders currently demolishing the back wall of the room. They would like tea, apparently. They would also like lightbulbs so that they can see the mess they are making.
I take myself off to buy light bulbs from B&Q. Have you noticed how unemployment is rising only slightly faster than the proliferation of tiny little automated check out desks? Me too. Anyway, I thought I’d use one to save a few minutes..
You have to do everything Slowly and Precisely with an automated checkout, otherwise it Gets Upset. Next time I want to be nagged by a tinny voice I’ll put Theresa May’s speeches on loop. The problem with light bulbs is that they Do Not Weigh Very Much.
– ‘please put item in the bagging area’
I place item in the bag
– ‘put the item in the bagging area!’
I lift lightbulb up and then place it back to see if the sensor works if I bang it.
– ‘Put the item back!’
– ‘I have put it back you stupid machine…..’
After four rounds of this, I paid up, just to get out of there. The machine’s parting shot was a tinny admonition to ‘remember my receipt’. Not even an automated thank you.
Back home again, I decide to call in the medics. The Diagnosis is a hard drive failure, and so my one year old machine is currently languishing on the bench of someone far more technically competent than I am, being given the kiss of life. Apparently it has ‘fluctuating temperature issues’. Great – from bright young thing to menopausal machine in a few months.
My only consolation is that in this fast moving world, youth is not always an advantage. I return to the kitchen, where Paul and John have decided to try and make their own tea. I find them, stove top kettle in hand, patting the silent bulk of my AGA in utter bewilderment at the absence of sockets and knobs.
They have no idea how to work the machine that really sits at the centre of my universe 🙂