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I am about to jump into the depths of the sea of modern technology, despite the fact that I’m probably going to drown.
So far, I have been able to resist all pressure to buy and own a computer. Everyone insisted I would love one once I owned one. How they could think this after having experienced my disastrous encounters with all machines, I don’t know.
The only pieces of modern technology I own and operate with fairly little troubles are a microwave oven and a cordless phone. Even these afford me some problems. The buttons on the phone are too darned small and the oven, for some reason, causes a circuit break often enough to make me splutter. To throw the breaker I have to stumble out into the hall and throw the switch. At breakfast time and later in the evening this is somewhat inconvenient, especially in the winter when the hallway is a piece of Antarctica.
Also, I have a dreadful habit of never having the phone with me when it rings. This involves more stumbling around with a walker. Fortunately, my usual callers are aware of how long it can take me to navigate from point A to point B, and will let the thing ring until I get there. I’ve also learned that telemarketers are trained to let a phone ring just four times before moving on to the next call, so I never rush to answer the ring until it hits four. If it stops, so do I.
Speaking of telemarketers, I really feel sorry for them. They are, after all, just folks, usually students, just trying to earn some money by doing something guaranteed to subject them to abuse. If I do happen to get snared by one, I always refuse their desperate offer politely.
This is true of all my consumer complaints and lately I’ve had 5 months of painful phone experiences. I’ve always prefaced my call with the apology for my spleen, assuring the poor person that I’m aware they are not personally responsible for the abuse I’m suffering at the hands of their employees. I also hasten to explain that if it sounds as if I’m shouting at them, I am, but only because my hearing is not so good and like all people with hearing loss, I compensate by shouting at the person I can’t hear. That’s weird, isn’t it?
Johnny Carson used to say that he never learned how to set the digital clock on his VCR. I not only can’t set that clock, I have trouble with all digital settings. My microwave was purchased because it has a dial setting. Anytime I’ve used a digital timer I’ve found myself cooking something 30 minutes instead of 30 seconds and visa versa.
I’ve long since stopped using a vacuum machine. Instead, I have a small Fuller Brush carpet sweeper that I’ve had for years. The little sucker could sweep up a dog if it got in its way and I love the quiet way in which it operates. I’m also enamored with the modern “Swiffer” tools for sweeping and mopping floors. They are so light weight, easy to use, and such thorough jobs. No shaking off the porch, no wringing out a mop or carrying a bucket. They’re wonderful, as are the Mr Clean bathroom cleaning kit and the Swiffer duster all with long or short handle options. I love zipping around on my electric scooter, dusting the tops of high objects and getting into tight spots, hitherto hard to reach.
So, lately, I’ve been feeling pretty efficient and up to date, having conquered some housework problems and figuring out how to use my little DVD machine. This morning I was reduced to a shamble when Bruce called and informed me that my son in Saratoga had sent me a computer.
“Oh no,” I wailed. Of course I will act completely delighted and grateful. What else can I do? This is a payback for giving my mother a Hydrangea plant every Mother’s Day, which I learned was the last thing in the world she ever wanted. Caring for plants was not her thing.
Tomorrow the blankety blank contraption will be set up and next weekend Adele will try to teach me how to use it. I can see Sylvia in the office, shuddering as she reads this.
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