I have low blood sugar, I’m thirsty and I have to go pee. The air conditioning in my car is not working, and I am stuck in a long line of traffic with whining kids in the backseat. This sounds like a bad day, or maybe a bad dream, but it is actually how I feel every time I sit down to my laptop computer.
I am a techno-hater. I avoid things with screens as much as possible, but they are EVERYWHERE! I am not philosophically opposed to computers and the like; I use them for my work and occasional personal needs. I just don’t GET them, and it seems like every time I am using one, something bad happens.
It probably doesn’t help that I am impatient. I save my emotional energy for the people in my life who require gobs of patience. When I get around to checking my email, or using the computer for work, I expect it to WORK, fast and efficiently, like the people in the McDonald’s drive-thru do (most of the time).
I have carpal tunnel syndrome, something that CANNOT be blamed on my extensive use of keyboards. I also have a hard time sitting still for extended periods of time, because my back starts to hurt, and my butt falls asleep. Never mind that I get antsy looking at a screen for more than 20 minutes at a time.
I pay someone else to do my data entry for work, because I hate it THAT MUCH. I feel the same way about papers, so she also files all the hard copies, God bless her.
My problem right now is that I have a GERIATRIC LAPTOP. It doesn’t charge anymore, unless you stand on your head, with one leg out to the side like the old rabbit ears on top of the tv. The battery is so old, there is a message on the screen telling me to throw the whole thing into the closest dumpster, because no one in the First, Second or Third World has a 5-year-old Dell anymore.
One of my friends is a Technology Person. I love her, because she only giggles quietly at the stupid questions I ask over and over again. She is so patient. I pay her, too. Maybe that helps.
A year ago, the hard drives on my laptop and desktops both tanked within two weeks. I was strangely serene; having the perfect excuse to ignore emails, Face Book and everything else. However, going to the library to do essential things got annoying, so my techy friend said she had an old hard drive she could put in the laptop to buy me some time before I had to get a new one.
Yay! Spared the trauma of going into a store where the lighting makes me want to run back out the door, and people are pleasant enough, but they speak a foreign language that I don’t understand.
Did I mention I am CHEAP? I don’t want to spend HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS on a piece of equipment that makes me want to barf. So I suffer with the old pink piece of crap.
When I type, the cursor randomly jumps all through the text, like a three-year-old in a gift shop. I can’t take my eyes off it, or it will be hijacking the previous paragraph, like the toddler fondling expensive breakables lovingly.
Then there is my internet connection. I pay $85 a month for it to NOT work. That’s just the internet, mind you, because I don’t have cable (read: cheap bookworm). So half my time is spent turning things off and on and going to “settings.” I know you are impressed with my technical knowledge. I actually prefer the “Fonz” method, which for the younger people in our audience is when you hit a machine, to make it work.
I’m ready to do Mr. Winkler one better and pitch the thing out the nearest window.
So my daughter comes into my office to complain that her internet connection isn’t working. Because she is doing something REALLY IMPORTANT on her school I Pad right now. (Don’t even get me started).
She stands by as I frantically try to finish my business online, while battling the orange flashing YOU DON’T HAVE ANY MORE BATTERY POWER, EVEN THOUGH IT’S PLUGGED IN LIGHT, the carpal tunnel, the ache in my back, the cursed jumping cursor, while standing on my head, waiting for the internet to re-appear.
“Mom!” she squawks. “You really need to get a new computer.”
God help us; she might be right.