It is late Sunday afternoon, every brain cell has leaked out of Crabby Old Lady's head and she is incapable of useful thought to write a real blog post.
She just wants a few words on the screen so TGB readers have their usual path to the link to today's Elder Storytelling Place story at the bottom, and Crabby wouldn't argue if you think it's better worth your while to just scroll down now and click over to that website.
In retrospect, it probably wasn't a good idea to get a new cell phone and computer printer on the same day but Crabby didn't plan it that way; they arrived on their own.
Undoubtedly, you've been in this kind of tech hell yourself. For both pieces of equipment, she needed to find a bunch of necessary passwords including the one for her wireless network that is 7,482 digits long. None of the entry boxes allow Crabby to see what she's typing and it's hard not to screw up such a gargantuan password which, of course, she did. Many times.
And blah, blah, blah. Glitches at every step of the setup, each one of which takes at least an hour to figure out. A big part of the problem (as you have surely run into) is that illiterates write the setup instructions and user manuals.
And this time, not even translators from Japanese could be blamed (which sometimes provides moments of hilarity). But this was all native English that Crabby's sixth grade teacher would have flunked her for.
(Do you think this speaks the lower U.S. educational standards social scientists, politicians and test administrators keep telling us about?)
Remember the good old days before cell phones when there was just a telephone on a table in a room. No setup, no decisions, no possible way for anything to go wrong. It rang. You spoke. That's at least one excellent reason for old folks to lament the good old days.
But aside from that lengthy password, getting the cell phone in working order was almost easy-peasy. After transferring the apps Crabby wanted to keep and filling in way too many other but shorter passwords, it was just a matter of learning a few new proprietary methods of doing the same old things on a different brand of phone.
The real problem was the new printer – hardly the high-end type that makes your morning coffee and feeds the cat too. And the setup went fine until the moment to test it with a printed page.
It kept telling Crabby, “Open the output tray.” The output tray WAS open. Crabby opened and closed it many times. She re-installed the software. She plugged and unplugged the power cable crawling under the desk to do that two or three times. The message never changed and it refused to print
So on Sunday afternoon, already frazzled, Crabby spent one hour and 20-odd minutes on the phone to India during which time she crawled under the desk to plug and unplug the printer two more times. She pushed buttons again and again as instructed. She gave the representative reams of numbers, information and answered the same questions more than once.
Then she got switched to another person who put her through the same routine a second time. Damned good thing she got the phone working first.
In the end, Crabby was told the solution would take two weeks - she would need to return the BRAND NEW printer and they would send her a USED REFURBISHED printer. What kind of scam is this.
The customer service supervisor was immovable - refurbished replacement only. You can probably guess that no one at that end of telephone call needs any clarification about Crabby Old Lady's point of view.
Although Crabby is exhausted from it all, she has had a revelation: Who needs brain games? Just buy new tech equipment – two or more at once is advisable for this purpose - and every cell you've got up there will get a heavy workout.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Karen Zaun Kennedy: I am From