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Friday, 06 March 2009

Another Top 10 Senior Moment

By Alan Ginocchio of The Cyberspace Dawdler

Alright now, let me see if I can set this up for you properly so that you can appreciate the event.

As everyone knows these days, especially my elder compatriots, seniors are oft times getting a bad rap for being technically challenged when it comes to remote controls, cell phones or even those cordless telephone wonders.

Having said that, I have been having problems with my Comcast cable, right? You know about that kind of stuff. So this past Saturday as I was sitting in my little computer room, I decide it is time to call and duly complain about my problem.

Now I get a really pleasant and cordial Comcast representative with whom to discuss my problem with. At the close of my gory dissertation with regard to my problem, the representative tells me that she needs to send a signal to my Comcast DVR from her location to see if it is responding to incoming information as it should.

I say fine and am fixing to put my phone down and walk into the living room where the television is located when I realize that my phone is cordless and I can take it with me and have this discussion while sitting in front of the television. Right?

Now - let me interrupt this story briefly with a brief detail about me and my telephone relationships. My Panasonic Cordless Telephone is relatively new as I have just recently converted from the old standard plug-in-the-wall, push-button style telephone to the more modern technology. So I still haven’t gotten quite used to the fact that I can carry it around the house with me and it still function properly. My poor little brain still thinks it has a cord. I spend little time on the phone since most of my communication requirements take place via email these days. So my learning by repetition is still a work in progress.

Okay now, having gotten that straight, I’ll continue with the story…

So there I am sitting in the living room watching to see if my television is reacting to the signal being sent by the Comcast representative on the other end of the phone. “Nada!” I tell her. “It still is not working properly!”

At this point, she says that what she needed me to do was to unplug my Comcast DVR from the wall, wait approximately thirty seconds and then plug it back in and to let her know what I am, or am not, seeing on the television after complying with her instructions.

Okay, that is all simple enough right? I lay my relatively new Panasonic Cordless Telephone down on the table and proceed with the given task. After plugging the DVR back in and turning the television back on, I walk back over to the table, pick up the telephone and began describing what I was seeing on the television.

After about a 15-20 second dissertation on the observed results, there was absolutely no response whatsoever from the person on the other end of the phone. As is normal in these situations, I said, “Hello. Hello!” But still no response!

At that exact moment, after uttering an expletive or two, I was seriously considering the act of throwing the telephone across the room for being put on hold or even worse, being hung up on! I looked briefly at the telephone in my hand as if to give it last rites and let her fly when the epiphany occurred.

It was the stark realization that I had been talking into the DVR remote control rather than my new look-alike, high-tech, cordless, can go anywhere, telephone. Well - after all, you have to admit there is an eerie similarity between the two and they definitely feel the same when you’re holding one up to your ear!

So I have now created an identification placard to attach to the refrigerator which will insure that until I get intimately familiar with my new cordless Panasonic Portable Telephone, I will never have to endure another embarrassing senior tech moment. I’m still wondering if the Comcast representative heard me jabbering away into my remote control.

Senior Telephone - Remote ID 06 - SM

PS: I suppose for clarification purposes I need to say to my elder friends, who sometimes get upset at unfounded accusations hurled their way with regard to being technically challenged, that I had one of two choices available to me in formulating the cause of this incident. It was to either define the event as a senior moment or leave the public to draw their own conclusions which might perhaps then lead to someone making it personal. I rest my case!

[EDITORIAL NOTE: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. Instructions are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Hi Alan,

Fun story and not far off the mark as I can tell you.

Years ago, whenever I went to visit my 83 year old mother, I could never find the TV remote. I would ask where it was and Mom Mom would go to the drawer of her table and take out the remote. This puzzled me until I heard her explanation.

"I always keep the clicker in the drawer so it won't start a fire!"


Thanks so much for this wonderful story to which, I feel, many of us can relate. It was fun to read and a great way to start my day.


Your description was hilarious, and so close to home. Thanks for the helpful pictures. But only one for the TV? I now have three: one for on/off and volume; one for channel selection; and yet another for DVD/VCR (currently not working). Like you, I'd better call my cable provider to see if I can coordinate this mess.

Alan, mr. kenju needs one of those cards!!

Thanks for my first laugh out loud today! Well done.

Alan...my sentiments ha ha ha exactly....I am so confused with all the gadgets - you can go bonkeres with tweets, emails, remotes, vhs, beta, vcrs, puters and phones - cell and portable etc. etc. etc....OMG - I hope heaven is gadget free!!!!!

This is so funny, Alan. I can just see you talking blithely into the remote and wondering why you are not hearing anything from the other end. Good story.

omg! Is this Alan from the Rightsell school area....I just know their could not be 2 of those... That is so funny... Who'd thought you would end up in cyberspace writing and for the public to read??? WOW ! me mind is blowed off the wall.
I just read this and remembered the other day when I tried to enter my bank account number into the phone to place a call to the phone banking system... obviously it ended up as an incorrect phone number???

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