The day after New Year’s, I submitted to MyHusbandTheEngineer the Top Ten functions my iApparati won’t do anymore. After the sighing and eye-rolling (his) abated, he focused on the list, which was a pile of yellow stickies.
“If you’d taken these off the monitor months ago so you could actually see the warnings, you could have avoided most of these operator errors,” he said.
In spite of my asking, “Do you ever want to eat a home-cooked meal again?” which he recognized as a hollow threat, he accompanied me to the iWant store—our annual pilgrimage to fix everything that broke over the preceding year and anticipate the new flaws inherent in our Christmas gifts.
They no longer park the fifty-somethings on an ice flow until their numbers pop up, so in less time than it takes to recite the Lord’s Prayer, we’re face-to-face with a techie.
I present my hot pink iPad and iPhone, tastefully clad in an image of my Tales of a Codependent Pet Owner book. MHTE gets involved because we need to straddle the void between my concept of the problem and what the techie will ask.
“For starters,” my husband says, “she needs to know how to Face Time the dog when she goes on a trip.”
“Oh, very simple,” and he begins to explain to me that, “You just hit this button to get the main screen up, then touch the 5th button on the 3rd screen you get to after you rhinoceros the washing machine. If you fruitcake the Subway sandwich you’ll get to France which is where you kangaroo the Twinkie. Follow?”
“Of course”, I answer. “It’s so transparent. I also don’t know how to text.”
“Oh, simpleton!” he exclaims. “Let’s just pull up that screen…MY GAWD! You have 20,000 text messages here—unopened! What plan are you on?”
“I think it’s the one with supplemental psychiatric care. I distinctly remember asking for that when we signed up with you.”
“Well, let’s see. Do you have any friends—or family?”
“None who are technologically-inclined, present company excluded.”
“Good. Because the new plan forbids friends and especially family. But you can reduce your monthly bill 30% by choosing to forsake any real social activity you might have been participating in.”
“Did you say 30% off?!” I ask.
“Yes. But then your friends and family will disappear.”
“And where will they go?” Anxiously.
“Well, into our database, of course. But they won’t even miss you—we’ll be more in touch with them than you ever were.”
“For 30% less. Hmmmm…Can you close the letters with ‘Big hugs, Cathy’?”
“Personal messages reduce the reduction to 25%.”
I ponder this. It’s clear to me that one can either operate technological devices or do meaningful work; you can’t have it both ways. So, I think getting a sizable discount in my bill and letting the rhinoceroses and kangaroos maintain my social life, thereby freeing me to report on the injustice of the left brainers controlling the rest of us with just their fingertips, is a fair trade. Yes! Technology working for me!