Monday, November 30, 2009

older folks + technology = ERROR

The last few days have really reminded me about what amusing creatures the older folks of the the world are....

last weekend I went to visit my great Aunt and Uncle whom I haven't visited for a couple years and my dad wanted to show them videos of my niece Bailey, since they haven't seen her yet. When my dad pulled out the chords to hook his video camera up to their TV, my great uncle got a somewhat annoyed look on his face and warned my father " you better not go messing with those wires 'cause it took my son hours to hook everything up, and I don't know how to reconnect it if you mess it up... and tomorrow there are some football games that i am NOT going to miss ." My dad took Uncle Bill's lack of confidence in him in stride and assured my (great) Uncle that he was going to be very careful and it shouldn't be too hard to just plug his camera in... 15 minutes later the camera was plugged in and my dad asked Uncle Bill to put the TV on channel 3... so my uncle changed the cable channel to 3. My dad tried to play the video ... it didn't show up on the TV... so my dad asked my uncle if he had a separate remote that controlled only the TV and not the satellite. Uncle Bill showed my dad where the remote for the TV was and my dad tried to change the channel. It didn't work... Uncle Bill was QUITE VISIBLY annoyed and concerned at this point "THAT REMOTE WORKED BEFORE YOU GOT HERE" He began.. " Oh maybe the batteries are dead, I'll try putting in some new batteries I brought" my dad interjected "WELL THE BATTERIES WORKED FINE BEFORE YOU GOT HERE ! IF I HAVE TO CALL A GUY TO COME OUT HERE YOU'RE PAYING THE BILL - I AM NOT MISSING MY FOOTBALL GAMES TOMORROW" my uncle pouted... By now my mom, great aunt and I had given up on trying to make pleasant conversation in the background while the boys messed with the TV and were all now intently watching my dad to see if he was going to pull this off or if my parents and I were going to find ourselves suddenly and forever banished from the house. My greatest worry was that we were going to have to cut our visit short and I wasn't going to get to eat any of the delicious smelling Chile Rellenos that my (great) aunt had made...

After my dads brand new batteries did not work, my uncle abandoned any sliver of confidence he might have had in my father, " YOU CALL MY SON AND TELL HIM WHAT YOU DID SO HE CAN TELL YOU HOW TO FIX IT" Uncle Bill demanded. After a failed attempt to explain that he hadn't even removed or touched any of the wires that were already plugged in, my father resigned himself to the fact that there was no other way to get my uncle to settle down than to call his cousin and tell him that he had somehow broken the remote" Ok, I think I have his number in the car, I'll go get it" my dad finally said " NO I'VE GOT IT RIGHT HERE ! " Uncle Bill insisted... clearly he was as worried that my dad was going to just drive off leaving us to fix the situation...

So my dad called up my cousin and started to explain the problem... I can only imagine the laugh my uncle Rick was having on the other end of the phone, when my uncle suddenly decided that my dad was explaining the problem wrong "HERE JOHN LET ME TELL HIM WHAT YOU DID" Uncle bill said, ripping the phone away from my father and consequently robbing him of any chance of redemption that he might have had " HE BROKE THE REMOTE, IT WONT TURN THE TV ON ANYMORE" Uncle Bill explained to his son... "Oh ok I'll try that" Uncle Bill said as he pressed the "TV" button on his universal remote... and Presto- The TV magically turned on... It was pretty amusing to see the whole thing play out... I knew from the second that my Uncle told my dad not to touch the TV that my dad was totally screwed, and I had a feeling the "try the TV button" tip had probably been given to Uncle Bill a few times before... later when we were driving home my dad told my mom and I the only thing that my uncle was able to say to him before the phone was yanked away was "Boy I'm glad this is you and not me"... The Chile Rellenos alone would have made the 3 hour drive to Grass Valley worth the trip, but that TV fiasco definitely made it even more memorable

A few weeks ago I mailed an invoice for $ 1,405.00 to an Elderly customer- after reaching a frustrating impasse when trying to get her to read me her credit card # over the phone (Her son had originally put the charges for the move on his card, but our driver had only taken down 15 of the 16 digits of the card number then when I had called to get the missing digit he decided it would be easier if I just contacted his mother directly for payment... When I called her, she did a great job telling me the numbers on the front of the card, but somehow that darn security code on the back was just too complicated for her 'cause she kept reading me either the first 4 or the last 4 digits off of the front of the card when i asked her to read the last 3 digits on the back of the card).

I always worry a little bit when a customer has an outstanding bill... so I was relieved yesterday to see an envelope with her name on the return address... but when I looked at the amount on the check, I was baffled to see that she had made it out for $ 119.00. ... I figured I must have made an error on the bill I had sent her... somehow I must have mailed another customers bill, but I checked the 2nd copy of the bill that I had kept with her paperwork and I could not find anywhere she could have come up with such a random amount... and then I looked at the address... room 119.... could it be? was she so senile she mailed me a check made out for the amount of her room number... I can only assume she did, and I gotta say it's a pity she did not live in room 9999 'cause that would have more than covered her move... as it is, I have mailed her a copy of her check and a new bill... hopefully we'll get to $1,405.00 some day...

Today while driving home from work my dad called me. (Tony had just set up a new lap top for him while he and my mom were visiting for Thanksgiving...) my dad asked " I got the lap top out of the box... now how do you plug it in ? " what ? I thought to myself has my dad suddenly caught the disease? - This old-people-are-bat-shit-crazy disease that seems to be going around lately... What's going on here my dad is not a tech geek, but I know he's seen a plug before . "well did you find the part with the 2 prongs?" I asked, only half jokingly... my dad said that he had and ended up figuring out on his own that he had to plug the wall plug into the powers upply and the power supply into the lap top... so I guess that is understandable... Most of his other questions he called with throughout the night were understandable too... and dad if you're reading I'm not making fun of you it was just so funny to hear you say (after the last few days that I've had) "how do you plug it in" ?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Just Ignore this one... its for my benefit only

Hello self, I’m writing to you because I think it is somehow less creepy and more socially acceptable for us to communicate this way rather than communicating verbally . Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that we're REALLY crazy… but there are those who would if they heard us chattering about at work and such. I know we just get lonely sitting in an office all day by ourselves, but some people, even you and I at times, think that it’s crazy to talk to ourselves… so lets try to do this instead from now on.

Writing to each other is actually totally acceptable and even encouraged by lots of people. It’s weird ‘cause it seems to be the exact same thing as talking to ourselves, but when we write it out, we’re just keeping a dieary or a journal and we're being reflective and creative and the same people that would say we are crazy for TALKING to ourselves would SUGGEST TO US that we should try keeping a dieary instead... they want us to keep a written record of what we would have said if we had been speaking instead of typing… maybe they just want to read it to each other and laugh at us...

Ok that’s getting a little creepy now… I guess it’s not really what you say it’s how you say it. When I talk to myself as if I’m two people, I guess that’s the crazy part… not just the talking to myself outloud… actually come to think of it, all the time in movies and stuff the characters talk to themselves... there's a lot of talking themselves through things in movies and we (and by we, I mean you and I dear reader(s)) don’t think they’re crazy… even when they say things like “damn it Jane ! think ! Think about what you’re doing !”. I know in movies they have to do that so that we can know what the character is thinking, but it's not really that realistic... how many people really speak to themseleves with such wit and articulation when they are disarming a bomb or in a hostage situation... I wish the voices in my head were as witty as they are in movies... it would make my work day so much more entertaining.

The guy that walks by my window at work everyday screams obscenities at no one… and I think that guy is super crazy… he is usually saying kind of violent things like that he would fuck that bitch up and stuff and I guess I’m just worried that if he saw me he might mistake me for that bitch that he wants to fuck up, so I usually stay really still when h e walks by… I think crazy people are like T-Rexs and can only see movement, so I’m pretty sure by sitting still and holding my breath and stuff I’m saving my life… That tid bit of information about T-rexs is coming directly from something Jeff Goldblum said in Jurrassic park so I dont know if thats really how it works with T-rex's or not... Jeff Goldblum is not actually a scientist... he just played one on tv... actually it was in a movie... actually it was in several movies, the fly, jurassic park, independence day... hmm maybe he IS a scientist... he seems to get cast as one a lot...

Anyway, so here I am writing on my blog… this is one of those disorganized random entries… to try to get me back on the horse again… I sense that I will have a little more free time to think at work since the holidays are coming up, so I’m hoping to use whatever extra time I have to write on my blog… I wasn’t sure what I’d write about today, so I’m just kinda letting it flow… I had thought about perhaps writing about the bagles I just made, which are not perfect, but are more bagel like than any other bagels I’ve ever made… but then I started to think about that movie I never saw called “Julie and Julia” about some chick who wrote a blog about cooking all of Julia child’s recipe’s… and then I started to think about the blog where I got the bagel recipe I used… which is some guys blog about baking, and then I started to think… eww I don’t want to be some poser who joins the” I’m going blog about cooking ‘cause maybe someone will make a movie out of it” crowd. I need my own thing for someone to make a hit movie out of staring A-list celebrities… Wow, that makes me sound like I’m some attention starved spotlight monger . I’m not… I don’t think I would like to be a celebrity, but I would like the cut of profits from a successful movie… god it would be so awesome to have money.

I find I my middle age I am getting more and more resentful of people who have money… I feel that I work just as hard as most people (although not as hard as some…. Most of whom have far less money than I), yet I have much less than a lot of people that work less than me… WTF ? stupid capitalism… its just not a good system… geeze… It’s a good thing I wasn’t alive during the cold war. I’d get my ass beat up for all of my pinko commy thinking… It’s totally un-American to want the world to be fair I guess… wow, I really am bitter… anyway, I’m tired of writing now. I apologize Carly, and anyone else who may have read this for the random all-over-the place-ness o f this blog entry… and I assure you I am not really crazy or uber haterful of the rich… I’m just lonely at work and wish that I got paid more for what I do… or wish I did something that paid more… or wish the world was nothing but fairness and happiness and perfect bagels… anyway, this blog sucked and I’m sure I will be ashamed that I posted it upon re-reading it, but hey, gotta get my head back in the game and all that… Blah… oh wait I used to do voquations at the end… ok so final thought: Jill+ other Jill = bat shit crazy !