Yes, my daily battle with technology continues and today was no exception, except that today’s battle was a doozy. Today our conflict was more frustrating, more intense than is usual for us. Probably because the task was important, the stakes were high and time was of the essence, this battle today took on added significance and reminded me once again why I have this love/hate relationship with technology. The very same technology I might add, that everyone I know seems to have such a good relationship with, so warm, so close, so personal. I never hear my family or friends ranting about technology or threatening to break up with her for good. On the contrary, they love her, worship her and spend their days with her, never leaving her side.
I know I haven’t written much about these daily battles of mine. That’s because I wouldn’t want to bore you with the mundane yet usually gory details of each encounter. But today was more than I bargained for yet again. I signed up for the three hour tour and ended up shipwrecked on Gilligan’s Island indefinitely, with no hope of rescue apart from making peace with technology. (you do see the irony in this predicament, don’t you.) This time, technology was both cause and cure of what ailed me.
That’s how it always goes down with technology and me. What should be a simple, quick task on my computer turns into a time consuming trauma that defies all logic and leads me through a labyrinth of options that I do not want to choose and places I do not want to go. Such was my experience again today. I needed to complete a required background check for an agency with which I volunteer. The email to me contained the link, all I need do is click and follow directions. Right? So I do this and things go well until it says it doesn’t like my DLN number. Of course it tells me this in BIG RED letters so I can’t miss it. (like I would) and it won’t let me move on to the next screen anyway, even if I wanted to ignore the warning that all was not right on this screen and attempt to proceed by continually clicking the next/continue button at the bottom of this screen, which I did of course, but with no success. Technology had won this round. The clock was ticking and technology was winning.
So technology and I are in a stalemate. I am holding my driver’s license in my hand, telling technology I have put in the correct number, but she refuses steadfastly to accept it. So I am forced to use my secret weapon, I am forced to go to plan B. I call the number given in the email for assistance, I enlist the help of a live person! They are kind and caring and ready to assist me. Of course, this is their job, this is what they are paid to do. I used to think they must really dread getting callers such as myself, but then I realized it’s me and callers like me that give them job security. So we need each other, I decided.
Well, things were looking up. My live person had a solution, but I hit the backspace bar when the cursor was not where I wanted it to be and ended up on a page with a sad face picture, so I knew I was in trouble. I ended up refilling out some pages but before I could get back to the driver’s license page I was stopped again. This time there was no next/continue button at the bottom of the screen and there was an error message in a pink box saying I had already done this and couldn’t resubmit (well I knew I’d already done it, but it wouldn’t let me go on) We were in a battle to the death, we were deadlocked.
My live person can no longer help me and the person that can is “out to lunch” (literally not figuratively) at this time. She takes my number and tells me someone will call, don’t log out. I have time to ponder as I wait. (I can’t go anywhere, I use an old desk top computer, I am held hostage, technology is holding me hostage and my hostility towards her increases with the passing of each hour) Should I just give up my volunteer position? Is that what technology wants? I will NOT surrender, I decide. I will persevere.
The phone rings. Let the games resume! My new live person on the other end of the phone is also kind and caring. I log out, I log in. I repeat some things but finally I arrive at the dreaded driver’s license info screen. Take two. I get it right this time and the kind, live person talks me through to the end. I get off the island after all and get what’s left of my day back. I also have fulfilled the agency’s requirement so I can keep doing what I’ve been doing. Take that, technology, I win one!
Sadly, this is not an isolated incident for me. Earlier this week, technology and I were at a similar impasse. I was signing up via computer to be a child sponsor, only technology wouldn’t accept my payment to seal the deal. I kid you not, she taunted me with “an unknown error occurred while processing your payment” in red letters of course, time after time as I continued to resubmit. We were once again dead locked, technology standing between me and my objective. What to do? I sought support, I called a live person and they accepted my payment. I did an end run around technology! Score one more for me!
This is exhausting as technology and I will continue to do battle because I need her and she refuses to cooperate with me. Everything and everyone has gone paperless. Now I’m all for saving trees and getting less mail, but there’s got to be a better way? (eliminating junk mail would be a good start) Even God has gone high tech. Well, really not God, it’s church that’s colluding with technology. I have to sign up for things at my church online and take attendance for my bible study group online weekly. I had that skill mastered until they changed the system, now I have no clue how to access and do what I need to do, consequently, my attendance hasn’t been submitted in almost a year. (guess technology hasn’t ratted me out on that one yet? maybe she feels sorry for me?)
Some how real people trump technology everytime. And then there’s God. I’m so thankful I don’t need technology to access my Heavenly Father! He’s wireless and technology free, no expertise needed. I count on that fact, I rejoice in it. Here’s what Psalm 139 says about it, “O Lord, You have searched me and You know me. . . . You perceive my thoughts from afar. . . . Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O Lord.”
“In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears.” (Psalm 18:6)
“I call on the Lord in my distress, and He answers me.” (Psalm 120:1)
How wonderful is that? I am known, I am heard by my Heavenly Father at all times. I have instant access, twenty-four/seven to my Creator. There are no technical difficulties to interfere with our connection or our communication. My Heavenly Father never slumbers nor sleeps.
“. . . God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ ” (Hebrews 13:5)
I rest in that promise,
sincerely, Grace Day