He Loses Another Technical Battle to 21st Century Life

By Joe Darby

Just in case two or three of you good readers were wondering why I haven’t had a column in the last few weeks, the answer is my computer illiteracy and inability to get to the bottom of my technical problems.

For some reason the email provider that I was using wouldn’t accept my password and when I tried to change the password, it posed a security question that, no matter what I answered, was not correct — in their eyes. They wanted to know my favorite grade school teacher. I named all the teachers who had taught me in the early years of school, but none suited the nameless, faceless entity that controlled my email. (Why couldn’t they ask me Mother’s maiden name, or the make of my first car?)

Anyway, I tried a live online chat but after I went through the Robot chatter (who even had a name, bless her little electronic heart) they put me on chat hold. And I waited. And waited. And waited. Patience is not my best virtue. So I hung up and tried again the next day. Same thing. I had tried over and over again typing to the little Robot chat girl that I wanted to speak to a human being but her little digital brain could not comprehend such a request. Or maybe it hurt her technical sensitivities. But she refused, or was unable, to help.

I tried calling, with the same essential result. I ended up screaming “Give me a real person,” but the cool and collected electronic voice informed me that I needed to give her — it — him –more information. You’ve probably seen some comedic memes on Facebook about people in that situation One of the woes of 21st century life. One of the very many.

Anyway, I changed my internet and email provider and am now in the process of trying to give my new email address to all those folks, companies, institutions, sales outfits, etc, etc., that need to have it for my life in 2022 to continue more or less as I’ve become accustomed.

So I was getting ready a couple of hours ago (Thursday afternoon) to write and send this column. But then along came a little passing thunderstorm and knocked out my power for about an hour — a not infrequent occurrence here, as I’m sure you know. Anyway, technology once again thwarted me and I had to await the resumption of the juice before I could accomplish my goal.

I will readily admit how convenient emails, Facebook messages, etc., are, how easy they make it to communicate and so forth. But when they go down, there’s little we — or at least I – can do about it. Snail mail might be slow, but at least the system didn’t shut down every time we had a thunder storm.

Or try going to a restaurant with the power out. They can’t serve you. Not because they can’t cook — they have gas stoves mostly, most have large windows to let enough light in to be able to see. No, they can’t serve you because their almighty computers are down. How will they charge you for your meal and how will they get compensated by the credit card companies if the mighty computer cannot enter the transaction into cyber space?

Okay. I’m going to knock this off and go read a good book. And if the power goes off again, I’ve got plenty of candles.