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Here's What's Stressing Me Out These Days

In an electronic world, how's a technophobe supposed to get any peace?

Credit card payment machines that say “dip your card and remove quickly.”  Quickly? How quickly? Will my purchase be cancelled if my hand lingers too long?  Will my card get eaten? For me, the command to act with speed has the opposite effect. I feel paralyzed and instead of a graceful swipe, my card slowly jerks its way through the slot.    

Unreturned texts from offspring who log thousands of minutes monthly. Even in that rare gap when the phone is off (or just as unlikely, not in hand), the usual response time is short for at least a “k,” “!” or “:-).” So, when a text goes unanswered, my mind goes to places it never should, but where a mother's worry inevitably takes it.

Caller id information of undetermined origin. If  I can't identify the name or number, I agonize over whether to pick it up. If I let the machine get it, and it turns out to be someone I really did need to talk to, then I risk playing telephone tag. If I do pick up, then what voice should I use – a suspicious monotone to block any opening for a solicitor to talk through, followed by a quick pivot to warmth if I've entered friendly territory?

The track pad on my new laptop. Wait, how did the print suddenly get so big?  And who told the lines of my document to start shifting on and offscreen like that? The transition from mousepad to the sensitive rectangle that directs movement clearly shouldn't be made in middle age.

So, those are a few of the things giving me agita, tsouris, and just good old American anxiety these days.  What's been eating you lately?

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Emily Constance (Editor) May 29, 2012 at 02:50 PM
The security line at the airport! The long line of disgruntled passengers staring as you make a frantic dash to remove your jacket, shoes, jewelry, belt, laptop and sort it all out in the bins on the conveyor belt. And why do I keep getting calls from a 360 area code? That's some little stuff stressing me out, haha.
Jane Himmel May 29, 2012 at 03:22 PM
I think that the new trend for solicitors is to use cell phones -- that way the tagline is "wireless caller" with no business id. When I see an unfamiliar area code, sometimes I think that it's my kid calling on a borrowed cell phone... yet another reason to stop and agonize over whether to pick up!
Karen Barry Schwarz May 29, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Great article, Jane, loved it! p.s. I always pick up the phone worried that it's one of the kids, but it never is, it is always a solicitor, aaaargh!
Patrica Funt Oxman May 30, 2012 at 07:09 PM
How about trying to call a business and getting a robot. You say over and over "representative" and finally the "thing" says "let me see if I can get someone to help us!" How about the woman I over heard in a store shouting to her daughter "stop texting while I'm talking to you!" There's a truth. I could go on .... Good thoughts Jane,
Four Jacks May 31, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Funny Patricia!
Glen K Dunbar June 01, 2012 at 06:14 PM
POLITELY SPEAKING. Since I promised to try and be polite I will. YET, if we are doing my favorite hobby venting complaints. Here are mine. -having to do work when I am not on the clock. I HATE ANY kind of home chores and nonsense -Extreme weather annoys me -having NO real friends or love REALLY depress and get to me -When I am at a store parked and am ready to drive straight out someone pulls in JUST as I am about to forcing me to back up. Real annoying -Being fat and having to diet, exercise and buy new clothes -Having to answer my Mom phone (which is why I turned off the ringer completely) -my Wife and Kid -When you have just had an A-Z car service and something still goes wrong -Plumbing fiasocs GLEN
Glen K Dunbar June 02, 2012 at 10:42 AM
my Mother who I hate w/a passion as deep as the Grand Canyon for making me who I am today. ALL her fault !!!

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