Mondays and technology

Some days, I work hard to bring you a well-crafted thought process. Other days, the piece just writes itself. This is what happened on Monday, March 4, 2013:

I get the Daughter to school barely on time (too long a story), and just catch the #10 Western Avenue bus. I would not have if people were all using bus swipers; fortunately, the cash users slowed the process down sufficiently. I then ride the #737 bus to Corporate Woods. Near the library on Henry Johnson Boulevard, I overhear the driver say to the dispatcher that the bus has broken down. Did I hear him correctly? I did! He announces that a replacement bus would be there in five minutes; I thought this was an optimistic estimate, since the last time I was on a bus that broke down (also a #737, on the way home, stuck on Northern Boulevard near WTEN-TV), it took 20 minutes. Fortunately, this time, it was only eight minutes.

Bypassing my work office, I go to my allergist’s office. I get a couple shots every four weeks for my allergies. I can visit a few days earlier, but if I go a day later than the 28 days, I’ll have to start the regimen all over, building up the dosage. They have this new computerized system, whereby I swipe a card they gave me and it’s all automated; no paperwork. From a medical privacy standpoint, this makes much more sense than the sign-in sheet, where one can see the other patients’ name. But, in the short term, this is taking much longer; the staff has a learning curve, so it took 30 minutes to be called, rather than the usual five or ten. After the shot, I’m supposed to wait 30 minutes to see if I get a reaction.

I’m getting to work much later than I anticipated. One of my colleagues is stymied, and feeling poorly to boot. She’s using this software to do a ring study around an address in Kingston, NY. But the output says it’s in Eddyville, NY. I don’t even know what Eddyville is, and I lived in Ulster County for a time; it’s not even recognized in Census geography. My co-worker asked, “Could you figure this out? I’m going home sick.” The ultimate fix was to use the latitude and longitude, rather than the street address, which allowed me to rename the map whatever I wanted to, such as the street address in Kingston.

At home, the Internet is not working. Well, it is on, but I can’t receive it. This proves to be a relatively easy fix of rebooting the wireless router.

I receive these annual dividend checks from an insurance company, MetLife. Do I want to complete an enrollment with their vendor Computershare of Providence, RI so I can get the money automatically deposited into my checking account? Sure! Twenty minutes later, I was stymied by the fact that I had to set up an account with Computershare, and the password I had to create was in the wrong format – but I couldn’t find instructions as to the correct way: no caps? ALL CAPS? alphanumeric? Then I called their less than instinctive automated “customer service” number, but ended up in voicemail hell, before it cut off altogether, blasting a loud hum in my ear. Finally, I gave up and snail mailed the information. Curse you, Computershare!

I surely understand why people are technophobic. While I had some successes that day, the last encounter in particular was quite frustrating.

13 thoughts on “Mondays and technology

  1. I love to embrace new technology, but there are times when I wonder if it is really necessary and actually makes some things harder/slower. Having a day like you had, I would have wanted to cut my losses early, go home and read a book.

  2. “We must unite and overthrow the cruel domination of the flush toliet!” 😀

    Totally get what you’re saying. Sometimes it seems my life is one long reboot. Good job with the software. Is it ArcGIS?

  3. But I thought you worked for the government. I can’t imagine Time Warner makes better software than a developer who specializes in census-type applications. The only thing that makes sense is that you’re using Time Warner software for a Time Warner job (or some long, bizarro legacy thing. “Legacy”… in evolutionary biology, that’s called “atavism.”)

  4. As a fellow Time Warner user, I have this same problem with both the internet and cable. Seems like I’m rebooting the router or the cable box every couple of weeks.

  5. I had Time Warner back in Binghamton and I believe also in Buffalo. No problems at all; however, this was a few years ago, and all the outsourcing of modem manufacture, as well as outsourced customer service, must make the process worse these days.

    DAMN all the corporations who sent American jobs overseas! They defend it by saying, “These people had nothing; now they have a middle class,” while ours is under fire. Also, MOST of the outsourced people are basically slave labor with their children at their sides. All so the “shareholders are happy.”

    Reminds me of Operation Bootstrap in Puerto Rico. Our government crowed about how all the barefoot children got shoes and the roads were paved. One “viejo” (old man) told me in Spanish, “I was a kid then. We were fine with bare feet – we only need shoes because the American roads would blister our feet!” Sage… Amy

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