Ranting

This is the first time in my memory that I have used this forum to rant. I think the gray-haired among us will relate. Lately, I’ve been tearing my hair out over technology. I do fairly well for someone my age, but I have my limits.

When my computer works well, I’m grateful to be able to interact with a world beyond my neighborhood, city, and country. When it isn’t working, I invariably can’t understand why and don’t know what to do to fix it. Sometime in September, the Jetpack plug-in just disappeared from my website. That meant my subscribers were not receiving my blog posts. And I didn’t know it until after I had posted twice, one being a very significant post. I also received feedback from another writer about my website. It needs an update. It couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Because I have no whiz-kid grandchildren, I have to “fork-over-dollars.” And in that realm, I also have my limits.

The months of September and October 2017 have been filled with anxiety and frustration as I’ve attended to several time-consuming matters, some of which involved an outlay of dollars:

  • updating my will and trust,
  • dealing with the Jetpack and other website issues (update still not resolved),
  • getting leaks to Nicole’s new tub and around the old tub in my bathroom fixed

Others were designed to save me money as the prices of everything are increasing in 2018:

  • finding the lowest gas and electric carriers
  • finding the best, most affordable health insurance supplement

Correcting the mistake made in my 2016 taxes involved both an outlay and a savings:

  • finding an affordable tax preparer and
  • receiving the refund I was owed

And that doesn’t take into account the hours spent dealing with the Equifax breech and collecting the documents the Job Center needed to determine if Nicole will still be eligible for medicaid help.

And then, of course, there is life:

  • grocery shopping
  • cooking
  • cleaning (to pay for Nicole’s tub, we let our house cleaner go)
  • doctor appointments

All that interfered with what I really wanted to do:

  • promote my memoir
  • prepare my home for Jacqui’s return from Taiwan so she could  move in

What frays my nerves and pushes me close to the edge of insanity is:

  • automated answering systems

It is next to impossible to get a human being anymore. And what should take minutes, takes hours. It is unbelievable what all is involved in getting instructions or the answer to a simple question. I even found an article about it here and here and here.

Twice this week, I was put in a queue and promised a call back. I’m still waiting.

Monday, we cut the cord with cable TV. Upgrading our internet was a breeze. Changing phone carriers and learning to use our new streaming device was not.

Thank God for Jacqui. She is far advanced beyond Nicole and me in her understanding of technology. And she is willing to help. Nicole and I have made progress in understanding how to use Apple TV and Hulu and we still have a ways to go. I’m happy with the dollars we are saving.

An awareness I didn’t expect, after witnessing Jacqui’s very different manner, was noticing how contracted and defended I have become. I approach armed and ready … alert in every interaction to being taken advantage of and cheated out of my hard-earned money. Of course, the customer service representatives are not to blame. They don’t make the policies. They are just trying to make a living. And they bear the brunt of our increased stress. And that isn’t good for any of us.

I firmly believe that the rampant greed and contentious climate in our culture today contributes to our stress. Clearly I’m not alone as the articles I referenced above prove. Whew!! However, watching Jacqui joke with customer service representatives and extend kindness to them brought me up short.

Being tense, anxious, defended, and contracted are not ways I want to be.

So, I am increasing my motivation by embarrassing myself here and revealing one of the worst parts of me. My plan for change is:

  • determine what I want and need before the call or encounter
  • breathe deeply
  • set my intention to be kind to the rep and to my body
  • and to assertively ask for what I want and need.

These are skills I have possessed for a very long time. I plan to start being intentional about using them again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 comments

  • Marlene Lammers

    I know what you mean about technology.I am in the same boat! Enjoyed your book Long Awakening to Grace. Read it in 2 days. You have been through many trials. Thank goodness for God’s grace. God bless

    • Oh Marlene, I very much appreciate your letting me know what you think of my book. We all go through trials. It is all in how we handle them. I’m grateful for the Divine imperative I felt that compelled me to continue growing through whatever life handed me. Thank you for reflecting that. I like you e-mail address.

  • Diana

    I remember reading one time that we are to look at our weakest moments and that will tell us where our development is. I screamed, “YIKES!!!” and I still refuse to believe that but when I looked it was those moments when I wanted to take an ax to the computer/technology:):):) In my calmer moments I realize what an incredible gift they are if I can just get to the other side. I KNOW YOU WILL:):):)

  • Prema

    Ditto!!!!! Amen!!! Rant on!!! I could join you!!!!

  • Cindi

    Expressing your frustration and stress over the complex and complicated we now live in I say thank you for venting for me as well.

    • I was in a meeting when your call came. I tried to get Siri to call you back during my drive home. This is my day for problems with technology. She couldn’t get your name. She kept pulling up another Cindy in my address book. Grrrrrrrrrrr! Looks like I vented with a lot of people! Glad you all enjoyed it.

  • Carol J. Alexander

    I love your “rant” art work — I feel just that way re: technology — when I have problems with – and that is often. Thanks for sharing. If I get one more non-person……….

    • Nice to know I’m not alone, Carol. I loved that artwork, too. It is so appropo.

      I got your nice note about my memoir. I’ve been reading the materials of yours you gave me. Amazed about that sermon I preached in 2006. Thanks for including it in your reflections on love. I would have forgotten all about it otherwise. I’ll be in touch once I get them all read.

  • Bonnie Burt

    I share your “rants” completely – keep them coming. I feel so much better.

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