2008-05-28 / Loose Ends

Loose Ends

Feeling out of touch?
Susan Nienow

It happened during a meeting I had with two others, both 30+ years old. Twice one man's pocket rang, and he pulled out his Blackberry (or some small electronic thing that didn't look like a normal cell phone), glanced at it, pushed a button and shoved it back into his pocket.

I don't have a Blackberry, and I already felt old. I can't even take a picture with my cell phone except by accident and when I accidentally push the button turning on the speaker, the whole conversation is audible to everyone in the grocery store. Once the conversation is over, I will put the phone in my purse and completely forget that it is on speaker until I use it the next time.

Retrieving a message requires total concentration and a little luck. Once I listen to it, I usually forget to push 7 to erase it. The other day I received a text message, according to my phone. I never found it. I don't text message. No one I know would send me a text message. But the little icon is still there, waiting for me to solve the puzzle.

It would simplify my life if I put a Blackberry in charge. Entering information would be dropping it down a dark hole. Retrieving my calendar or a message would be impossible, so I could stay home and work in the garden, totally guilt-free and unaware that I should be getting my hair cut or taking minutes at a meeting.

There is a little screen covering the center of anything I do on my computer. I can hit delete, OK or X and nothing happens. I think I need help to get this off the screen, but when I choose "help" on the menu, nothing applies to this problem. I wonder where the phone number is hidden?

When I try to "contact help," I get another list of things that do not apply. I like real people - warm bodies, preferably of the nerdy type who "get" computers and can be patient. Hopefully, I will remind them of their mother. The "helpers" are getting so much younger, I might remind them of their grandmother - if she was a child bride.

My car has over 125,000 miles on it, and just the other day I figured out how to adjust the side mirrors from inside the car. "Didn't you know where the button was?" my other half asked me, incredulously, forgetting that "tactfully" works much better.

"Yes - I would turn it to the left or right and then put the window down and move the mirror by hand. The passenger side was inconvenient, but every time I used it, I resolved to write the manufacturer and give them the heads up. Then, the mirror moved the last time I turned the button - before I put my arm out the window. It's a toggle-type thing. If I push on the right, the mirror moves to the right.

It was amazing.

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