Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Tomorrow’s World, Today

I consider myself to be quite a modern woman. Despite my hankering for a time gone by, I work full time. I have a computer at work, I also have a laptop at home which is mine. I have a mobile phone. I write a blog. I use Facebook sometimes and Twitter much more.

I’m reasonably well educated. Although I left school with only 2 O Levels, (there’s another story – remind me to tell you this one. I hope you’re keeping a note – this happens a lot), I subsequently went to college and achieved another 5 O Levels (or whatever they were called then) and 2 A levels as well. I decided then I was done with education for the time being but I’m now the proud holder of a 2:1 in English Literature from the Open University, and I’m even more proud the letters BA (Hons) can legitimately follow my name.

Some technology has me baffled though. A prime example is last weekend’s shopping trip to buy a new phone for the house. For some reason known only to the initiated, mine has decided to terminate all calls after about 10 minutes. At this point, the handset dies. I know it’s something to do with the battery, I do. It’s always charging up so it’s not like I leave it languishing about. Actually, I do, but not all the time, most of the time it’s on the unit. Anyway we decided we’d go out and buy a new phone, arrived at the shop, and stood aghast at the wide range of phones before us. We decided to adopt a sort of boardgame tactic, very much like Guess Who? We wanted it to be black – that rules out this chrome bunch here and a white one. I wanted one with normal sized buttons, not the ginormous buttoned one the other half had his eye on.

Then it came to the multiple handset ones, and this is how the conversation went…

Me:   How does it work when you've got more than 1 handset?
OH:   I think you just stick them in whatever room you want to.
Me:   And what then? I don't think we can have them. I haven't got a phone socket in the other rooms.
OH:   Don't need them.
Me:   You don't need them? How do they work then?
OH:  You just put them in the room. And they sort of work.
Me:   They just work? How does that happen? Do you need to plug them in somewhere?
OH:   Don't think so.
Me:   Is there a battery bit? Do they run off batteries?

                  I tipped it upside down. There's no battery bit.

Me:   There's no battery bit.
OH:   Well you probably just have to plug them into the socket to charge. Then they ring.
Me:   They ring just because you've plugged them in? That can't be right! The kettle doesn't ring...

It carried on like this for sometime despite the intervention of a sales assistant who even now is probably crying on the shoulder of her psychotherapist. Until I saw the magic word:-

Me:   Oh look! It says they're digital! That's why it works!
OH:   So does that mean you understand it now?
Me:    Not really. But if it says digital, I can say it's that.

But do you know what would have helped even more than seeing the magical "digital" word?

Taking my 12 year old to the shop with us. God help us when we have to do something by ourselves.


  1. Ha ha I liked the bit about the kettle not ringing and the guess who reference. I did that buying a new hairdryer today -it's an ionic one, that's all I am saying!

  2. the image of the shop assistant crying on the psychotherapist's shoulder made me smile! And, yes, how humiliating it is when we have to rely on our kids to help us with the technology. I have to have training on any kind of remote control, for instance.

  3. OMG is this what I have to look forward to? We are in need of new phones and I havn't got used to these 4 handsets in 7 years yet! I too am a reasonably intelligent woman with letters after my name and work with machinery in my workplace (nursing) but how I hate it all. I too need my children to show me my phone extras and computer links. I think it is because I'm just not that interested really. I much prefer growing my veg and daily dog walks and cooking scrummy meals with the radio on (even that is digital now, I much prefer a dial). Maybe I am simple after all? But content with it X

  4. I just take The Man. Otherwise I come home glassy-eyed.

  5. It's nice that your OH is a clueless (sorry to be mean!) as you!! Thank god for the 12yr olds who can tell us all what to do :)