Monday, November 07, 2011

Computer 2 / Beth 0

I recently went to a store to make prints from a DVD – a new venture for me but one I’m sure the rest of the world has experienced.

Unfamiliar with the entire process (as well as the computer, keyboard and mouse) I’d occasionally pause for some “huh?” moments.  At one particularly perplexing part of the process, I must have paused for too long.  The computer screen suddenly shouted at me:

“ARE YOU STILL THERE?”

Well, it felt like it was shouting with the 50 point bold font.  I was quite taken aback and insulted - with no way of responding in kind.  (“Of course I’m still here, you condescending hunk of metal!  Give me a break – I’m new at this.”)  I was literally rendered speechless because, really, who talks back to a computer?  At least in public.

Reluctantly, I admit the computer may have been slightly on the mark.  I was a bit of a dolt.  At the end of the process, the screen showed an image of a receipt coming out of a slot with the instructions,  “Take receipt.”  This prompted yet another, “huh?” moment.  (“How? It’s on the screen.”) 

I actually looked at both sides and the back of the computer for the receipt. 

It was at the cashier’s desk.


There are times I wonder why I publish posts exposing myself as a technological dunce (or for that matter, any kind of dunce).  But the day I’m no longer able to laugh at myself – and share these moments – will be a sad one indeed.

21 comments:

Sherry Smyth said...

You are one step ahead of me -- I have yet to go and print photos at one of those machines. So score one for Beth -- who shouts back at machines!! As you must...who in their right mind doesn't talk to inanimate objects, especially when they are "speaking" to us?!?! Please tell me you and I aren't the only ones....

Juliette said...

Beth, Im with you. I can't even deal with a self service checkout at a supermarket. I'd never get on with a robot.

Cid said...

I wonder whether all these self-service machines have really helped streamline check-outs or check-ins anywhere. At the airport you go through all that entering and upper case yelling at the kiosk and still have to go to the desk with your bags while at our local Walmart they have actually taken out the self-serve counters and surely not because they felt bad about letting all those cashiers go.

oreneta said...

For me, that's not you, that's a flaw in the software. Should be crystal clear and utterly intuitive. They ain't there yet.

Beth said...

Sherry:
When talking to inanimate objects, I use my “quiet voice” – in public...

Juliette:
I tried a self-service check-out once – had to ask for help. Of course.

Cid:
There is no streamlining or speed if I happen to be in those line-ups. Murphy’s Law applies.

oreneta:
I shall defer to your judgment. I am not the dunce. :)

Zhu said...

Honestly, I consider myself pretty computer literate (after all, I did make my blog theme and all!) but there are stuff I can't do. Like burning CD. It's basic, right? Well I screw it up every time!

Gorilla Bananas said...

That's what I call bad software. A computer should give you options rather than ask questions and tell you where to collect receipts. Blame the programmer not the computer.

nursemyra said...

Ridiculous! the rude machine, not you.

Beth said...

Zhu:
I can burn a CD! But I’m still fearful of tinkering with my blog...

GB:
Lousy programmer – only slightly technologically-challenged Beth. ;)

nursemyra:
Funny how we give human attributes to these machines – and, yeah, it was rude AND mean!

laughingwolf said...

huh? how is one supposed to KNOW this crap, first time around?

store is more stupid for not having someone there, at all times, to walk customers through... at least if they want repeat ones! GRRRRRRRRRR

after several attempts, i finally got $$$ out of the atm... trouble is, different branches have slightly different procedures!!!

Barrie said...

Yeah, it took me a while to get the hang of the photo machine at Target. Once I put the little memory thing from my camera in the wrong slot. Oy! The trouble the cashier had retrieving it!!

Beth said...

LW:
Ever had an ATM swallow your card & NOT give it back? I have.
Devious, greedy machines...

Barrie:
Wish we’d been together when making prints – we’d have had some laughs. :)

Attila The Mom said...

LOL!! I was driving through town the other day and not paying much attention to my speed (about 5 miles over the speed limit). Suddenly I passed this sign that shouted "SLOW DOWN!"

I just about plotzed myself. Where in the heck did THAT come from?

Beth said...

Attila:
BIG BROTHER is watching us!

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

It's only because I'm used to my home computer that I feel even a little bit savvy with technology. But throw me into a program I'm not familiar with, then I am as lost as you. Don't even get me started on self-check out aisles...

Trish said...

ooh I hate those stupid photo machines at the store! I haven't yet had one shout at me in caps, though. That would be pretty infuriating.

Interwebs Fails said...

Bad software.

Beth said...

Bodhi Chicklet:
Kindred souls. :)

Trish:
If you want to avoid my experience, don’t use the photo computers at Bl*ck’s!

Interwebs Fails:
Agree – although I’m prepared to accept some degree of responsibility.
I know myself. ;)

Bee said...

I was caught doing something similar with a car parking machine last week. AND it chided me for taking too long. Technology just isn't our language, Beth. It must be the name. :)

p.s. Thanks for helpful comment regarding grim state-of-mind!

Jason said...

Self service checkouts do SUCK! :D

Jaya J said...

technology evolves faster than anything, and sometimes it doesn't matter if we can catch up or not.

but that machine that you dealt with seems like an arrogant, impatient box.
:p