Sunday, August 12, 2018

Hello? Hello? Hello?

Hello? Hello? Hello?

Technology has been super messy lately and that's why I haven't been able to post here. I hope to keep writing 6 days a week, just that my computer, the internet, and the new and improved cantankerous super slow programs have to all agree at once. When they don't, I move onto other things. I can't sit at the computer for an hour trying to do a 5 minute task. It's too stressful.

Funny how technology used to speed me up and save me precious time. Now it's purposely designed to be slow, cumbersome and waste precious  time.

I was forced into a new phone recently because my cell phone company lied to me and said my simple flip phone was bad. In reality, as I found out days later, they had some major glitch in their system. I ran into other people who had been told their phones were bad when Verizon cell service stopped working in this area. At the time I was using a simple flip phone and not a smart phone. The rate was pretty high for just basic service of 700 minutes and no frills. 

Shockers, I have never done texting before as I am still confused as to the usefulness of this feature. I see people attached to their phones rapidly moving their thumbs but it just wasn't something that appealed to me. However, I saw a friend of mine (who also doesn't like texting) use speech-to-text to answer a text. He can't type so he said a sentence and it was translated to text and sent on its way. That intrigued me. When people text me, I can verbally answer their text by saying "Call me". 

Too funny!

I must admit when AOL worked marvelously a few years back and had the instant chat feature, I did use it to chat from the Caribbean to friends in the US and avoid the $4-6 per minute long distance calls we were surcharged in the British Virgin Islands.

Recently I had discovered while selling or buying used things that not having texting ability can be a huge disadvantage. Also when shopping around for a bargain RV, I found out many folks won't answer their phone, they want you to text them! How nutty. Seems to me if they want to sell something, they would answer the dadgum phone when they place an ad. Ditto for selling. I was trying to help a friend sell some stuff, they asked me to type up the ads for them and I am a terrible typist but they have no computer and needed help. I am so backwards these days, yet I used to be on the cutting edge, but those days are long gone.  Neither one of us text and we discovered that even trying to sell things on Craigslist requires texting. Many buyers won't talk on the phone until they've texted back and forth. Even crazier!

So I switched to because they operate off Verizon towers but offer cheap rates and free phones (and pricey phones one can buy.) I read somewhere they are actually owned by Verizon.  My new rate is $23.70 a month, so I am pretty happy with that. Of course it means no "data" or internet once I am out of wifi range, but hopefully I can make and receive calls.

I picked a free Android phone, as the apple phones were not part of the freebies. I had been learning Apple-ism on another device thanks to an angel that gave me their old Ipad. It's too big to carry around as a phone, but I was learning nifty things now and then by spending a few minutes on it here and there when I had wifi.  My wifi shot up 40% in cost and I had to cancel it but it seems like I have come up with a work around solution. I had NO idea that phones were so different. I thought a phone was a phone was a phone. How wrong I am!

Finally the phone arrived. I tried to play with it for a few days, but one must hook it up to make it work for calling. It kept wanting to take over my entire life and link and hook things that I don't want linked and hooked. Eventually I took the plunge and set it up.  It was a nightmare! Still is!

Hello? Hello? Hello?

Lawdy mercy!

Could they make answering a phone any more complicated? For a week, I couldn't answer incoming calls. I still have a lot of trouble with it. I don't understand why I can't just push a button and say hello. I have to swoop or tap or click or push or do all three at once. I am still unclear why I can't simplify this or why it's so important to make answering a phone call so complicated. 

Making calls out was even more cumbersome. They couldn't move my phone numbers over for me, all those nifty stored numbers in my old phone. The dialpad as they call it is "hidden" on the new phone and I don't understand the purpose of hiding the numbers from me.  I need the number pad to dial the frigging phone number! But that is hidden. I don't understand why it's important to make an outgoing call a lengthy  complicated affair.

So I have to manually enter each phone number and go through a big lengthy process to store it. The keyboard is super tiny, I honestly don't understand the how and why of a tiny keyboard and trying to type in someone's name such as Bill Smith and it comes out as Vokl Snuyh.I was trying to correct that when I spazzed out and pushed something the wrong way and now Vokl Snuyh is stuck in my phone for Bill Smith. Even worse, I was doing this at 5am because I was up early having coffee and figured I would spend a few minutes "fixing" my phone and guess what I accidentally called Bill Smith at 5am because I didn't understand what the phone what was doing! Bill Smith likes to sleep until 9 or 10am so when I heard the phone suddenly start ringing, I was trying to hang up but I couldn't figure out how to end the call because my screen had gone blank. 

Luckily Bill Smith's phone went to voice mail where I apologized profusely. But I still couldn't hang up the phone! Bill  Smith called me back later (actually it was 3 more days before I could figure out how to answer his incoming call!)  to say he could hear me talking to the phone, saying funny things like how the heck do I hang this up? My screen has gone blank! Ugh! Screech! Then he heard me scream and mutter something unprintable. I also said very unkind things about the phone company, the phone itself and technology in general.  When we finally talked... he was laughing so hard because  apparently his voice mail was recording my movements and noises for 10 minutes. GOOD GRIEF. I am mortified!

Now Bill Smith knows when I am super frustrated with technology, I can turn to potty mouth. Oh dear me. I normally do not do that, but I was plenty frustrated with my phone. I thought I was home alone muttering to myself about this blankety blank phone that is so ridiculously complicated that receiving or making a simple phone call is a huge cumbersome chore.

So Bill Smith, I owe you yet another apology, but I am glad you found my embarrassing message hilarious. One of these days I will figure out how to change your name from Vokl Snuyh to Bill Smith and might even figure out how to call you at a preferred time and not at 5am.

Life is goof. 

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Life is goof!