Technologically Challenged

Mark Parenting, Popular, Rants, Uncategorised 4 Comments

I’m technologically challenged. There, I’ve said it.

Just before Christmas we switched from Sky to Virgin, since when I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time staring blankly at menu screens on the TV. I find change difficult; finding channels more difficult still. Has anyone seen BBC4?

Refusing to be beaten I did what any man of a more mature age would do; I read the instructions. Cover to cover. Demanding silence from all in the house so I could concentrate, glasses perched high on my forehead so I could read the not-so-small print.

Somehow I managed to find the BBC iPlayer. I wasn’t looking for it. Now I can’t turn it off.

Then there was the simple task of setting up the Wi-Fi.

Stand back everyone, I’ve got this. I’ve not spent the last two years and £18,000 on an IT degree to be beaten by …. for the love of god WORK GOD DAMN IT!

I got a distinction on my networking module. A distinction I tell ya!

I only say this in case you saw me waving a router in the air trying to ‘catch’ a signal? Or opening doors in case the signal was too polite to let itself in? Or repeatedly turning everything on and off in the hope that something different might happen?

Who was it that said doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results was a sign of insanity? I would have googled it but I DIDN’T HAVE ANY INTERNET!

By some small miracle I’ve now fixed it, and by miracle I mean a second router, untold hours on discussion forums, an obscene amount of profanities directed at anything and everything that dared to cross my path and a headache that shows no signs of going any time soon.

But if I said it was only new technologies that had the beating of me I’d be lying.

Last week I sent myself a voicemail message … and answered it. Not only did I answer it but we had a brief conversation!?

Walking through the supermarket I felt a vibration in my pocket. Pulling out my phone and assuming I’d accidentally answered a call I went with my default,

“Hello, Mark speaking”.

Silence. Probably PPI. I ended the call.

No sooner had I put the phone back in my pocket than it rang again. Not noticing it was a voicemail message I answered again,

“Hello, Mark speaking”

This time the caller responded with,

“Hello, Mark speaking”.

“… errr … this is Mark. How can I help you?”

Silence. He hung up, or was it me that hung up? All I know is that one of me definitely hung up on me, and quite rudely too.

The phone beeped. Missed call from ‘me’.

I’ll not lie, my confusion was fast becoming concern for my mental health? Do I even know a me and if so, why does he sound remarkably like, well, me?

You’d think the penny would have dropped by now. You’d be wrong. I tried to call myself back!?

It took three calls to realise what I’d done. Three calls to realise I was talking to myself. Three calls during which I not only questioned my own sanity but had all but written it off.

Now granted, I do have history when it comes to talking to myself in supermarkets, but never before on the phone.

It’s frightening to think that had I not recognised my own telephone number on that third occasion I might still be sat rocking in the bread aisle, lost in an eternal loop of self-inflicted nuisance calls.

So traumatised was I by the whole episode that I forgot to buy the milk I went in for. If only I’d left that on the original voicemail message.

But fear not, I’ve put in place some safeguards to avoid this happening again. I’ve changed my number on my phone from ‘me’ to ‘it’s you dickhead, put your screen lock on’.

Now I just need to figure out how I’ve managed to record four hours of the shopping channel when I was expecting Match of the Day. I could be gone a while.

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