The other night my computer froze.  I was trying to access my email and nothing happened!  My first reaction was annoyance, followed immediately by frustration with a CAPITAL F.  Because I was rendered helpless, staring at a non-working, inanimate object, I didn’t even have the pleasure of venting my spleen; there was nothing and no one for me to blame.  Dead computer, inaccessible email, and access to the new electronic world cut off at the pass.

I am a 20th century woman, accustomed to picking up a telephone, dialing the number and hearing a human voice. That night, to add insult to injury, when I tried to call out for help, I heard, “This is not a working number...”  Thwarted on all sides by unyielding robotic machines, I wanted to smash the screen, throw both my computer and phone out the window and utter some lusty four-letter words.

Fortunately, the next morning my grandson, Justin, a veritable electronic genius, was available to remotely correct the problem and bring me back into the 21st century.  How come, back in the olden days, someone was always available to lend a helping hand and seek out the correct representative or department to answer your questions?  Today, even if mechanisms are working, you have to go through six or eight choices offered by a robotic voice before hopefully finding a solution. Then, if you don’t press the correct button, you’re right back where you started, the main menu, which may or may not offer a compatible choice.

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We used to be frustrated with answering services where the operator seemed disinterested and robotic...now we ARE dealing with disinterested robotic voices. Guess that should teach us not to complain.

Being held captive by unreliable electronic tools causes great frustration in everyone, perhaps even more so in Seasoned Citizens like myself who have been brought kicking and screaming into this brave new world. They’re supposed to do our bidding and they don’t. Doesn’t it seem to you these machines have minds of their own and are out to “get” us whenever possible, or am I being old-fashioned and unbelievably paranoid?