Some people develop good person-machine relationships. Then there are those of us who find machines daunting mysteries that have an ability to force us up a wall in pure frustration. The closest I ever came to any machine proficiency was years ago when I had an old Chevy that died at red lights. Someone showed me how to lift the hood, reconnect 2 wires, close the hood, jump back in and go, and ignore my children yelling and horns from other cars honking at me.
Now it’s my computer. In one of my learning experiences I wanted to include a picture with my blog post, which seemed like a good idea at the time. (Well, what can you expect? Old ladies need something in their life too, and this picture was to be “it” for me) So I followed directions from a friend, but totally screwed up the process. The picture was too large and in the wrong place. Then when I clicked something else, the picture disappeared. With a few choice words, I projected my frustration onto my computer, and in malicious retaliation, it bellied up and died. Stone dead for 10 days until another friend coaxed it into forgiveness and acceptable performance.
I can’t help it if I’m computer illiterate. I’m pretty good at a lot of things, but computer stuff isn’t one of them. My cranberry salad is a hit at family gatherings, and I make my own delicious gluten-free cookies. And years ago when I worked in the jail as a Mental Health Therapist, a violent schizophrenic was no problem for me. The officers called me to handle those situations. And I’m only 5ft 1 in. tall. Then when I was a bar waitress on an Air Force Base in Texas, I learned how to deal with guys who had too much to drink. There’s a method to that, and I learned quickly. When I lived in Las Vegas, I went to the desert and learned to shoot a gun. I was pretty good at it, but the gun scared me, so I got rid of it. I also remember a time I was alone in a London, England airport, and couldn’t figure out how to get my two huge suitcases from the first floor to the second floor to change planes. You’d think the airline would have done that for me. I felt pretty stupid, but I finally figured that one out. There are carts to do that. Duh.
I’ve succeeded at many things, so I have to ask myself why the computer is such a mystery for me. I understand what makes people tick, and they fascinate me. But the computer is like a giant hovering over me, chiding me, because I don’t understand that piece of solid mass with a mind of its own.
I finally decided that if this computer and I have a future together, I’ll have to make some concessions, because there will be no such thing on the part of the computer. That ego will never give an inch. I’m a nice person, so I’ll practice patience, and only in extreme anger will I reveal that other models are available. On the other hand, I could just laugh it off.
A quote by Bill Cosby says: There is hope for the future, because God has a sense of humor, and we are funny to God. Yeah, I guess we are.
Marilyn Fowler is a retired Licensed Clinical Social Worker/Psychotherapist. She was Mental Health Team Leader, then Director of Mental Health Services in the Duval County Jail in Jacksonville, Florida. She later coordinated mental health services in five nursing homes, worked on in-patient units, and was in private practice for a number of years. Her stories have appeared in the Salvation Army magazine and in a book entitled, When God Spoke To Me, by DavidPaul Doyle. Her memoir, Silent Echoes, was published two years ago, and she’s now working on a second book, a fictional story entitled Me And Granmama In The Hill Country in southern dialect. She stays active in her church and writing group, and teaches a class at a local college. Marilyn believes that a sense of humor is a blessing to be used often.