This modern world

If I went back outside and took this same picture on my phone, I would be able to identify it, using Plantnet.com, except that there are apparently “Technical Difficulties”.

Ah yes, technical difficulties. When I was a child we were not as bothered by those, as so many things back then were done manually. Like getting out a book and looking up pictures of flowers until you thought you found the right one.

Not that I don’t think it’s amazing that my cellphone can, within moments, identify most flowers. Anemone blanda, by the way. The app has decided to work after all.

When first I worked at JFK Airport, everything we did was manual, with the exception of the flight manifest that came in on a signals machine which was a bit of a mystery. Lost bag reports were taken long-hand and the form was then placed on a cylinder inside a sort of tube, a bit like that thing at the bank when you go to the drive up window.

Except that the lost bag report tube then had to be inserted into another device that made it rotate and after the right amount of time, presumably, someone, somewhere, got a copy of the document. It’s an awfully good job we weren’t losing bags at the rate we did later on, as we would never have got out from under those reports. But that is another woe-some tale…

Aircraft documents had to be hand-written with a sharp stylus onto a form that had a waxy surface, so that you created a stencil, which you had then to very carefully apply to the Gestetner machine. Then, if you were lucky, it didn’t spit globs of ink at you and could be persuaded to produce the required copies. It was a messy business.

It was all very industrious and there were pressures of time that sometimes made procedures a bit stressful, but I don’t believe I ever expended half the amount of energy fretting over equipment as I did later on when we were “modernised” and went “on-line”. That was when the fun started.

Printers then came into my life and I have been cursing them ever since.

Never have I ever, ever, encountered a single, simple printer I could get on with.

Not even the most basic machine.

This box has just been delivered by our intrepid Fedex man.

But I am loath to unpack it because the sun is over the yardarm and it is too late in the day to start.

I know what will happen and I need to feel strong.

Just a few days ago I decided to print some document. But the print came out with lines through it. Now, I only got the printer 6 months ago . It’s maybe printed 400 copies.

There was a hint on my Mac. It said there was “an update available.” Curses. Updates are always trouble. At least for me. And they seem to come on average every 12 minutes. I try to ignore them, but then you get print with lines through it…

So I hit “download.” And that was the end of my printer. I cursed, and I swore and I made a variety of explosive noises. All to no avail. Grant barricaded himself in the basement.

Then I spent an hour on the phone with someone named Tania. It would perhaps have helped if we could have properly understood each other, but this no longer seems to be an option.

However, Tania was very nice and eventually she came back after about the 11th “hold” and said “We will send you a new one and no need to send back the other.”

Grant says it’s because I chose a “duff” model that is so beset with problems, the company knows they can’t do anything with it. Otherwise, why would they be so willing to send out a new printer with no evidence at all of where I made the original purchase, or whether I abused the hell out of the thing and caused it’s demise myself.

Hence, my reluctance to start over with a new version of the same printer which I had so, so much trouble setting up the first time. I could not get my Mac to recognize it. Grant and I tried so many maneuvers, when it finally worked, we had no idea how we got there.

Tomorrow I shall have a better attitude. But don’t be surprised if my next post is :

*************************TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES*************************.

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