Technology for Dinosaurs
I always thought I would be a person who stayed on top of trends and technology. It turns out I am not.
My family was one of the first to own a microwave oven and an Atari game console. My tech husband would mesmerize people with the magic of his mobile phone in a big, unsightly, suitcase that he could take out of the car. It was cutting edge stuff.
Somewhere shortly after flip phones became smartphones and televisions flattened out, my desire and ability to keep up also flattened. My mother is more hip and up-to-date than I am.
I have only recently discovered “Google Docs”. I didn’t discover it, my thirty- year- old daughter introduced it to me.
I use a fraction of the technology available on my cell phone or computer. Why the world has trusted me to use these things without supervision is a mystery to me.
Surprisingly, I have used live editing, virtual conferencing, and other technology back when I had a real job. It was a remote position working for a luxury brand.
A Virtual Butt-Chewing
I got to experience the extent of it with a virtual butt chewing. A customer would not accept an apology for a $4000.00 handbag that would not be arriving in time for her sixteen-year-old daughter on Christmas morning.
She was cussing and spitting fire at me in capital letters via live chat. I made every possible, professional apology and peace offering that I could.
Within our program, we had a scratch pad where we wrote down any and everything our customers rattled off. Our customers were not happy if they were asked to repeat information that they had already given.
While my livid customer continued expressing herself and informed me that I was ruining the life of her spoiled brat, my fingers were busy typing out a message of their own on the scratch pad.
Days before this engaging chat, my college bound, freshman, daughter had been in an auto accident which destroyed years of ballet training and changed her education track in the matter of a few seconds. A distracted driver hit her from behind.
When we lived in Mexico, she had to ride a bus over three mountain ranges, change to a city bus, then take a taxi to get to the only available ballet teacher in the entire area. I use the word “area” loosely. Dance was her dream, and it was taken from her in an instant.
Unfortunately, this incident was fresh on my mind and may have adversely affected my level of professionalism.
After recently moving back to the states, I found myself in this new, virtual position, squabbling and apologizing until all the strength was drained from my fingers with a woman who refused to accept that her daughter was not going to get the item she wanted on Christmas morning.
Now please don’t misunderstand me, I do not resent wealthy people, without wealthy people, I would not be able to do the work that I do. Hospitals, museums, parks, and all the lovely things that I so enjoy, are created by wealthy people.
What I do resent is self-centered, jerks who think that they are entitled to whatever they want, at the exact time that they want it.
(I digress big time from where I was heading but stay with me, I am bringing it around.)
My Fingers Have a Mind of Their Own
My fingers were steadily and passionately typing some of these very thoughts. It began with a biting, “Lady, you don’t even know what disappointment is.” It was followed by some serious venting concerning the extreme poverty I witnessed, my daughter’s crushed dream, children with cancer, etc. (I am telling you, this woman went on and on. I had plenty of time.)
I grew more and more apathetic to her dilemma as the personal insults began to fly. This woman was really melting down over this.
As if my rant which was mindlessly being composed wasn’t already way over the top and dramatic, I concluded my private lashing with; “SO TAKE A PICTURE OF THE STUPID PURSE. HANG IT ON THE CHRISTMAS TREE, AND MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE”
Without so much as a thought to what would happen to me, my naughty fingers went over to the scratch pad that I had been typing on, highlighted the entirety of my private rant, hit the copy button, and before I could stop the dirty little scoundrels; they hit paste and send, in what seemed like one seamless movement.
I immediately regretted it. I was ashamed. I am not a mean or spiteful person. I am not a confrontational person.
I was already forwarding the matter to my manager when my gobsmacked (I have always wanted to use that word) customer requested that I do so. I handed the call over and waited for my much-deserved fate of a virtual butt chewing from my manager.
Unbelievably, I was not fired but soon realized that customer service was probably not a good fit for me.
It was mind-blowing technology (to me). It was new and clunky at the time but was the predecessor to the sleek, virtual technology that has changed the work culture that is emerging and evolving every day. (Just because I know it exists doesn’t mean I know how to use it.)
Time to Make Use of the Magic
So here I am many years later, trying to figure out how everything works. I have no marketable skills besides writing and music. I am getting too old and rigid for music.
I am way too opinionated and honest for sales or customer service. ( I am sure you agree. )So it is time to drag my journal out, share my stories, and use some of the outdated skills that I have.
We have apps and social media. I still am not sure why I need a Twitter, but I got one.
I am also learning that things have names, such a content, copy, etc.… I seriously had no idea. Years ago, we used clip art, white out, a typewriter, and a copy machine to make all the magic happen.
My lack of paying attention to things that were not relevant to my life is now costing me a booty load of studying things that my four-year-old grandchild understands easily.
On a lighter and completely irrelevant note, my daughter will be able to tell her children how she used to have to go over three mountain ranges, take a bus, then a taxi, just to get to ballet class when they whine about anything. That is a powerful parenting tool right there.