Saturday, 29 November 2008

THE MACHINES ARE OUT TO GET ME . . .

When it comes to technology, I like to think I'm pretty savvy. I can install software, download things. Even when I had a trojan virus in my laptop earlier on in the year, I tried to fix it myself for several days before finally succumbing to professional help. *

But certain technology freaks me out. I look at it and feel completely overwhelmed.

Back at uni, it was the photocopier. Now, seriously, is there actually an easier, more obvious machine you can use than a photocopier??? But I was TERRIFIED of it. I used to wait until one of my friends had to photocopy something and then faux-casually ask if they could photocopy something for me while they were doing their own. I think I kept the secret fairly well hidden - everyone probably thought I was really LAZY, but they didn't know of my fear of the photocopier.

Thankfully, due to the numerous temping gigs I have had, I've became fairly familiar with the ways of the photocopier these days. Thankfully. That being said, I still have momentary panic when faced with a new one (fax machines also arouse a similar fear in me, I should add) and when there's a paper jam??? Don't even get me started! I can't work out where the jam actually is, the little diagram thingy means nothing to me. And if I manage to work out where it is, I then can't work out how to OPEN that particular part of the photocopier . . .

What else freaks me out? Oooh, the self-scanning machines in supermarkets. I would rather queue and have someone else scan my stuff through than have to do it myself. I have this uncontrollable fear that something won't scan and I won't be able to get any help and people are going to be queuing behind me, yelling abuse and throwing their food at me. What is especially weird is that I actually used to WORK in a shop where I had to scan things - and i quite LIKED doing it. So why the fear of scanning things myself now? Yeah, it really makes no sense.

And then today I was walking through Maryhill Shopping Centre after leaving Tesco and a woman popped her head out of the photo-booth thingummyjig. "Do you have any idea how to use these things?" she asked me. "I've put my money in and don't have a clue what to do next."

I peered in at the touch-screen that was flashing up with random options and felt nothing but confusion. I felt like backing away from it slowly. "Em - no." I apologised. "I really don't have a clue, sorry!"

I'm sure I could have worked it out eventually had I been trying to take a picture myself. But I was reluctant to guess and use trial and error when someone else's money was at stake. Because that machine would probably have sensed my fear.

And no matter what . . . you can't let them know you're afraid . . .


*I can even change a lightbulb. All by myself. Yes. I AM amazing . . .

6 comments:

  1. I feel your fear - things like this baffle me, espeically fax machines. No matter how hard I try, I always fax the wrong way up ... and if there's no paper, I walk away and come back in the hope that someone has replenished it in my absence!!

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  2. Aw, poor Paula! When I worked (haha, just for two months, like six months ago) I was often asked to take photocopies, I loved it!!!!! Especially when you set it to take all the copies by itself! I never took the cliché copy or my arse though...I should have done it! dammit! they didn't even pay me!

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  3. ugh, when i used to work for my parents auto-body shop, i had to fax things from the office (where my dad worked) to home (where my mom worked). i never understood the process, still don't, and doubt i ever will. i also refuse to go through the self-check lanes at stores and scan my own purchases because, inevitably, something won't go right and i'll be in the same predicament you suggested.

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  4. I am the photocopy queen...unfortunately that means that coworkers pester me to fix it when they screw it up, which means that I typically end up covered in toner!

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  5. Funny-I love self scan, (one less personal interaction to worry about) but I do occasionally run into the issue you're talking about. I think they work by weight, so if it somehow doesn't register your item has been put down, you're in a never ending cycle of "please scan your item"/"unauthorized item in scan area-please remove item", then back to "please scan your item".

    Sigh.

    Remember when the idea of a store was for them to HELP you?

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  6. oh I so know what you mean.. those self scanning aisles in supermarkets are just scary.. plain scary.. e

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