Some technologies are fine, like remotes and Google Maps, but for the most part, I think life was a lot easier and less stressful when the world wasn’t wireless and the only people who understood computers were the geek guys in high school who all became bazillionaires.
An example of how frustrating technology can be is all of the electronic hoops Mark and I went through trying to refinance our mortgage, a process that has been going through a lot due to our loan officer (who is in another state) dragged on too long. suddenly in the middle of the AWOL process and apparently taking all of our paperwork with us.
We’ll try again with another loan officer and new paperwork. Of course, everything is online, which apparently should be much more efficient than having real paper copies.
The original loan officer, also known as the Mr. Vanishing Act, swore that e-signing was “a breeze” and certainly not difficult, but for some reason the software has repeatedly placed my name where Marks belongs and his name where mine belongs. These issues only come to light when a real person looks at them and emails us to try again.
Then there is the thrill of finally electronically signing a batch of documents correctly only to find out that we need to sign them “wet” which would be fine except that we then have to upload them to the correct portal. For someone like me who isn’t entirely sure what a portal is, and for someone like Mark who still has a flip phone, we are both moody most of the time, having at least one conversation a day wondering why we aren’t just win the lottery and forget to refinance anything for the rest of our lives.
On the other hand, technology bugs can sometimes be fun.
From time to time I meet up with a few friends for lunch and to catch up on what we’ve all been up to. Let’s call them friend one, friend two, and friend three. A couple of weeks ago I got a group message from friend one suggesting we arrange lunch, and friend two and I both replied, “Sure. Where do you want to go?”
Then friend three stepped in. “Mettlers?”
Well, for the record, Friend Three is a retired teacher and the kind of person who hangs out on golf courses, not bars. My only request was that we shouldn’t meet at a location that required a roundabout drive to get there. (Yes, I know I’m a chicken and I know my world will keep shrinking as Mankato keeps building more and more roundabouts, but that’s another story.)
We were beating around a couple of restaurants with no roundabout nearby when Friend Three got back on the phone. “You are not driving on the roundabout? They are just AF. “
Now we knew something was wrong. Either friend three had started happy hour at 9 a.m. or it was a stranger on our cell phone.
Friend two wrote to friend one and me. “I don’t think that’s the same phone number I have for friend three” at the same moment, friend one and I both texted: “Has she been drinking?”
Friend Two was right; It wasn’t the correct phone number. A random person got the message from friend one and decided to have some fun. I suspect from the speed of his or her replies that it was a young person with lightning-fast fingers. I also suspect it was a young person with male convictions because most of the women either told us we typed the wrong number or didn’t bother to join our group conversation.
Friend One and Two and I cleared the conversation and made contact with Friend Three, who luckily didn’t know what we thought of her drinking habits. Thankfully, we figured out what was going on before inviting Faux Friend Three to join us, although that might have been entertaining.
I’m sure the technology is only going to get faster and more confusing, so my best bet is to sit back and enjoy when a random stranger joins in a group conversation, and use Google Maps to figure out which restaurants aren’t from roundabouts surround. Oh, and once we finally get our house refinanced, try to avoid ever logging into any kind of portal again.
Nell Musolf is a freelance writer who lives in Mankato with her husband and two dogs. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.