Life's on edge when the systems fail

03:42, May 07 2012
Alana Dixon
Reporter Alana Dixon is The Southland Times Uptown Girl columnist.

Faithful readers, I'm sure by now you all know (I hope – eek) that I try my best each Saturday to tell something resembling a semi-decent yarn, writes Uptown Girl  Alana Dixon.

And I had good intentions today, as always, but then the computer ate my homework.

Actually, I lie.

There was no homework to be eaten, because the computer wouldn't even let me get past that dreadful black-and-white screen at start-up.

I just kept trying to restart the thing to see if that helped but, no matter what I did, it just popped up a bunch of jargon that could have been in Portuguese, for all I know – cache and cores per processor and a raft of numbers I won't even pretend to have understood.

(One processor was detected, apparently, but there are two cores per processor. Just in case you're interested, because I know I sure was. Riveted.)


This wouldn't have been quite so rage-inducing if I hadn't spent my day at work alternating, you know, interviewing people and stuff, with using all of my mental strength to stop myself from a: banging my head against my desk repeatedly or, b: going all Hulk and ripping the computer cords out of the wall before crushing the machine with my bare hands.

Don't make me angry. You won't like me when I'm angry.

Fifty years ago, people might have been pretty impressed if they saw how technologically advanced the world is – well, the First World, anyway. They might be a little bit confused at the disparity around the globe, but aren't we all.

(Actually, on second thought, when did The Jetsons start? Maybe people from 50 years ago would be disappointed, not impressed.)

If only they had known the truth.

A lot of the time, technology doesn't really work the way it's meant to.

Like the times the ATM tells you its service is unavailable.

Or when your boyfriend's phone mysteriously stops working when he is still at the pub six hours after the Warriors game ended, even though he'd yelled out "won't be long" as he left and you'd spent four hours in hell (read: on the bus from Timaru to Dunedin) that night just so you could visit him.

And – the absolute pits – when something goes wrong with the computer system and people don't get paid on time.

I've never experienced that before, but I live in fear.

Anyway, now that I've typed this out on my iPhone, I'm going to go microwave my dinner. After that I might watch a spot of the Mad Men episode I recorded at the weekend, and before bed I might just call up my phone banking to reassure myself the system isn't buggered and my pay went through on time.

Ahhh, technology.

The Southland Times