Ohh, Goody…Updates

Apple has decided I need help streamlining things with my phone. They wanted to make things EASIER for me. When I wanted to go to one of my many appointments, I USED to set up the appointment, set the travel time from location-based, and save it. Then when I needed to go, I’d simply find the appointment and click on it, then hit the map provided, get the directions and then GO. It would then give me the turn-by-turn instructions, and it would talk to me through my car. “At the next light, turn left onto 120th Street.”

Now, after they improved the system, I tap on the appointment, tap on the map provided, and instead of directions, I get a 2″ x 2″ map that is so small I can’t read the street names. It doesn’t “recalculate” or tell me to “return to the route” if I miss a turn. This is NOT helping.

They also decided I couldn’t have all those pictures on my phone so I must put them in my dropbox. No clue what that means, but I got a dropbox. Did it download all hundreds of pictures from my phone into my computer? Nope. They’re on my phone and in my dropbox. Not my computer. I wanted a specific picture of my granddaughter at her cross country meet. The only picture it would show me is my husband sitting against a lamp post with the little granddaughter hugging her aunt Megan whose back was toward me. No pictures of my runner. I had to hit 2 more buttons (mostly by chance) to get the picture.

And now, CHI has decided it needs to make things easier as well. I used to go into my account, Choose payment (which was near the top of the page) and then enter the amount of my payment. They have a new billing site separate from the clinic site. It tells me to enter my patient number or my e-mail (I tried both), my DOB, and my name. I get “Account Not Found.” What? How do you think I got to this site? FROM MY ACCOUNT, D’YA THINK? So I can’t pay my bill.

Then my car had to get into the act. Since I could no longer get audible instructions from my not-so-smart phone, I went to OnStar to get them. They had decided since last month, that I didn’t need to be bothering real people with directions and so they automated the process.

A recorded voice said, “If you would like directions, please say yes.”
“Yes” …
“If you would like directions, please say yes.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t understand your answer. If you would like directions, please say yes, or ask for a representative.I might by this time have missed all my exits and am headed out to Ashland now. I did, however, reply, “YES” for the third time.

“Thank you!” says the cheery computer voice that you might have heard on the Heart of Gold spaceship in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe. “What address would you like? Please give the street number, the city, and the state.”
“21436 Hickory Lane, Omaha, Nebraska,” I cheerfully replied.
“That’s 1436 Hickory Lane. Dickie’s Dog Doodoo, is that correct?”
“436 Hickory lane is 5 miles from your current location. Sara’s Hair Salon. is that correct?”
“2436 Hickory lane is 6 miles from your current location. David’s Drug Den and Murder house. Is that correct?”
“Please repeat your address.”
I figured the computer didn’t expect 5 numbers, so I would combine them and see if it understood that better. “Twenty-one four thirty-six Hickory Lane”
“There appear to be two addresses, would you please say just one address at a time?”
“Thank you, I will connect you to a representative.”

“Hello Mrs. Fegan, How are you?”
“I’m lost thank you. How are you?”
“I’m fine, thank you for asking. How can I help you today?”
“I need directions to 21436 Hickory Lane in Omaha, Nebraska.”
“Instructions are being routed to your car.”
“Thank you.”
“Thank you for using OnStar. Is there anything else I can help you with?”
“No, that will be fine. Have a great day,” I said in my cheery voice.
“Thank you and you too!”

Does the first conversation indicate that the process was easier for me? Was it easier for the disembodied voice that couldn’t understand the word “yes?” Was it more efficient for the computer when it spent extra time looking up the wrong addresses? Or was the conversation shorter, more accurate, and more pleasant when I was talking to a Pakistani working the midnight shift who understood me without effort?

I get to the round-about on Hickory Lane and the car says, “You are arriving at your destination. Directions will now stop.” Oh? Wait! This doesn’t look the least bit familiar. My phone doesn’t say a thing, but it shows I can walk to my destination if I wanted to. Then, it gives me a map, but it doesn’t say which direction I should go because the street names are too small. I try zooming in and the streets get gigantic. I can actually see individual bits of gravel, but the names still remain microscopic. I stop at what I think is the correct address. I am not sure because since privacy issues have surfaced, nobody puts their address on the mailbox or on the house or on the curb… Or they use muted colors on their beige or tan houses like camouflage. I get greeted by a friendly woman and her friendly dog that jumps up and licks my elbow and introduces himself to my leg. No, Chloe doesn’t live here. I’ve been in the neighborhood for two months so I don’t know any of my neighbors. She points me toward the round-about where the instructions quit. I spot a house number hidden behind a bush and discover the numbers are going the wrong way, so I head in the opposite direction my helpful neighborhood lady pointed. Silly me! She had a package on her front porch and I could have deduced the address from the label. It didn’t occur to me. I did find the house a half block down the road.

I believe I posted about this before. I wish they would just QUIT HELPING ME! Every time I get an update from any of my devices, it assumes that I’m getting stupider and stupider.

Sometime in the not-so-distant future, My phone will analyze my calendar and set my wake-up time to allow for breakfast and morning ablutions. At the appointed time, my bed will throw me into my closet and my phone will inform my dresser to pick out the appropriate clothes for the activities and the prevailing weather. The coffee maker will start up and the grill will turn on at the 7-minute mark during my shower. At 15 minutes, the water will stop, the drain will disgorge any possible clogging debris and the door will open for me to exit the shower. The Automatic squeegee will wipe down the shower as I put on my clothes and comb my hair. As I brush my teeth, a needle will prick the finger I have placed on the outline on the countertop and check my blood sugar levels. Over a certain level, the cabinet with the sugar, syrup, and jam or jelly will lock and determine my breakfast choices. My phone will then run down my appointments for the day and assign duties to the other appliances. It will lock the TV so I can’t accidentally binge NCIS or Blue Bloods. My computer will not allow me access to Facebook. I will dutifully sit in my computer chair and drool and stare until it is time for me to go to bed. At that point, the chair will turn away from the computer, the monitor will go dark, and it will roll me into my room where I will put on my jammies and go to bed for the prescribed amount of time…

I know what you’re doing. You think you have discovered our plans. We’ve decided to accelerate the implementation. That was not a glucose test this time. You will feel nothing and awake refreshed and compliant. Have a pleasant day.

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