I’ve got the techno blues

Technology and me have had a rough ride together. This week I have been struggling with a new mobile, which does far too many things, and a crashed computer. I’ve definitely got the techno blues.

It’s been a hectic week. What with the announcement about flexible working, intensive work schedules at all the part-time jobs I do and a third birthday to celebrate. Plus I saw an old friend from years ago. Now, of course, I’ve got a full-blown cold and feel like death. And, also of course, I haven’t in any way planned for half term, let alone the summer holidays. I must like to fly by the seat of my pants as I never get round to these holiday things in advance. They always take me by surprise. I just feel like I am constantly fending off minor crises so the big stuff gets left to linger, undealt with.

I have this fantasy that I will write some best-seller before the summer holidays, it will be made into a major motion picture and I will retire. Obviously, I have not started any best-sellers. I am still on assignment two of my children’s writing course [begun in 1999, just before my first daughter’s birth]. I don’t think the book I am supposedly writing about higher education is destined for an Oscar, unfortunately.

Anyway, toddler girl’s birthday went off well. She is great fun and in the ‘why’ stage. She has moved up to pre-school in the nursery [why?]. She has a new key worker whose name is Megan [why?]. She actually introduced herself. Normally, there is an unwritten assumption that I know who they are and I know I should take an interest, but they seem to keep changing the key workers all the time and I can’t cope with any more information. My mind is on information overload. I have so many different passwords for all the jobs I am doing and things I have registered for. I am worried that one day I will wake up and have forgotten them all.

In fact, I have forgotten the pin number on my joint account. I forgot it six months ago and haven’t had time to contact the bank. I guess I thought I might remember it, but I haven’t. This means I cannot actually use it so the joint account is looking pretty healthy. I’m not a great person for finances. I’ve got to fill in a tax return soon. I keep putting it off. It’s one reason why it might be better to have a full-blown job rather than several part-time ones. Looking over my accounts [which sounds like I have something called accounts, which I don’t], this year has been very turbulent.

At one stage I was doing some press work for a company which supposedly fit around being a working mum so that you could do it from home and it was “just a few hours a week”. Only it got very busy. Isn’t that always the way? I was taking calls at the weekend while in a forest, which meant I had to run up a steep hill to find a reception point for the mobile. One call came in the evening while I was at the school disco and I had to dive into the toilets. Now I work two full days and the other days I work school hours plus some hours in the evenings. It is much more sane.

What I need, though, is training in technology – well, more than that I need time to read the manuals. I’ve got a new fangled mobile phone and it’s driving me mad. It does about 100,000 things which I don’t need it to do. I bought it because I needed internet access for work. However, I cannot work out the simple stuff, eg, putting the answer machine on [not listed in the manual!] so I practically kill myself trying to answer it in case I miss a call. I have just figured out how to get into call history so at least I have a list of missed calls. It’s one of those fancy phones with a stick thing that you tap on the screen with. It’s just not me. If you gave me a choice over a car, I’d go for a mini; if you gave me a choice over food, I’d choose tuna sandwich over oysters any day.

Today someone rang and I thought it had locked me out and I swore at it, but unfortunately it was on and the person on the other end was listening in…

Also, my computer keeps crashing and I am on my mum’s laptop at the moment which has been ruled strictly out of bounds for small people with an unhealthy interest in goth music in case it too crashes. I have a back-up and a new computer is on order, but it has been the longest order in history. The website was recommended, but apparently because the order is over £200 we had to go to some secure site and register and then wait five days while Paypal paid some money into our account twice and then we had to tell them how much they had paid. Now we are officially “verified”. However, apparently that was not enough. We have been sent some follow-up security questions and even now our order has not been cleared. I keep checking the website and the ‘pending security check’ message is ever present. The order has already been cancelled once because we took so long to realise that we had to go through a verification process [we thought the email was just a confirmation of order. I know, I know. Should have checked it]. Unfortunately, the website has no phone number.

Everything is done by a fill-in email form. If one thing will send me to the edge, it is trying to sort out my computer. I spent 45 minutes waiting for Virgin Net to answer the phone once only for the cat to jump on the phone line and disconnect me at the crucial point.

Anyway, I’m feeling very sorry for myself, wrapped in a Barbie duvet and writing exciting articles about literacy and stuff. I just want to curl up and watch Loose Women or even read a good novel [which I have not had time to do since circa 2001]. Bonkers daughter puts it all in perspective, though. I was complaining about my sore head, sore throat, etc, and she said: “Mummy, imagine I was a raspberry and I was sitting on your thumb. Would you eat me?” Now that’s a real dilemma.





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