After 11 months of residence in the retirement and fielding hundreds of complaints from my wife, I agreed to try and put a message on our phone. I have tried it many times and I cannot understand the instructions. Now I tried it once to make sure it was still impossible to understand and came to the same conclusion; it cannot be done – by me anyway. There is an instruction on the phone. All the words are stuck together with no breaks or slow-downs. It’s one long screed of instructions. I’m sure it starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop. Finally I admitted it. “I’m licked! We need a grandchild in here, someone who has the same education as this voice on the phone.”
I went through the list quickly: one at university, one free for another couple of hours, one in the army and three in school. They of course would be delighted to come and help. I called Number 2. She arrived smiling half an hour later and I briefed her. 30 seconds later we had a clear concise message telling the caller where he or she was. “What was the problem, Pop?”
Remember how simple all these pesky little things were? You had something to do; you read the instructions and in no time at all the job was done. I think we older citizens should begin a campaign: if we can’t understand the instructions by the second reading, we won’t buy the product. Furthermore, if the instructions are not in the local language we are not buying.
Something else is happening too – have you noticed this: when you call your middle-aged son or daughter – all golden agers have middle aged children – to help you with something their immediate response is: I’ll get back to you I have to ask my son/daughter. The hi-tech revolution seems to have skipped an entire generation. All those in favor of a lo-tech retirement home, raise their hands.