Me and technology

Monday January 3, 2005

Stickford, Jan 3,'05
Really small buttons

It was my turn to be all concerned today.

“Are you all right?” I asked in the middle of the fourth frozen food aisle in Tesco’s. “You’ve gone all quiet and rather pale.”

“My eye is hurting,” Graham said. “I’m not sure this outing was a good idea.”

“I did wonder. Let’s get a move on and we’ll have you home as quick as quick.”

So we did a fast finish, me making sure Graham didn’t wander off looking for interesting stuff. Saves a lot of time, does that, as well as a fair wad of money. We even found a check-out with only one bloke in front of us and he was nearly finished.

There was a minor hitch when it came to paying for our trolley-load. For the first time I had to enter my pin number on one of those little keypad things they’ve been installing by the side of the shelf where you used to sign the counterfoil for a bank card purchase. Now you don’t sign, you tap in the four digit number you use in the cash machines. All fine and dandy. Or so I thought. After all, I’ve been using cash machines since they were invented.

Then I hit the snag.

“Oh, lor,” I said. “These buttons are so small I can’t really read them.”

“I can call a supervisor,” said the nice young woman on the till. “She can authorise a signature if you want.”

“Oh, let’s not do that,” I said. “Just be gentle with me while I peer…”

And I took my spectacles off, put my face up close to the keypad and memorised the position of the buttons I needed to press, including the green ‘enter’ button. Then I straightened up, covered the keypad with my left hand and tapped merrily with my right. The young woman, rather puzzled, checked her display.

“Well, I don’t know how you managed that,” she said, “but it cleared without a single problem.”

“Luck and judgement, duck,” I said. “And a short term memory that worked for once. I’ll bring my proper specs next time.”

“You’d better,” she laughed. “There’s some here wouldn’t understand.”

“I’m sure,” I said.

And off we wandered, Graham pushing the trolley at a fearsome rate, me following best I could.

“What was all that about?” he asked over his shoulder.

“Oh, just me and an encounter with technology.”

“Ah. We all know about you and technology, don’t we.”



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