DREW-RASSIC PARK

My names Drew and I am a dinosaur!

Apparently acceptance is the first step towards enlightenment but good God – when did it happen to me? I am still so young and vibrant (to all my friends – SHUT UP! I AM). I pride myself in my effortless immaturity. I am hip, cool and groovy – kids still use those terms right?

Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans it seems. Not sure what I was busy planning but I certainly seem to have been looking the other way. I was probably busy eating a Twix or something, I don’t know, but here we are, well into the digital party and I forgot to R.S.V.P.

I now seem to be constantly and unavoidably hit with barrages of technical babble just to enable me to get from A to B. A piece of poop for the majority it seems but, for me, you might as well ask me to scuba dive in a saucer because, frankly, I don’t want to play.

I think the online world has caused us to lose way more in life than we’ve gained. It’s become an iron lung we cannot seem to function properly without.

Whatever happened to :-

  • Talking to people face to face ?

  • Being able to spell ?

  • Forming proper sentences ?

  • Shake & Vac (OK, not a relevent example, but what DID happen to it?)

Call me an old fart if you like – and, after a quorn stew, you’d be uncannily accurate in that accusation – but we’re fast becoming a world of illiterate strangers.

Go on public transport, into any bar/cafe/restaurant or in pretty much anywhere there are living breathing people and all you see are heads looking down at some sort of appliance, ignoring their partners, friends and the outside world in general. Wasn’t the advance of communications supposed to bring people closer together rather than making us more and more distanced from one another?

Walking to work, its impossible not to notice that the bulk of my fellow pedestrians have earphones in and eyes fixated on a screen, thus cutting off two major senses. They don’t even look up at crossings to check if a truck is approaching.

It’s a pretty embarrassing demise if you get flattened by a tram just because you were too distracted watching a clip of juggling kittens or something equally trivial. No minister or vicar could deliver that eulogy with any dignity.

I have a friend who doesnt even use a credit card and steadfastly refuses to be forced into getting one, preferring instead to pay by cash or cheque! This may be extreme but there are many things in life that are thrust upon us with no choice, so if you can dig your heels in about other things I can see the twisted appeal. I’m not advocating we go back to barter and exchange – I don’t have any camels to trade at the moment – but often the simpler things in life remain the best.

A sunset, angel delight (Flake optional), a genuine belly laugh with that old friend who shares your sense of humour, turning on the radio and hearing a song you love – the list is endless and none of it involves charging anything up !

Maybe those of us without the natural inclination or desire to form relationships with computers should start a support group?

I concede that part of my aversion is a complete lack of interest and that now, more than ever, the working world largely rejects you if you’d rather cut your googlies off than create an excel spreadsheet but it’s square pegs, round holes people! We can’t all be good at everything. Some of us are just on a more spiritual plain (again, to my friends – SHUT UP!)

Mind you, if that shepherd job I’ve applied for turns out to involve electronic sheep that only operate on j-pegs I’ll be hugely disillusioned…

Perhaps I’d just prefer a hassle free life? A less meddle-some existence? Just yesterday, my email provider, for no valid reason, forced upon me changes in the format and design of my messages. It hasn’t made things better, its made them worse…way worse (with no option to change settings to suit). Why BT why? I was happy with the way things were in my limited little PC world (good name for a shop that – what do you mean there already is one?)

My name is Drew and I’m a dinosaur…and proud of it !!!!

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LET ME HELP YOU (whether you like it or not…)

I know this is the digital age and that our daily interactions are meant to be faster and more streamlined but, retail and public service outlets – FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, I BESEECH THEE – will you please stop pushing other unwanted information upon us !!

Yesterday, I headed to the Post Office. I just wanted to buy a stamp (for those of a youthful disposition, that’s a small sticky square thing that pays for the delivery of a letter…oh, hang on…a letter is a written document that people fold into an envolope…an envolo…oh for feck’s sake…google it.)

Anyhoo, before I’d even finished uttering my request, the woman on the counter butted in…

‘Who is your broadband provider ? Whoever it is, I bet the post office have a much better deal you know‘ she forcefully declared before shoving a pamphlet into my hands.

This was just the overture…

‘And if you don’t mind me asking…’

(I DO, not that it would have stopped her)

‘How much do you pay for your mobile and line rental? We do a much better deal than everyone else right here at the Post Office.’ Another leaflet was thrust upon me.

‘I JUST WANT TO BUY A FIRST CLASS STAMP !!!’ I wailed, desperately hoping that this Stepford salewoman would take the hint.

She didn’t.

‘And what about your house insurance? We do a lovely little deal here at the Post Off…’

‘NO! NO! NO!’ I yelled, forced to be abrupt as she failed to notice me curled up in a ball rocking and crying by this point. The lengthening queue weren’t impressed either though it was obvious from their glares they didn’t realise that it wasn’t me causing their delay.

The counter woman looked a little crestfallen but how else could I get the message across how ridiculous this all was? ‘I’m a little peckish – do you do cheese & ham toasties here at the Post Office? How about podiatry? I’ve got an ingrowing toenail that’s giving me jip…’

I decided to wave the white flag and retreat, slid my letter back into my pocket and sloped off, drained and defeated even though she was STILL pushing unwanted information at me. Let the next person in line have a go at getting her to give them the ACTUAL thing they came in for.

On my way out I was accosted by another staff member asking if I needed any services that the automated system could help with. Despite noticing that the queue for this was even longer I let out a freeble, babbling whimper ‘I just wanted to buy a stamp’ …

‘Well, we have lots of options for that here at the Post Office’s automated service…you can have first class, second class, recorded delivery, then there are all the weight options…’

I actually ran out of the place, headed into the nearest newsagents and was charged £27.50 for my stamp though, by this point, I didn’t care.

Sometimes less is more. I don’t always need or want MORE options that don’t help. I want simple, uncomplicated, straight forward. Remember how easy that used to be?

Go into any clothing store and you have the same problem trying to navigate through a formerly simple transaction.

You just want to buy a pair of pants and leave before anyone notices that you’re no longer a 32 waist but is this possible? Nope because you get held up by someone trying to force feed you the dreaded store card.

The staff clearly loathe and feel uncomfortable doing it but obviously have no choice so they pretend to wrap it up as a great deal even though, at it’s heart, it’s just putting the public further into debt so people higher up the organisational chain can get a bonus.

For the hapless few that do go along with it, they’re stuck for half an hour giving intimate details of their financial and personal life not always understanding exactly what they’re signing up for. For all they know, they may have just promised to name their first born after the store manager.

If you don’t go for the debt and destitution option, there’s usually some other card or add on they have to inform you about, oblivious to the fact that your eyes glazed over ten minutes earlier and that you’ve actually outgrown the garment you tried to buy during the time it’s taken just to purchase the damn thing!

So I have come up with an easy yet effective method of cutting the crap in order to get your task completed quickly so that you are free to get on with the rest of your day. A system so simple you’ll wonder why you hadn’t thought of it yourself…

Fart & Go.

You have to put a little bit of preparation into it beforehand – downing some green, cruciferous vegetables perhaps or scoffing something overly eggy, whatever it is that makes your insides churn and flatulate.

You are then ready to head out into the wide world, fully prepared to unleash the beast whenever you anticipate that a load of customer service babble is coming your way.

For example :-

Counter person ‘…and have you got one of our fantastic new…’

YouPARP !!!!!

Counter person (totally taken aback) ‘I err, was um…’

You (grabbing bag with purchase in and leaving) ‘Good day to you.’

Voila ! Job done (no pun intended, I don’t advocate following through unless it’s a particularly complex transaction)

So, consumers of the world, there you have it.

Just Fart & Go !

Good day to you 🙂