Friday, June 25, 2010

The Set Up

Figuring out how some electronic device works is not my idea of a good time. The sight of a User’s Guide or a Manual, gives me the willies. I could blame this shortcoming on my impaired vision, but to be perfectly honest, I was not any better at doing these things when my vision was a clear 20/20.

To avoid feeling like a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, I have instituted a hard and fast rule – I do not buy electronics without making sure they are programmed and operational, before I leave the store.

From the smallest thing like the talking pedometer I bought and believed it was “easy” to set up just pull the tape to start the battery. I pulled the tape and the battery started, then I put it back in the package, where it sat for months, because I had no idea how to set it. Then I bit the bullet and invested 45 minutes figuring out how to set it up and clock my miles. Sadly, during its first excursion, the pedometer popped off my waist band and fell to the pavement, forever stopping the clock at 3.7 miles.

A “60 Minutes” report on CBS titled “Get Me the Geeks!” helped me to realize, I was not the only one having trouble. It was a relief to know that most of us were struggling for control over our technology, regardless of visual ability. Figuring out how to operate a new refrigerator, coffee maker, alarm clock, today can be problematic, “giving rise to the Geeks.”

I bought my last television at Best Buy and the Geek Squad set me up. I bought my last computer at the Apple Store and the Geniuses set me up. I had Mobile Me set up so my iPhone and iPad will wirelessly update and back up automatically, so the data and the settings will never be lost, even if the device is.

Same goes for watches, telephones, electric toothbrushes, and all kitchen appliances – I do not leave the store unless they are properly set up and fully operational. If I did not stick to this rule, many things would never leave their packages.

Recently, I had a momentary lapse and (foolishly) attempted to set up my iPad data plan with AT&T. I heard it was “easy.” Not for me. For one hour I grappled with the (not-so-accessible) form on the touch screen. It timed out twice and I had to start the excruciating process over again. Then I came to my senses, walked into the Apple Store, and in three minutes they had my 3G activated.

It’s not about you, and it’s not about me.

It is totally about The Set Up.


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