JoAnn Gometz

Writing | Editing | Content Strategy

The Joy of Opposable Thumbs

Technology  and I are usually fairly good friends. After all, I am kind to my electronics. You never know when they might stage a revolt and take over the world, though. In my case, that revolt is currently in progress. 

It all started last Monday, when I was working away on the last set of revisions on the last chunk of material I needed to turn in for my Master of Fine Arts, so that next month, some lovely folks from Dalhousie and the University of King's College can hand me a pretty parchment. At the same time, I was doing some initial planning for what promises to be a busy few months of freelancing. 

All of of a sudden, my faithful and long-lasting computer ground to a halt. And I mean, full stop, not playing, restart me or bid adieu to anything getting done.

Only it wouldn't restart. Two days of severely hampered workarounds and frustrating visits to electronics and hardware stores later, I had a snazzy new computer on order. You can't buy a snazzy computer at the local Apple Store anymore, I learned. You have to order anything above the basic option online. That part was easy. I wandered off to borrow a friend's spare laptop for the week or two until my new space gray beauty arrived. 

My cheerful acceptance was ruined when my credit card company declined the charge for the computer. Sent me a text message asking if I meant to spend such an obscene chunk of money. YES, I chose from the menu. They sent me an email asking the same thing. YES, I chose from the menu. Still, the charge wasn't accepted ... and my card was restricted.

Saturday, a phone call theoretically should have led to an accepted charge. But it didn't. Yesterday morning, a phone call had the same result. Still, the charge was rejected again in the afternoon. I called again. The card company called Apple. No one knows why the charge wasn't going through. Long story short, Apple had to cancel the order and create a new one. My fingers are crossed that it actually arrives.

In the meantime, I'm using a borrowed computer for work things and my phone for quick email checks and typing this blog post. 

The whole thing has been a good reminder that the more our world relies upon technology, the more vulnerable we are to the complete disintegration of industries when that technology fails. Not just the computer that spit the bit, but the financial and commerce systems that can't communicate with one another. Certainly a big thing to ponder, especially for someone who has a foot in both worlds. 

That's why, today, in the midst of workarounds, I'm giving thanks for opposable thumbs, wall calendars, planners, and patience.