Leaving the Computer

One of the scariest aspects of being a roving citizen of the USA are what I think of as “householder duties”, things like health insurance, keeping track of finances, and mail. Oh, there’s so much mail! I also worried that some of the things I needed to do for my work would be harder on the road.

Most householder stuff can be administered online or by phone from anywhere in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. The internet highway often feels like a beat up, back country road.

I expect imperfection on websites because writing code to make them function properly is really complex. However, I think where companies and governments have fallen down is in the support category. Customer service is pretty poor – if you can find it.

Can we agree that good customer service is rare and great service is even harder to find? Most days, whatever time I save from doing things on a company website is spent trying to navigate their site, struggling to get it to work like it was designed to work.

I’m a pretty patient guy in this regard, but it eats up my stored, meditative energy. This is where customer service is supposed to step in, but it often is horrible or non-existent. If I’m not careful, I begin to feel like a victim. I feel disempowered.

Typically, this is when I choose 1) to suffer for another hour or 2)  get up from the computer, talk to my wife about it or go for a walk. Nature is a great antidote to computerized hell.

After a a mile or two, I’m ready to move back into the task, usually with some renewed vigor and calm. Sometimes, I’m even able to see that it was MY energy that was out-of-whack while trying to get something done too fast.

I’m not one of those people who curse tech. I use it too frequently to not see the advantages, especially for communication or for people who are working remotely, like us. My hope is that it gets better, but I ain’t holding my breath. Therefore, my best path forward is to remember the Serenity Prayer.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.

In closing, I’d like to say that I sometimes stay too long at the wheel or at the computer or at any task when I have a DRIVE to finish it. I need to spend more time trying to finish or succeed and more time walking or playing, talking, thinking or even daydreaming. It’s up to me to make that change. And I will.

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