An unwelcomed invitation to confusion



It’s funny. All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they’ll do practically anything you want them to.” J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Have you ever noticed that all the modern-day inventions that are meant to eventually make our lives easier always start off by adding chaos, doubt, insecurity and a hint of angst to our day? 

As a long time user of residences that use “pay-as-you-go” laundry facilities I can attest to the fact that over the years the technology has morphed into something that makes me cringe whenever laundry day rolls around and I am forced to update the amount of money remaining on my laundry card so that I can once again wash my soiled skivvies.

In an earlier time I needed to have the proper change ( usually quarters or silver dollars) to use the laundry facilities. I always had to ensure that the jars filled with loose change had the correct amount of quarters else it would be a scramble for change on laundry day. Many times I barely had the right amount in the jar. Phew. 

With the advent of the computer era the ever popular microchip enabled the laundry user to hold his card in front of the reader on the machine    — an action that would start the washing and dryer cycles respectively.

You had to ensure that your card had the  required amount of funds on it to do the job. Many times I found myself shy of the required amounts and then had to hot foot it to the rental office to upgrade my outstanding amount.

This is where it gets confusing. The laundry company’s former card reader was simpler than the one above. You placed your card in front of the reader; indicated the amount of money you wanted to add to the card; insert your bank card inside another slot and the funds would be added to your card.

Simple as that may seem I did stumble upon the office one day and notice a tenant trying to place a twenty-dollar bill inside the card reader’s slot. She told me she had tried unsuccessfully for 30 minutes to figure out the machine.

Recently that “older” machine started acting skittish and refused to co-operate with the user. Previously you could select the language of you choice — usually English. Lately the only language displayed was a computer code. Oh well, maybe it was having a bad day.

Monday of this week the company installed the machine shown in the photo above. No directions were included and the user (me) had to intuit what the heck to do. There were directions on the wall but the light in the area was too dim to be of any use. 

Eventually I figured it all out and was able to do my laundry today. 

Many residents in my building have English as their second language. 

I can only imagine a few of these people trying to put money into the electronic reader’s slot.. 

This invitation to learn was forced upon them unexpectedly.  —  gc

About gc (562 Articles)
Quote of the week: The Bhagavad-Gita calls on humanity to dedicate body, mind and soul to pure duty and not to become mental voluptuaries at the mercy of random desires and undisciplined impulses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

11 Comments on An unwelcomed invitation to confusion

  1. And I thought I had it hard learning to use an Apple computer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • If I depended on that machine to get my laundry done I would wash my clothes in a babbling stream somewhere (or open a nearby fire hydrant). Thanks for writing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This article has everything going for it. How machine consume us! Bravo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Technology can be so darned confusing. And then they expect you to figure it out on your own…..**heavy sigh**

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank goodness I have never had to go to a laundry room, or laundromat


    • Good morning Susie. Lucky you. One day the creators of these time saving devices will get their acts together but until that happens frustration is the order of the day. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Always a pleasure to read. And so true sone machines do fill us with angst…

    Liked by 1 person

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