This High Tech Stuff Is For The Birds—A Guest Post by Rube
I gotta tell you, I ain’t much into this fancy tech world. I got one of them Trac-Fones so I can talk to Will once in a while. Now I reckon as how I gotta hand it to them Trac-Fone folks; they ain’t no dummies. If you don’t use up your minutes within a certain time, they shut your phone down, and you gotta go through all that rigamarol of re-registerin’ afore you can buy more minutes.
I learned that the hard way. I don’t talk much on my Trac-Fone. I only bought it so’s I could talk to Will onced in a while, and to have it fer an emergency if me and ol’ Gertrude get stranded out in the wilderness someday(Gertrude’s my 1941 Black Ford pickup, you’ll remember). I bought one of the fancier model phones because I thought a camera would be nice to have, and it also offered three times the minutes ever time you bought a new card. I bought one of them sixty minute cards thinkin’ it might last me a couple or three months fer no more than I used the thing.
I reckon as how I was mistaken about that. About two weeks after I bought it last year, I decided to call Will and have a little chat. When I went to use it, it was dead as a door nail. I thought the battery was dead, so I charged it up and tried it agin. The phone was still dead. I didn’t really know much about how to use the thing so I got a friend of mine here in Ideeho who knows a little bit about computers to see if he could help me out.
He looked the thing over and then he told me first thing you gotta do is register this thing with them Trac-Fone folks.
I said to him, “How do I do that? I don’t know nuthin’ about registerin’ this blasted thing? All I want to do is talk on it from time to time when I wanna talk to Will.”
He said it don’t make no difference. You gotta register it afore you can use it.
“I don’t know how to do that,” I said.
“I’ll help you,” he said. We got the thing all registered an’ up and a runnin’. He called his home just to see if it was a workin’ okay, and it was. Okay, now I’m all set. I’ll have an emergency phone if me and Gertrude decide we wanna go to Arizona and visit Will.
Well, a couople o’ weeks later I decided to call Will fer a little chat to try out my new cell phone. Guess what folks. Yep, she was dead as a door nail agin. Only it wasn’t the battery, it was charged up, but the phone was dead. So, I called my friend on my regular phone and told him my cell phone was on the fritz agin.
Well, long story short, he said he’d drop by in a day or two and see if’n he could figger out what in blazes was agoin’ on with this blasted phone. Come to find out, if”n you don’t buy a new card or use yer phone within a certain period of time, them Trac-Fone folks deactivates it and ya have to buy a new card whether you used any minutes off the card you already have or not. Like I said at the beginnin’ of this letter, I reckon as how them folks over at Trac-Fone ani’t no dummies. They got it figgered out that they’re gonna git some money out of you ever month, one way or another.
My friend did some checkin’ and he found that instead of buyin’ a new card ever so often, you can sign up for a automatic renewal fer eleven bucks a month. I reckoned has how that wasn’t such a bad deal, so I had him sign me up.
After we signed up fer that automatic renewal service ever thing has been workin’ fine fer the past seven months or so—until the other day. The other day I git this message from them Trac-Fone folks tellin’ me that my refund has been processed. Refund? What refund? I didn’t ask fer no refund. I reckon as how them folks is all confused about somethin’ so I decide to get in touch with them to see what in blazes is a goin’ on.
I call the 800 number they gave me and I gits this lady with a foreign accent so thick you could eat it with a spoon. After about thirty seconds of her spiel, I told her I reckoned as how I didn’t understand a word she said and could she transfer me over to someone with an American accent. She didn’t seem too happy about that and asked me, “you mean you don’t understand English?”
I said to her, “I reckon as how I understand English purty darned good. It’s you I don’t understand.”
She said, “I’ll talk more slowly, maybe you can understand better.”
I said to her, that I reckoned as how that wouldn’t do much good, I still couldn’t understand her. She said “Okay, I’m goin’ to hang up now. Goodbye,” or somethin’ like that. By that time I was ready to pull all the whiskers off’ o’ my face by the roots(don’t have much left on the top of my head no more ) and I go to my friend’s house ta see if he can send them an email ta see if’n we can git this problem solved.
I reckon as how if’n them durn politicians and bureaucrats would quit comin’ up with all them regulations and edicts that hamstrings business in this country, maybe they wouldn’t go over seas ta find workers that we can’t understand. People blame these companies fer takin’ their business out of the country, but I reckon as how it’s our government we oughta be blamin fer makin’ all them regulations. I reckon as how we Americans break seventy or eighty regulations ever day and don’t even know we’re doin’ it because there is so many of ’em.
They say you can’t go back, but folks, I’d sure like to go back at least as far as the 1950s or ’60s. Life was a whole lot simpler, and I’ll even so far as to say, better, without all this high tech stuff . That Paul Harvey feller that used to talk on the radio had it right when he kept a sayin’, “someday were a gonna outsmart ourelves.”
Maybe there’s more truth than fiction in Will’s new novel SHADOW REVOLUTION. You can read about it, by the way, on the books page on his website, or buy it at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. right now.
See ya next time.