Christine Grahame: Does modern technology have to induce murderous rage?
As I type, I have been ‘on hold’ through various folk in faraway places trapped in hideous Muzak while I am moved around the from pillar to e-post with the occasional recorded voice telling me “we are busy but we will be with you as soon as possible. Thank you for waiting we have a lot of people waiting but we promise we will be with you soon.” So far it has occupied an hour-and-a-half of my morning and all because an electric window of my car has jammed down.
I have been to the dealership, the service arm of the dealership and, surprise surprise, back to the dealership. Only once have I actually spoken to a person who is not on the switchboard and he and I (and he is a good sort) have now relabelled my car “that bloody car”.
By the way, it’s the first new car I have ever bought and yes it’s the last. After this I have now to abandon work and drive that “bloody car” to the dealership to get repairs sorted before the window closes for orders for spare parts at 4pm. So much for clearing the emails. This adds to my growing despair at being unable to actually find a real bank, speak to someone about my bust boiler and so on.
One day, one day, I tell myself the whole internet will come crashing down. ATMs won’t work (when you can find one you are not charged for) and where will we be then? Imagine supermarket tills not able to scan, let alone no-one having any cash? No cash in the bank, let alone no banks. How would those shelves be refilled overnight to replace stock?
The scary thing is that if you shop for groceries online then a list of your favourites appears right down to the variety of cat food and brand of toilet roll and it’s too easy to keep swishing your bank card for items under £30 and find out that you’ve paid £10 for coffees that day. There’s nothing like wondering where that £20 note went from your purse so quickly. No buses running because it’s all down to someone somewhere at a computer organising the whole caboodle and they’re of no use if they’re connected to nowt. You see how far this morning’s fiasco has taken me. It’s brought back all those wasted minutes and hours hanging on for someone, some human bean to come on the line and deal with the problem.
So now I am off to Newbridge to come face to face with my knight in shining armour who will tell me what I have already been told: that the window regulator is bust, that he will have to order a new one, and I am preparing myself for the news that the car will not be fixed in a few days.
As I write meetings are being cancelled just in case I am right. In the meantime, I want to tell you that my headache has eased after a paracetamol and the blood pressure is dropping.
But nobody must say to me “have a nice day” or I may have to confess, as they say on Taggart: “There’s been a murder.” And the suspect was last seen leaving Newbridge, on foot.
Christine Grahame is the SNP MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale