When It Doesn’t Work

I always make my new dentist appointment when I’m checking out of the present appointment, which means I made my new appointment six months ago. The problem with that is that sometimes you have an unavoidable conflict when the appointment rolls around.

Case in point- I had no idea that the day that I booked my appointment would be the day that my daughter was moving into her dorm room.

When I realized this was the case, I called the dentist office and left a message that I had to reschedule.

They didn’t call back.

Then I got a text that said “To confirm, type CONFIRM. To cancel type CANCEL. I typed cancel, assumed that I was done, and tried to log into the system to make a new appointment.

When I went on their website, I dutifully entered all the info that they asked for, but really, the things they needed… I gave up when I couldn’t find the six digit code behind the Holy Grail…

And I called again and left a message.

Next, I got an email asking me to confirm my appointment. Of course, there was only one option: CONFIRM. There was no option to cancel. But there was a phone number, different than the one I’d previously called- so I left another message.

No one called me back.

The next day, I got another text- but this text there was no option to cancel either- just a CONFIRM button. I ignored the text, but I did call again…

No one called me back.

To keep you up to date: I called FOUR times to TWO different phone numbers belonging to my dentist office. I received two texts and a email- which did not work properly.

About five business days before the scheduled appointment, I got a phone call (from a third different number if you’re counting) but it came up MEDICAL- so I answered it assuming it was either my Doctor or my parents (my parents had an appointment that day so I knew there was a possibility)

The scheduler said:

I’m confirming your dental appointment for next Monday

And I just said- “Ah…No.” I explained to him in excruciatingly slow and vivid detail how I have been trying to cancel and rebook for the better part of two weeks… I asked him if they listened to the voicemail messages. He skirted the answer but said they did most things through the online system. I told him there was no option for the type of dental insurance that I have- the sub sub group that the form was asking for, even though they have all my insurance info, including a copy of the card, on file. He stammered just a little bit and I could feel the beads of sweat seeping through the phone…

But I did finally rebook my appointment…

So with all the online and the automation and that whatever…is anything really better? Or did I need to rely on a phone call to fix my issue?

Sometimes new and improved really isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

Call me Chicken Little

The Husband and the Daughter don’t read my blog- they figure they live it first hand, so why should they read about it.  But my daughter does ask me what I wrote about that day, and we discuss it.  When I told her about Friday’s post, and how I portrayed it- she said she wanted to read it.  After she read it she told me that a) there was a typo in the first sentence, and b) she thought I didn’t explain myself properly.  She felt I was coming from a position of anger.  Was I?  I asked her why it was bad, and she explained that when you’re angry, the only thing that comes across is that you’re a little crazy, but your point doesn’t always make it.  So I’m going to give you what I hope is a clear mission statement, and then I’m going to expound.

I like technology.  I have no doubt that technology has made things easier.  I have no doubt that technology has made things better.  I love my computer, the internet and my smart phone.  I even like audio books.  I am not a luddite, and I make use of many tech gadgets and apps and whatever.

Here’s the problem as I see it.  Though tech is great, we have to watch that we are not overdoing it.  Everything should be done in moderation.  To rely on technology to a degree that we are literally always holding a tech device is not good.  To replace traditional learning methods entirely is not good. I feel that you need to understand the process before you can proceed.

I really started to fear for our society after reading 2 books- “The Circle” by Dave Eggers, and “Feed” by MT Anderson.  I am now going to give some details about each book and why it scared me- if you don’t like spoilers continue to the next paragraph.  In “Feed”, children are no longer taught to read and to write- these arts are considered ancient.  People have chips implanted in their brains that tell them everything, enabling them to telepathically send messages to others.  Think this sounds great?  Think about if you never used words- how do you think you would speak?  Do you think you could form sentences?  Do you think you would personally know more that about 100 words?  Do you think any great scientific advances will be made if no one can think about what might be possible?  If no one has imagination?  In “the Circle”, people are so busy liking things and participating in social media, they no longer experience life.  Why actually travel- you really only need one person to travel, and they wear a body camera and send you back pictures- you don’t need to leave your couch to climb a mountain- but you can like and comment.  Oh- and privacy is a thing of the past- there are no secrets in the circle- every knows everything about everybody.  The possibility of these things scare me.  The fact that I think they are entirely possible scares me.

But am I wrong?

I don’t say those words very often, so pay heed.

I was out with friends yesterday, and began discussing why I thought students should not be using audio books for school lessons.  My friend said “Why not?”  Do we need to read and write?  If tech can do something better, shouldn’t it?  This is how we advance, by using technology.  You’re old.  You don’t want to change.”

Ok- I admit.  It was the “you’re old” part that got me.  Am I becoming a crotchety old lady who is going to go around saying “In my day, we actually looked at words on a page……”

Let’s look at my title today: Call me Chicken Little.  I think I’m clever, playing on a combination of two different literary works- I think I’m using my base knowledge.  But does it matter if most people don’t get what I am referring to?

Do we need to read and write and do basic math skills?

I’m going with a big resounding –Yes we do, because it helps us learn and think.  I don’t think we can advance by forgetting the basics.  I think not knowing the basics will only bring us backwards.  So please, call me Chicken Little.

But am I wrong?

Am I crazy?  (about this- let’s limit the crazy to one thing at a time)

What do you all think?  Should we try to tame the tech monster?  Do we need to?  Is it too late?  I’ve had many discussions about this with many other bloggers the past few days- and I think we really need to think about this.  Before the sky falls.