I was all geared up to finish my insurance billing this morning after my lower back x-ray, which I breezed through. Literally five minutes in and out of the hospital and I was on my way to conquering this drizzly spring Saturday. I stopped by the office and engaged my computer. Wrote myself a check for monthly wages and went to the bank so I could breeze through there when it opened at 8:30. I was first in line. The only guy who did not have a grizzled beard and a pick up truck or a little dip. The next six guys in line seemed to know each other from hunting or a social club.
“I seen your brother yesterday.”
“Oh didja? He said he came in town for breakfast.”
“The club puts out a good breakfast, so it does.”
The older, tightly curled, bubbly teller opened the bank and offered up, “I’m available for breakfast, lunch or dinner.” There were no takers. Always a bridesmaid, I suppose.
It was oddly familiar banter that will never include me, the city bred transplant. I don’t have a rusted Dodge truck with a tree stand hanging out the bed. I was wearing Crocs with bright socks not dirty boots or sneakers with paint on them. On my way to get a latte… two clicks away from being gay. Hey, judging can go both ways, I suppose.
Off to park for free on a Saturday morning and get a small latte with vanilla to fuel my next two hours of manic billing. Zoom, zoom. Smooth as a baby’s powdered butt, my day was silky. But as I climbed the stairs to my office, I did not hear my Accujazz organ music playing. Hmmm, perhaps the station had a glitch. I’ll just click off and around and get on with my billing. Click, click, click. No internet connection. Well ding, dang, dong! Here I am all ready to go and technology has betrayed me. Hmmm, I know: I’ll just type out my invoices that need to be mailed out the old fashioned way. I can kill some time and maybe my connection will return.
So I began my first invoice and sent it to the printer, which sat on idle, repeatedly. I felt surrounded by foreign entities again. I did not speak techno language and was stumped again. No wifi. I don’t remember these problems when I was just directly connected to the phone line in the good old slowski turtle days. When paper was still an option. When Plan B really was a plan not an empty platitude. When real people who spoke English answered the phone.
Okay, unplug the laptop and take the files home. Hook up to wifi at home. Genius. I will not admit defeat. So I gathered up my stuff and headed home, a little disjointed but still optimistic. I was going to prevail. Plus the latte was kicking my heart rate and blood pressure up as I scuttled about. I pushed the speed limit home in my little Honda Civic, pedal to the metal under my socks in Crocs. Don’t cross me, Jeep guy. I will ram you.
Finally home, I settled at the dining room table and powered up. Then I realized I had no idea how to connect to my home wifi, and the folks who did were out grocery shopping. I tried to remember my user name and most recent password. I was wrong, but the website corrected my username, leaving me to recall Bob Dylan 09 as my password. Which was unrecognized along with Leonard Cohen 07, Van Morrison 05, Keith Richards 03, Jackie Wilson 01. I was out of options. I felt anger rising in my belly and wanted to say fricative curse words, but my innocent youngest daughter was sitting at the table and I borrowed her conscience for the moment.
Hmmmm, I don’t want to get angry though I feel anger is in the foyer of my being, waiting to be welcomed into my living room. Options, options, options. What would I tell my clients with intermittent explosive disorder and anger management issues? Keep looking, stretching the fuse. Oh, I can log on downstairs with the home computer. Certainly, certainly. It’s all starting to fit together, yep. I am going to prevail.
Took my stack of files downstairs and logged on to the electronic billing site. Up came the familiar blanks to be filled in. I felt victorious until the second or third screen, where a message in bold red told me that my provider header was not complete. I think that means the website detected a different computer inputting information, i.e., I was screwed. Now alone in the basement I let a few fricatives escape my tense lips. “Stinkin’ petunias!!” All these time saving, energy saving paperless avenues of efficiency were simply pissing me off. At least with paper I could write out my codes and costs and mail the HICFA form off in hopes of acceptance and payment. But no longer. Progress betrays the way back, defunds it, burns the bridges to the Old Country of Slowskyvania.
Doggonit to dingleberries!!! What am I to do? Well, on other occasions I took my frustrations and anger to the keyboard and converted them to blog posts, turning lemons into lemon vinegar. I decided to do it again. It would take me an hour or so, and by the end I’d have something to show for my frustration. Plus, I needed to do laundry since I was wearing my last clean pair of underwear. Slowly a peace came over me. I was using a form of technology to process my anger and frustration with another form of technology.
Though I had not achieved the thing I sought, I felt somewhat better by producing something else this morning. Something that will not pay the bills or make my job any easier, but my car insurance deductible will be okay since I don’t have to ram a Jeep any longer.