Sunday, July 26, 2009

Punching in

Do you ever feel like you spend your life looking at a screen and punching (hopefully) appropriate buttons?

It struck me as I filled my car with gas at the local big box (3 cents off per gallon with a pre-paid-let-us-have-the-float-on-your-money card) and looked around. Just as I had done, the guy opposite me was staring at the screen, index finger poised.

Insert card.
Remove card.
Do you want to save your engine by purchasing an additive for an extra $1.99? Yes/no.
You have $X remaining.
Lift the nozzle.
Select the grade.
Fill.

And, finally, Do you want a receipt? Yes/no.

Punch, punch, punch.

And it's the same story at ATMs, self-checkout, credit/debit card readers at the cash register, copy machines, iPods, iPhones, restaurant order computers, fast food order lines... whew! Woe be to you if you touch the wrong square and have to start over! If you even can.

Curmudgeon that I am, I don't think this is a trend which will reverse itself any time soon. It is only going to get worse, and I am going to have to learn to live with it. And be very careful what I punch.

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