“Is It Just Me?” When Things Don’t Work

crash test dummy It seems that every time something goes wrong with technology or something mechanical I take it personally. 

As though I am the only person whose email doesn’t work, or whose barbecue starter blows out or whose iPod (which I still call my “Walkman”) gets stuck.

And everyone else is having a perfectly easy time figuring out how to integrate their ISP with their Hosing SPQ whatever-the-hell, or that their cell phone gets perfect connection all the time or their vacuum cleaner never fails to pick up every speck of dirt.

At the risk of sounding totally ego-centric paranoid, I’d like to say I’ve discovered it’s just me not just me. 

Recently, I was on a teleconference and I heard buzzing. So I figured it was my phone generating the fuzz and stayed quiet. Finally a brave voice peeped up and said, “Is it just me or does anyone else hear that buzz?” Of course it was every single stinkin’ person on the call.

And then I remember back to when technology entered our lives and we all got computers and ISPs and Web connection and we couldn’t hook up our connection or our email went down or some ISP server went on the fritz and there rang throughout the land a chorus of “Maybe it’s just me but …”

Basically we’re agreeing to think: How could it not be my fault since I don’t understand the inner miracle wirings of these whatchamacallits.

And it wasn’t just us. It was the technology working miracles and breaking down on us. And it’s not any of our responsibility to understand the how’s and why’s any more than it is for us to understand why the telephone or electricity works.

At this point, if technology doesn’t work right (I’m including cars and bbqs and dishwashers here) and I don’t get it, I take the onus off myself for understanding why or how. I’m not a programmer or scientist or auto-maker or bbq assembler. So there.

If I can’t migrate WordPress onto my domain name (for normal people, the instructions are like Greek inside out) it’s time to delegate and find someone who can.

But I still have this vacuum cleaner paranoia. And I was reminded of it after I was reunited with the little devil—after I gave  my cleaning ladies a sabbatical when I became one of the salary-challenged.

The day I vacuumed my place, I realized of all the years I’ve had vacuums, I always have this feeling that my vacuum is not properly picking up all the dirt on the floor or carpet. And it is purposefully letting me down while every one else’s vacuum is doing a perfectly great job.

And once I realized this silly thinking, the vacuum started gobbling up every speck in sight.

Then I put away said vacuum and called my lovely cleaning ladies and they came the next week.

The (happy) ending.