Times of Oman
Dec 01, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 05:14 PM GMT
When technology was my foe
July 3, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Saleh Al Shaibany

It is true that the speed and accuracy of technology makes our life easy. At times too easy that we do very little

When things go wrong, they come one after another. It usually happens when you are looking for a short cut. It is a product of restlessness and impatience. High expectation and perhaps taking chance on luck puts you in all sorts of troubles.

I guess we rely a lot on technological wonders to sort out some of our problems. It is true that the speed and accuracy of technology makes our life easy. At times too easy that we do very little. You don't deliver business letters but fax them or even e-mail them. There are no shift gears in the car and the rice cooker takes care of the main dish.
But what about if one or two technological tools stop working? My telephones went silent just two days after coming back from a short trip. I could not fax or use the e-mail and of course texting was out of question, too. I forgot to settle the bills. I rushed to pay them but was told it would take a couple of hours to get connected. I became a desperate man. It was as if my life line snapped. I had to send faxes and was expecting a few calls. The privilege of the electronics servant that I took for granted was temporarily removed at the crucial time.
However, I had a vehicle waiting outside my house. I rushed out and sped to the road with the intention of meeting my contacts to convey my personal message. Hardly a kilometre away, I was stopped by a policeman because I forgot to put my seatbelt on. I wasted a quarter of an hour while the lawman satisfied bureaucratic procedures. When I was ready to race down the road again, I found that the technology I was driving needed attention. I pulled at the petrol pump and wasted precious more moments. Back to the road, in my anxiety to get to my destination in time, another modern equipment conspired against me. I failed to notice the radar until I passed it, twenty kilometres per hour above the speed limit. It was then I realised that it was going to be an expensive trip. At last, I arrived at the office block and sighed with relief that there was ample parking. I whipped out my briefcase and ran down the tarmac pavement and nearly bumped into an electric pole as I went round a corner.

I delivered half a dozen papers that I should have faxed that would have saved me an hour of my time and police fines. On my way back, I thought I should relax a bit since the worst was over. As I was going down the stairs, my mobile started to ring. You can imagine my annoyance. If I had exercised a little patience and controlled the panic then I would have done my heart a favour. I looked at my watch. Just over two hours had gone since I jumped blindly in the car. Because I was much more relaxed now, I realised that the recipients of those papers could have waited a little bit longer for the reconnection of the phone. That was not all. A rude surprise was waiting for me when I opened the car door.

A tail of the parking ticket was blowing in the wind as the rest of it snuggled under the wipers. In my hurry to make it in time, I forgot to pay at the machine. Another technological instrument that let me down. But I shrugged it off and did something I should have done a couple of hours earlier. I hummed under my breath and drove away at a comfortable speed and completely at peace with myself.

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