Swickard Column: Frustration then and now

© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.   “Expectation is the mother of all frustration.” Antonio Banderas
            Graduation from high school was May 1968. In technological terms that was at a time when everyone put hay in one end of their personal transportation. Then had just as many frustrations every day despite the notion of a kinder and gentler time in America.
            Speaking of personal frustration: I didn’t have a car so I could go anywhere if I had enough time to walk. In the verbiage of the day, “What a drag.” But I survived that frustration.
            Back then I had three technological wonders: a ball-point ink pen, a Timex wrist-watch that “takes a licking and keeps on ticking.” And, I had use of my grandmother’s 1930 Underwood manual typewriter.
            My first newspaper column was written in 1969 on that manual typewriter with carbon paper for a copy. It was nothing like the ease of writing this column using a computer. But I am frustrated today, almost to the level of using a manual typewriter.
            Going to college in the 1960s meant that if you had communication technology it was a phone tied to the wall with a three-foot cord. And a clock radio with only the AM band. I lived a mile off campus with a relative so spent lots of time walking back and forth through mostly sunshine. But there was dust, rain, gloom of night and blisters.
            My expectation those years was that I would survive and get a college degree followed by a good paying job to replace the small paying jobs that kept me going in college. That did happen. So why am I so frustrated?
            Over the last twenty years of having a cellphone, I have enjoyed them except when having to get getting a new one. And, the technological frustration making the new one work. That why I am frustrated. I’d rather have a beating than change cellphones.
            But the new ads for the Samsung Galaxy S8 seemed wonderful though my S5 still worked. In a moment of weakness instead of taking a nap I called my Cell Company. In a long conversation, I was persuaded that the S7 was better than the new S8. I know: buyer beware.
            The short of it is that the unit would not activate but the Cell Company was able to deactivate my phone as I was talking to Tech Support. I have dubbed them: Tech Non-Support. In nine hours of calls and calls the new unit could not be activated which is the uncertainty I was trying to avoid in the new Samsung but got in an older model.
            Yes, I spoke to them nine hours over two days trying to make this technological wonder work. As of now it has little chance to come to life. It is a good thing that I experienced all that frustration earlier in my life so I take this setback well. Other than sarcasm which has flourished.
            I’m frustrated because somehow I was expecting it to work.