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The Wonders of Modern Technology

December 21, 2009

I hate technology.

Okay, so the above statement isn’t really true, and is a sweeping generalisation, but it gets your attention. What might be a more accurate statement is that technology hates me. I hear you scoffing, but it’s true. It’s now fairly accepted amongst my close friends that I have Gremlins (a trait from Shadowrun which gives you a chance to break any electrical devices you touch) as well as appalling luck with rolling dice. People hear about this and say “oh, you’re imagining it”, “confirmation bias”, etc, but after spending enough time with me they come to accept it as the truth.

Everyone has found cash machines broken when they needed money, but how about every cash machine within half a mile of the students’ union? One of them only broke as soon as I started using it, it asked for my PIN then froze, luckily spitting my card out in the process. Windows crashes all the time, but have you ever managed to crash Linux – twice in half an hour? And when I used to regularly post on D&D online, I had to warn my friends so they could save their posts (and I would save mine) before I actually posted, as the server would frequently collapse when I tried to submit them. I do not understand why this happens around me, but it seems to, and having computers break nearby makes the IT helpdesk part of my job very difficult – as if I didn’t already have enough work to do.

The reason I mention all of this is that since Friday, the central heating system in my house has been out of action, due to a leak in one of our radiators. So, for one of the coldest weekends ever recorded in the UK, I was unable to sleep in my attic room which was barely above freezing point, despite having two quilts, a blanket, and being fully dressed. The engineer should have been able to fix it on Friday, but failed to turn up for the entire weekend, and now may not be able to fix it until after Christmas. 2005 was a cold December as well, and that month too I spent without central heating, making it two winters out of the last five I’ve had to sleep in a room that was barely warmer than being outside. Wonderful.

So it’s Monday morning once more, 2.5 more work days until I finish for Christmas, and I feel awful. Hopefully I’ll make it through the day without falling asleep at my desk (we all work in one office, including my immediate boss, so I wouldn’t get away with it). There is one good point, though – it’s warm.

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