Look I’m 80. I didn’t grow up with computers or most of today’s technologies. Surely I’m not the only one who would be grateful to be able to buy a phone, or radio, or whatever, which will just do what I want it to do. Is this too much to ask?
Besides, trying to make my way through poorly organized, very long instruction booklets with small print is not easy. Often the product is made in China, and I fear the instructions are too. They have a long way to go before they can be described as helpful. My son, who knows so much more than I do about these things, I note, doesn’t bother reading them. He just seems to know what to do. No fair.
Just bought a new pedometer. That’s all I wanted. Something to replace the one I lost a few years ago which used to count my steps. They apparently don’t sell those anymore, so I asked the salesclerk if he would please set up this new one for me. He kindly obliged.
He opened the package, withdrew a CD Rom (Health management software) some USB Cable, whatever that is, plastic clip-on holder, actual pedometer (Yeah!), and the instruction manual in English and French. The English portion alone is 40 pages long! Under ‘Important Safety Information’ you are warned to read ALL the information in the instruction book before using the unit. (I won’t.)
I can’t resist telling you the hard plastic outer package measures 7 3/4” x 6 1/2”. (If you need that in metrics, you’re on your own.) Then, there’s a second inner hard plastic package which is approximately 6 1/2” x 5”. The actual pedometer is about 1 1/2” x 2”.
When all I want is a pedometer, is all this extra stuff and packaging necessary? I have children and a grandson. I want them to have a decent environment left to live in after I’m gone. How will that be possible with all this waste?
Okay, now back to setting the gizmo up. The first thing the clerk asked was how much I weigh. I’ve never lied about my age, but to tell the truth, I’ve always lied about my weight. Few people have been told that. It’s privileged information. The only ones who do know are my daughter, whom I trust with my life; Trudy, one of my closest friends; and my doctor.
‘What do they need that for?’
‘That’s the next step in setting it up.’
Goodness me. Now the fellow knows how much I weigh — I don’t even know his name. Doesn’t seem fair to me. Well, on to the next step.
‘How long is your stride — in metrics?’
My stride??? In metrics? They didn’t teach metrics when I went to school. I also spent years in the U.S. where they flatly refuse to deal with such nonsense and I don’t blame them. Besides, when was the last time you walked around with a measuring tape to figure out how long your stride is, in metrics or otherwise? Are they nuts?
By now the poor guy was probably regretting being kind to this cranky old lady. I decided to plop down on my walker — this was obviously going to be a very long, complicated process. He patiently explained that the instructions suggest you measure your stride before setting the darn thing and read me the options they list. I hadn’t a clue.
‘I’m short. Choose the lowest option or whatever.’
This pocket pedometer seems to be able to do many things like count your calories, check your heart rate, tell you how much fat you’ve burned, see if your steps are aerobic, etc., etc. I wonder — will it take the dog out and cut my toe nails?