The recent Tech Frustrations blog post titled “Is it me (Kathy) or you (Chevrolet)?” generated some discussion. Comments fell into two categories;
1) Providing, or pointing to, additional info about how to monitor tire pressure (e.g. " ... The process is in the user manual, starting on page 5-56 ...")
2) Commenting that the article was funny with some even admitting that they may have responded the same way I did when my car indicated the pressure was low in my Left Rear tire (e.g. "... you crack me up. This could have been written about me!")
Let me be clear. The purpose of the blog post was to provide an example of a situation where technology was frustrating. A number of you, thank you very much, let me know that you think the mistake was mine. I agree that it would have been better if I’d taken a more holistic approach to the problem. I should have used a manual tire pressure gauge, for example. And of course I should have looked at the tire. But remember, there were extenuating circumstances and distractions. Especially the fact that I was wearing white pants. People who design technology products need to recognize that users may not always bring their “best selves” to the usage scenario. Cell phones, cars, and the Internet are often used in emergency situations. Users may be distracted.
Interestingly, the “Auto” category is currently the most populated category on the Tech Frustrations web site. This is probably no surprise to The New York Times who earlier in the year reported that Technology Problems Top a List of Car Complaints. Speaking of cars and frustrations, I experienced another “funny” incident last week. Our other, and much older, car ended up at the service center of a dealership in Denver. It was an hour and four minutes from home (according to Google Maps). While out enjoying a summer dinner at a downtown Fort Collins restaurant, my husband and I got word that the car was fixed and ready for pick-up. Since we had a Courtesy Car (i.e. loaner car) from the dealership, this simply required a quick trip to Denver to swap cars. As a night owl, I volunteered to make the drive as soon as dinner was over to enable my hard working husband to have a quiet evening at home before finishing up his work week. We’d met up for dinner earlier that evening and left the Courtesy Car in an empty parking lot. My husband arranged to have the dealership leave the keys to our fixed car under the floor mat in case I arrived after the dealership was closed. By 7:45 pm on was on my way to Denver. I made it to the dealership before they closed and, in their efficiency, they’d already put the keys under the mat. And … have you guessed it? … locked the doors. I had no key to the car. They had no way to open the door. We don’t have OnStar so that option was out. My husband’s peaceful night at home ended up including a 28 minute drive to hand me the other key, and I ended up doing a little more driving than expected. But all’s well that ends well. The car is back in the garage and purring like a kitten.
Well ... it was purring, until I decided to do my husband a big favor and give it a good clean. So a few days later I backed it out of the garage and dug out the shop vac, rags, and multiple cleaning potions. I set the radio to an interesting station and got to work. For some reason the radio turned off after about 45 minutes. In fact the whole car seemed to have “turned off” because when I went to move it, it wouldn’t turn on. Apparently the battery wears down way faster than I realized. Is this a tech frustration? Could it have warned me? Please … do not tell me anything about car batteries. I get it. I left it on too long. I won’t do it again. Lesson learned :)
Changing the subject, I’ll be eager to hear if there are Tech Frustrations with the new iPhone 7 AirPods.