COLUMN: Tired of looking at the regular 11 point Calibri font | Chroniclers

I’m sitting here in front of my laptop trying to figure out how to set the default font to something more pleasing to me. I write better when I see better. What I have now is not what I want and I’m sick of having to manually reset it every time it opens. It is very maddening. I can’t seem to get help on this, so I turn to my friends for advice. When I go to the built-in help here on MS Word, it’s anything but help. Since he acknowledges that it didn’t help as he asks this question, he recommends that I go online and let a friendly tech support person help me. I have been sucked into this circus too many times to count.

Honestly, I don’t know why I have to try to decipher what Help is trying to tell me. My old ears can’t forget the accents and phrasing of most of these people. Why are so many outfits today using people whose first language is not English? This is probably because they run cheap. I understand, but only up to a point. It’s like Walmart with me. I like things that aren’t expensive, but I don’t always look for the cheapest price. I will pay extra to get what I want and I won’t question the expense if the product is worth it. Wouldn’t it be great to have better quality merchandise readily available? I note that Walmart is leading the way for self-checkout. Many other outfits follow suit. This is probably an attempt to cut costs further or at least cut costs. But that doesn’t seem to lead to better quality or better service. With everyone demanding more pay for less work, endless benefits, and chases every time they slip or fall or feel their gender identity being called into question, I guess that makes some sense. Still, I would pay extra to have a real person check me out at checkout and would rather have someone from English speaking tech support explain to me how to set the default font in MS Word. I have crossed out so far.

I think the really aggravating thing about tech support is the bogus usability. They keep saying things like, “I’m happy to help you solve this problem” or “Is there another problem that we can help you with?” The reality is they say things like that even though they haven’t helped me at all and I’m sick of looking at the Calibri Regular 11 point font. When they ask me if there is anything else I can do, I always say “No, thank you”. Then they add something more friendly that they read on a card, and I say, “No, I’m fine. Thank you. ”Then they want you to take a poll in an unnecessary attempt to refine their answers. That’s when I wish them well for the next monsoon season and hang up. Then I go outside, I clench my fist to the sky and I exclaim: “Why me, why me?”

So what is the solution? Why are every tech support person somewhere water buffaloes roaming around? Why is everything happening at automatic checkout and online ordering? It’s more than cost savings, it’s the disintegration of customer service at every level. Even cash transactions seem archaic in the age of VISA and Mastercharge. Every day the personal touch fades more and more like a never-returning tide.

I order most of the products from Amazon Prime so that I can get my cheap trash faster. I no longer answer surveys and I’m sick of people asking me questions. They don’t work. I know I sound like a cranky old fool, but I don’t care. I AM a cranky old fool.

Now I am finding that MS Word is no longer something that you can just buy and take home and enjoy. You buy it online, it’s downloaded online, and you only rent it for one year. Now I have to vent my frustration by kicking cats. I don’t really kick cats, I only pump scythe to see them jump. See where it all got me? I’m losing my mind one impersonal ratchet click at a time and I’m sitting here typing Calibri Regular 11 points because I can’t get this dang word processing program to do what I want. I’m now part of the machine, I guess, a little cog in the bigger machine work of the impersonal future. Deep down inside, I still think I can control my little corner of the world, but this thought is drifting further and further away every day. Close as I can tell.

Michael Thomason’s column appears weekly in the Palestine Herald-Press. He owns and operates Ranger Air & Heat.

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