Image Courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net Ah, technology, it is great and it can also slow things down. Will we ever resort back to old school pen and paper?
All these modern gooble-de-gash whizzy, snazzy things that are forever being invented, re-invented, changed, updated, replaced - you name it - with all this in place and not decreasing at all, I still sometimes wonder whether good old fashioned paper and pen would not be best.
I had reason to visit a specialist last week. Payment time came, and I had all the usual questions to answer - most being pretty standard with one word answers. Then came one with a choice of answers - 'yes' or 'no' - and for the life of me, I have no idea why I made the wrong choice - but I did. And didn't think any more about it - until a few minutes later, when the receptionist asked me something relating to the answer I had given (but wouldn't have been had I answered the other way - the correct way) - I just looked at her as if she was a little bit silly. I then answered as if the first answer had been correct - a 'yes' and not the 'no' I had apparently given. Her turn to look at me as if I was a little bit silly - actually, make that plain stupid. Then she explained what must have happened, and the even sillier thing is that I can't remember being asked that first question in the first place. But I had answered something...therefore that then made me wonder what question I thought I had answered.
Now all this was ironed out, and we got that jolly answer straight - but the amount of work - computer red-tape that needed to be fixed up - just because of that initial incorrect answer. Goodness. Both Medicare and HBF were involved. All the staff in the office joined in, including the doctor himself. Phone calls were made left, right and centre, and on the end of those calls; more computers were being used, and yet more phone calls were being made. It even caused quite a ripple among the other patients in the waiting room. Not sure that most of Australia wasn't involved by the end.
After much soul-searching (not sure by whom), chat and general deliberation; it was decided that a computerised refund could quite easily be issued, really. Then they decided that they probably didn't even have to do that (after all), and they would just deduct it from my next account. Sounded fair to me. Actually, everything sounded fair to me by this stage - just as long as I could get out of there. But there was that twist - they could not simply do that; not through the computer because of Medicare's and HBF's involvement, along with the rest of the nation. Such an easy solution - but it would not work. So they finished up turning to - wait for it - drum roll please - a little old receipt book that was sitting forlornly at the back of the top drawer. Yes - paper. They resorted to paper and pen. The lady began writing out the receipt, but wasn't sure how to. Thank goodness someone (with time on their hands) had had the foresight to pre-stamp the pages with the name and address of the business, along with the ABN etc. I think that this is info that actually would have caught most people out these days.
Oh dearie, dearie, dearie me. What should have taken just a few minutes, I was actually there to organise the replacement of my second cataract, and therefore had drops to enlarge the pupils, which then behaved as though it was the dead of night. And that it was dark - very dark. And it wasn't - not at all. It was close to high noon on an Australian summers' day. Very bright. My eyes did not like this - not one bit, and neither did I. But then since my right cataract had already been done and the left hadn't, they didn't even like sharing the same face. As if I don't have enough trouble with that anyway. But that was the reason I was supposed to wait for a good fifteen minutes after the appointment. I had actually been very vaguely concerned about how I would fill those fifteen minutes...yeah right. Hadn't counted on giving one little old wrong answer, had I. That did it.
There is a moral or message or - something here - somewhere - but I'm still trying to figure out what it is.
Ah yes, technology. As amazing as it is, it does become inefficient and time consuming after a while. It's worse when they try and throw in computer and tablets for schools or jobs that we are much better off doing in the 'traditional' way