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New Year Resolution for 2008: Swim faster, Run longer, maybe return to cycling.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

When "Technology" becomes a Bane

There's so much hype about new technology breakthroughs, and most of the time they are lauded as 'user-friendly' and 'efficient' and peppered with all the promotional jargon to justify their very existence (or the respective inventor's stroke of genius). Machines have sometimes taken over manual human labor, and the main purpose for automation is to cut waiting times and reduce the number of processes.

Then some of them are actually banes in our society; irritants that test the patience of the human species.

Within 24 hours, I've personally witnessed 2 of such irritants:
  1. AXS Machine. Yes I know the machines are 'convenient' for paying bills, paying fines, topping-up cash cards, topping-up calling cards, buying movie tickets, getting entered into lucky draws (win $10,000 every week!), and what-have-you. Perhaps the only thing it DOESN'T do is dispense paper underwear. The multiple uses for the one-stop machine attracts everybody with every possible thing to do! What happens? Long lines. Yep, mix long lines with different batches of instructions for each transaction. What do you get? Let's just say I stood in line (I was only the 4th person in line) for 25 minutes just to top-up my cash card. (Oh yes, parking and cash cards... ergghh..... another irritant). The 1st lady in the line was buying a movie ticket. She called her friend to confirm time and cinema, totally oblivious to the line behind her that was growing faster than Singapore's GDP. The 2nd lady was topping up her Starhub cash card but something was wrong with her card which jammed the system for a few l-o-n-g moments. I could tell the 3rd lady was getting impatient, and I thought she could probably have some civic-mindedness to get her stuff over and done with ASAP. But no.... she was paying her bills. From the corner of my eagle eyes, I could tell she was paying her Starhub bill, her Singtel bill, her Citibank bill and I think her boyfriend's/husband's/brother's/father's HSBC bill. And because she accrued these bills, she was eligible for the lucky draw that constantly flashed her tiny chances of winning $10,000 every week. She took her time filling out her NRIC, Name, Address, Blood Group, etc. And I wasted 25 minutes waiting for my turn to top-up my cash card. Grrrrrr....
  2. Second pet peeve: Websense. Websence is Nonsense. It is an irritant, and it pisses me off. Websense filters out so many sites from the internet. Grrrr..... I wonder if they filter out online stock watching. And then I wonder if there are Websense stocks that people trade. Then I wonder if it's actually doing well or not - not because it's tech savvy... but how to monitor Websense stocks if such sites are blocked? (disclaimer: I don't trade)

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