U is for Undo

Okay, so I’m not a complete techno-phobe, but I did come late to the party with smart phones. I still had a flip phone in 2013 when it broke on my Aspen trip. The Verizon guy in Aspen looked at it (it didn’t flip anymore) and said, “We don’t have those.”

Of course not. It was Aspen.

I upgraded to the kind of phone with the pull-out keyboard where you had to push the button three times to type certain letters.  Everyone around me had I-phones, but I was stubborn. I didn’t want one.

Then I found out I could take credit cards on my Smart phone and get rid of my credit card machine and be a mobile store, too. So when it was time to upgrade, I got a Samsung Galaxy S 5. It wasn’t the newest, but it was the smallest one, and I was used to keeping my phone in my back pocket.

Okay, I did drop it in the toilet once, but I pulled out the battery and saved it. When I kicked it into the hot tub with my foot, though, I had to get a new one. It was good thing I had bought the insurance. After that, I didn’t put the phone on the hot tub ledge anymore.

I dropped the same phone on concrete last year and had to pay to have the screen replaced.  Still, I’m glad I had the insurance.

Then last Saturday the screen went black.  I went to Verizon on Saturday evening, but they had already closed. I went to the same Verizon on Sunday morning and waited half an hour. A dozen people tried the door, but it was locked. Easter Sunday.

I went to Verizon this morning, and the guy tried to sell me a new phone.

“I have insurance,” I said.

“You can go online and file a claim,” he said, “but you’ll have to pay the deductible, and it’s a refurbished phone.”

I stopped to visit my sis and then went to my mammogram appointment. Then I came home and tried to file a claim online. The cursor thing spun and spun but wouldn’t let me in. A Verizon person popped up to chat (don’t ask me how that happened), but she did provide me with a phone number. I borrowed the worker woman’s flip phone and called the 800 number.  I got a real person named Jessie who told me that I was getting a newly refurbished phone the next day for no charge. And it would be a Samsung 6 (I regretted buying a new phone cover two weeks earlier at a street fair).

No charge. Because I have the insurance and the phone was still under warranty. Which I have now used three times in four years.

Jessie asked me to take the survey and give him all five out of fives.  Remember, I was on my worker woman’s flip phone. So when I thought I was saying yes, I hit the button for no, and sadly Jessie did not get all fives. The voice kept asking me what he could have done to improve my experience.

“Undo! Undo!” I said into the flip phone.

But alas, I was talking to a robot. The robot didn’t know what to do so kept asking me what Jessie could’ve done to improve my experience.

“I am so sorry, Jessie,” I said to my office walls after I hung up.

Jessie really did deserve all fives. My fingers were too big for that dang little flip phone.

“I wish I had given you all fives!” I said again to the messy desk in my office.

If only the robot voice had offered the choice of undo. But alas. She did not.

I heard on the news tonight that Tesla has now mastered the technology for self-driving cars with no need for steering wheels or foot pedals. What if we got in and said, “Go to the bar,” but then decided we’d rather go to the movies?

Will Tesla have an undo button for that?

Will AI have undo buttons when we hit the wrong one or say the wrong command?

No to assisted suicide! No! Get me Jessie!  If only I had given you all fives back in 2019! I am so sorry, Jessie!

Undo! Undo!


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