Saturday, December 13, 2014

Those Senior Moments

     Kaching!  Kaching, kaching, kaching, kaching, kaching, kaching, kaching!

     It was like being at a slot machine as it was paying out--the old-style ones that actually pay out in real coins.  Except I wasn't at the casino.  I was at the local library, the antithesis of the type of loud and rowdy establishment where such sounds are welcome.  At a library, it's just annoying to those quietly reading nearby.

    What I was trying to do was to pay for print copies of my annual holiday newsletter.  The library has a very nice color copier where my Xmas letter photo collage could actually feature people with real flesh tones, and not chalk-faced zombies or blue-green aliens from another galaxy.  But for some reason the printer didn't want to take my money and spit it back out coin by coin into the returned coin slot.

     The printer displayed a specific set of instructions that appeared on a small screen for those wanting to make copies.  You had to enter your library card number, your "pin" number, the print job you wanted, your method of payment--and you had to do it in the correct order.  I thought I was.  So . . . I tried again, putting my money in more carefully at what I was sure must be the correct order in the procedure.

   Kaching!  Kaching, kaching, kaching, kaching, kaching, kaching, kaching!

   When I collected my eight quarters from the return coin slot I noticed someone next to me.  It was the librarian.  "Can I help you?" she asked.  So I explained my dilemma.  She pushed some buttons, the same ones I'd pushed but she did it more quickly and in a different order.  Then the printer took my money and gave me my copies.


     It's moment like this that make me feel that I'm joining the ranks of seniors.  When young people are accomplishing ordinary tasks in such a manner that makes you say to yourself, "Now what did they just do?", it's distressing.

     Now that I'm fully retired as of a couple weeks ago, and my wife is going to join me herself in less than a week, I guess those senior moments will become more commonplace.

     I'll be one of those guys I see at the library muttering to themselves as they try to figure out something on the computer.  I'll be one of those guys I see at Tim Horton's, enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee while discussing topics ranging from the olden times to politics of today.  I'll be one of those guys working out at the recreation center, either chatting up the pretty receptionist or discussing who's missing from their daily workout and what medical maladies that may have instigated their absence.

     And I'm speaking from experience, just the experience I've had the past two weeks since I left the part-time, temporary job I'd had for about a year and a half.  I'm not trying to be critical here.  The older gentlemen I mingled with were not annoying, crude or unsociable.  But I'm just not ready for all that yet.

     Maybe I'll just go back to work.