It finally got to me! — Adele Christian

Defeat or victory over frustration? (PHOTO: S. Hofschlaeger / pixelio.de).

So, it finally got to me!
….. On Freedom Day 2020 – April 27.
…… One month into COVID-19 Lockdown, on a beautiful autumn day in Cape Town.
I have found working remotely to be very intense, with no physical cues to what is going on in the teams I am working with. We are all dependent on the words coming over Skype or Zoom or Whereby, and the tone of the voice. Using video would put too much strain on varying levels of bandwidth available to meeting participants, some of whom had to be dialled in on their cell phones.

On Saturday and Sunday, after another intense work week, I dialled into a challenging 2-day online training session, which started at 5 am and ended at 1 pm each day. All in pursuit of Certification for the next level of my chosen career (you can have a career at my age!).
Other than the early hour being challenging to be fully alert, the 2 highly qualified professional presenters were not speaking in their mother tongue and had very strong accents.
Once again my ears had to be fully alert. Intense concentration.

With a long week behind me, I was really looking forward to today, a day of R&R.

The catalyst for ”it finally got to me”, all started with my search for kale, online.
For gut health I usually drink a very green mixture, however, during lockdown, I have battled to find fresh kale, one of the ingredients. When I get to Woolworths or Spar, it is sold out, or was not delivered that day.
Today was the day I was going to buy kale online. I had the time.

I knew there were long delivery lead-times at the usual online food shopping offerings, but I had heard about Checkers Sixty60, (order, pay, goods are delivered in 60 minutes), and about Woolworths Click and Collect (order, pay, collect in the parking lot of the nearest store participating in the pilot).

Full of enthusiasm I went to Sixty60 but kept fighting “it” because “it” told me my nearest store was some obscure place in Mpumalanga. I eventually realised that the location on my cell phone was switched off and the app was making up a story about where I lived. Is this how Fake news is generated? Getting past that hurdle I went on a search for kale. No fresh kale. Zilch.

Oh well, let’s try Click and Collect. Search, found how Click and Collect works. I know how it works. Where is the button to click on to order? Nothing. I cannot see where you place an order. I search again and re-search. Only thing I see is Woolworths online and when I go in there, no Click and Collect. A tab at the top is labelled “Delivery Area”. I do not want a delivery, I want to collect. This must be the wrong place. Search again. Use different words. I am now so frustrated.

Maybe first check if Woolworths online has kale. Yes they do! I see the “delivery areas are very full” notice and decide to ask my son to find where to order so I can collect.
“Here it is Mom, how did you look. Are you using Internet Explorer again?”
“No, Chrome. What do you mean how did I look? I have been looking for an hour!”.
“Here see, click online shopping, and then click on Delivery Area. Then you see “Select an Option”, Deliver or Click and Collect.”
“You have to be kidding me. Who in their right mind hides Click and Collect under Delivery Area???? Don’t they know anything about CX and UX? They need to get their clients to where they want to be on the website in the fewest clicks, so as not to lose them.”

My frustration with technology is rising. My frustration with not being able to buy what I want is reaching a new level. The broken Espresso machine and burst Basketball cannot be replaced and I still cannot find fresh kale. Adele, maintain your peace. Jesus said, “My peace I give you…”. Sorry LORD.

OK, let me try Click and Collect. Select a Province, tick. Select a Store, done. And now? How do I get out of here? The Select an Option box extends over the bottom of the screen. Grumph. Try minimising, try shrinking it, keeps popping back to main page. Keep starting again. Grumph, Grumph.
CALEB, help!
Fiddle, fiddle, fiddle and he eventually gets to confirm my store selection.
Great, Plattekloof Village here I come. No kale on offer. Eish!

Ok, let me try next closest. Westcoast Village. Same problem. I cannot change the store because the Select an Option box extends even further over the bottom of the screen. Grrrr..
Ok. I give up. I need to get my peace back. Breathe. It is ridiculous to let these things frustrate me.

I sink into my quiet time chair. LORD please help me. I cannot spend this day being frustrated.
Phone reminder goes off. Noon. Time to read Psalm 91 aloud. New insight, from v 15 “.. I will be with him in trouble”. This lines up with John 16 verse 33 “In this world you will have trouble, take heart, I have overcome the world”. I think I will encourage my Whatsapp friends group.

Whatsapp will not rotate. I want to type with 2 thumbs. Auto-rotate is set ON. Look for more Whatsapp settings. Nothing. Grrrr.
CALEB, help!
“I cannot find anything, Mom, I think you need to just restart.”
Me or the phone?
I restart the phone and auto-rotate works.
I think I need a reset / restart.
OK, LORD, what is going on here? I admit this lockdown has got to me.
What is the lesson out of this morning?

Your frustration with technology is similar to how you get frustrated with people.
Not everyone thinks like you think.
Not everyone responds at the pace you want them to.
Not everyone gets what you are trying to do.
Not everyone is able to pivot from portrait to landscape to do things differently.
And why should they? I made them uniquely.
You think the app designer is ignorant because the workflow is not what works for you. You know nothing of what they had to deal with, of the challenges they faced to get the app to market in the quickest possible time.
Yes, it is Freedom Day, and you feel locked up and frustrated because you cannot buy kale, an espresso machine or a basketball or get to exercise as you used to.
Restart and reset your thinking. You have so much to be grateful for.
Whether in or out of lockdown, take 1 Corinthians 13 to heart and Nike! with ME, your coach.
Today you were like a discordant clanging cymbal.
Love suffers long – were you really suffering long when struggling with technology today?
Love is kind – were your thoughts toward the app Designer kind?
Love is not provoked – you allowed yourself to be provoked this morning
Love bears all things – even COVID-19 lockdown and its frustrations
Love endures all things – including lockdown
Love puts away childish things – how childish were today’s frustrations
Love never fails.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” — John 14 verse 27

In these troubled times, let us allow Jesus’ peace to reign in us and let us live in and with the love which He has poured out in our hearts. Let’s not allow the little foxes to spoil our vine.

4 Comments

  1. Oh, how I enjoyed reading this! I can identify with almost all you say. Except that I do not have a Caleb at my side… keep going and good luck for reaching that next level you are striving towards, both careerwise and spiritually

  2. Good one Adele. I feel your pain…..as does the rest of the world. One good thing is that we are in this together! Much love

  3. Michelle Stanford

    So well articulated. I think we can all relate. Help us Jesus!

  4. Had me smiling, laughing and encouraged all the way through. Loved it❣