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I try really hard not to act old. I pride myself on not saying “kids these days….”, or “when I was a kid….”, or “the problems with this generation……”. I am a firm believer that while the issues facing “kids” today aren’t the issues I faced, this makes them no less difficult or relevant. I don’t criticize the amount of time they are on their phones, or pretend I know more than them for reasons that no longer matter, like the fact that I can do long division without a calculator, or write a letter in cursive (sort of). I try to keep the distance I feel between myself and the 20 year old’s around me to a minimum.

This all changed last night though, because of an APP.
I am hooked on Yoga, so I signed up for the work exchange program at my studio. I work one 4 hour shift each week and in return get free, unlimited yoga. I guess I was being delusional when I said “yeah, I’d love to do that”.  I thought that I’d be sitting at the front desk, smiling at other Yogi’s, answering yoga related questions and immersing myself in all that is Yoga. Of course all that is Yoga in a Yoga Studio is a Yoga Business.
So much to my surprise, my 4 hour shift took 12 hours of training, and introduced me to a new computer program, which I think I’ve mastered fairly well. Sort of. I was just starting to feel somewhat competent with the computer, and all other aspects of the job, when I got the email:

Please download this APP to facilitate work exchange scheduling and swaps. The email said this would be a much easier system then the current FB Page.

I’m going to be perfectly honest here……I deleted the email. I did. As far as I am concerned, there was nothing wrong with the FB system. It worked for me, it seemed to work for others, and I’m sick and tired of the constant Upgrades. Upgrade = new things to learn. Even as I type this I’m feeling nauseous, because every time I “upgrade” something, the quality of my life seems to be “downgraded”, in that I spend the next day, days, weeks, months, trying to learn the “upgrade” designed to “improve” my life, and, once I’ve learned it, my life feels no different than it did before!  (See what I mean?  I might as well have said “Kids these days and their Apps“).

 
Imagine my surprise, 2 days later, when a work exchange employee asked me to cover her shift in December and I said “sure, just send me an email”, to which she replied “well, we have to do the switch on the APP”. This particular person used to be the studio manager (she left to go back to cooking) so she is aware of what is happening in the inner workings of the business. I told her I hadn’t downloaded it, and she looked at me like I had just said “I ran over the yoga teacher on my way in”. I sensed I was heading into an oopps moment. She said, as calmly and sweetly as possible “it’s really how the scheduling is going to be done, so you sort of have to”.

 
So I went home, pulled up the email on my laptop so I would have it to reference (it had “instructions”) and I installed the APP on my phone. It installed, but when I tried to sign up for it I was told the number in the email reserved for my studio did not exist. I then tried to install it on my laptop and I don’t remember what wrong, but something did. And again I’ll be honest: I Didn’t Care. I try not to waste energy or brain matter on things that I don’t find important, a drastic change from the past 25 years in which I devoted all of my time and energy to things that mattered to others.  I went on with my day without a second thought, until I showed up for my shift that night and one of the owners asked me if I had “accepted the swap on the APP”. Damn.

 
Do you know those people who you admire so much that you feel awkward around them? This is how I feel around this owner. She is who I always wished I was but could never come close to being. She is the one who looks like she just stepped off the yoga runway, only to reveal her outfit is from Target. She remembers everyone’s name and something personal about them. She fears nothing, traveling the world building schools for impoverished villages, using money she raised. Her energy seems endless, but serene. She exudes confidence, intelligence, and success, and I doubt I could find a person with anything negative to say about her. She is all the things I will never be.

 

And at that moment, as she sat with her laptop at the front desk, asking about that damn APP, my stomach started to boil. The boil starts in your gut, like a percolator coffee pot (if you’ve ever seen one of them) and you know it’s going to heat your blood, stiffen your muscles, freeze your joints, and turn into a Major Anxiety Attack. I told her I hadn’t been able to log on and she said “ok. I’ll help you do it after the 4:30 class is checked in”. Gulp.
I shuffled off, feeling every second of my 54 years. I lit the incense, prepared the 4:30 class’s room, and put the keys back in the lock box, all the while trying to breathe and stay calm. Once those tasks were over I had to sit at the computer and log in. The front desk is U- shaped, with 2 computers behind the front counter, and, as I was logging on to the faster one, she was right next to me, sitting on the side of the front desk, working on her laptop. It took me about 7 minutes to log in. No Lie. I was even following the directions I had written down the week before (they were wrong – of course). And with each failed log-in attempt, that feeling of anxiety grew. Every part of my body was simultaneously freezing up and shaking apart, which doesn’t seem possible, but happens during my anxiety attacks.  I kept praying she would leave, get distracted by a phone call, have a yoga emergency to attend to. This did not happen.  Where’s an old fashioned yoga emergency when you need one?

 

As soon as the last person checked into the 4:30 class she said “so open your email and get the email I sent out”. Well Crap. There were a number of problems here.

 

First of all, my brain had shut down by this time. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to open my email. I couldn’t even process the fact that I was currently online, using the studio’s software program, so all I had to do was open a new tab. I fumbled around, trying to find “the internet button”. Seriously!

 

Second, logging onto my email on a computer other than my own requires that I remember my password. Without my cheat sheet. And, since I have my home laptop password protected, I leave my email open, so I rarely use the email password. I had to guess at the password.
Third, I knew that when I opened my email I’d have to go to my trash bin to find her email, and she would know how little effort I had put into using the APP. She walked me through opening my email and, fortunately (for me), was interrupted by a phone call. When I opened my email, I don’t think she saw me go to my trash bin to open the email.

Whether she saw it or not, I’m sure she thought I was an idiot by them.
Once I opened the email she got me signed into the app, had me set up my account and password, and then showed me everything the app can do. I vaguely remember seeing my name at some point, but that’s it; the rest is a blur. I’m sure it’s a great APP. I’m sure everyone else will use it with ease and prefer it to FB. And I know she put a ton of work into setting it up, putting in all of our information and setting up the schedules.
The only problem is that I have no idea how to use the app.  I don’t have the APP on my phone or my home computer, and I don’t even know what the APP is called. As far as she is concerned, I am ready, willing and able to swap shifts with a few keystrokes, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.
Instead, I now know that I can now never, ever, request, or accept a shift swap.

 

I’m scheduled to go to Florida the 2nd week of January. I guess I’ll have to quit before then. Darn.

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