Thursday 23 April 2009

Have a drink, you'll need it !

I had a very stressful 53 minutes on the phone with my mother today, she is cross with my Dad getting under her feet and this is officially day 4 of his retirement. The reason for the call is that my parents want to go and stay in my house in Turkey, they go for 2 weeks every May, no problem, except this time they want to go when I'll be going at the end of May, God alone knows why they would want to inflict my grumpy self and my grumpy weans on themselves when they could have the peace and quiet,it is beyond me. I say book your flights independently online, much cheaper.

They won't be able to do it themselves so I tell my mum I'll look around for flights for her and I'll sort it out, but she wants it doing now, so as we talk I go online and find flights going from Glasgow and I ask her if they're OK, she agrees so I start to book them, as I'm doing this she starts to get anxious. She's never booked flights before like this, she goes into the travel agent and they sort it all out for her, charge her a fortune for the privilege but that's what she's used to. She's worried about how she'll get her tickets because she won't be able to go into the travel agent to pick them up, she won't rest until she's got those tickets in her hand. I tell her it's a ticketless airline, that they'll email to confirm and you print it out and show the lady at check in. I try and reassure her I book my flights like this all the time and it's fine, they really do let you on the plane. She doesn't really trust me to do this, she thinks I'll do it wrong, she doesn't say so but I can feel it.

Now she's more worried, her voice has gone up an octave and I can feel the tension coming down the phone, I say I'll use my email address and I'll print it off and post it to her, she's still not happy, so whilst I'm still on the phone to her, I get the confirmation email and forward it to my dad. I was only there 2 weeks ago so he's not had time to delete his account or forget his password (I set him up a brand new email account every visit and he still manages not to get into yahoo) but he has surpassed himself and has an invalid password. Now my mum is yelling and she's panicking her pants off she won't be able to get on the plane.

Don't worry, says I, I'll open Mum up an email account and forward the confirmation to her, so I'm still on the phone and I open up my mum an email account and make her write down the email address and the password, at this point we had to have a wee wait as she wasn't wearing the right glasses and it took a while to find the reading glasses. Eventually, after a few false starts she gets into this brand new account and the stress levels are now at breaking point. I know she's thinking that it's easier to go into a travel agent but it's much more expensive too and most people can actually book things online, not my parents obviously, but most people.

My mother does nothing to the computer except dust it and my dad is enthusiastic about it but has no clue, as I've said before, he loves gadgets but he doesn't always fully understand how they work.

So I'm trying to explain to them how to print but there is no ink in the printer (get out ! why would that be straightforward ?) so my dad says he'll change the cartridge and ring me back.

40 minutes later my mum rings me, they have managed to print off 7 copies of their confirmation, yes that's right 7.

And she's worried because the confirmation has printed in black and white but the email confirmation had red on it, will that matter ???? I repress my inner smart arse (at some cost) from telling her that they won't let her on the plane unless it's the right colour because she will believe me and she might cry.

I know she will never let me book her flights again, she won't care how much extra it costs, the stress of doing it again might kill her.


Anonymous said...

I laughed, I cried. Parents and technology should not be mixed.

Shirley said...

I completely understand your title now. Awww, dear auntiegwen, there is a big part of you that deserves a nomination for sainthood! Y'done t'best y'could, dearie. Naebody kin ask f'more than that.

Nota Bene said...

Now don't you think you should've booked a flight to erm, well Thailand...that would have been infinitely more fun, your mum would be able to say 'I told you so' and you'll have peace and quiet in Turkey. No wonder my mum moved away to Cyprus....

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain! My mum had to go into a mobile phone shop to ask why her phone had broken. They kindly explained to her that she'd switched it off.

Take a deep breath when it comes to parents and technology!

Tim Atkinson said...

They don't want to go to Prague as well, do they?

Working Mum said...

I'm so glad my parents are silver surfers - they even have a computer each. My mum does e-mail, photos, banking, shopping, everything on-line.

Print a copy off yourself, post it to your mum's travel agent and let her pick it up - everyone's happy! (except the travel agent!)

lisq said...

Whew! I need a drink after just reading it let alone living it!

Anonymous said...

Nightmare! But very very funny!
Now go and have a wonderful weekend away ;o) xxx

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Oh God, the pain of it all! I used to watch my ex in-laws take an agonsingly slow time using a cash point machine. It was torture ust standing with them as they squinted and dawdled. Bless them eh?!

Laura said...

At least they have given you ( and us) some entertainment lol

OhMyMissRebeccaJane said...

Now that only 1 of my 10 siblings live at home, mum has started over the past couple of years to attempt her hand at using a computer to keep in contact with us and to do things that we would have done when there.

When she is having difficulty she will call me and ask me how to do something which is an event itself trying to tell explain over the phone what she has to do or listen to her try to describe where she is at or what she has done.

No matter how frustrating it can be you can't help but giggle at her attempts and the "cuteness" in it all. She has greatly improved!

I have to feel a lil empathy for your mum, I booked some accomodation overseas, online for the first time and I panicked for days over it, was it legit? would they actually give me the room I requested? was the hotel going to be anything like it looks in the pictures online? was I being ripped off? I asked my brother many times for reassurance that yes he has used the site and has never had problems with flights or accomodation from it.

I think it's a great idea, now.


OhMyMissRebeccaJane said...

Eh, I almost wrote a novel in your blog :o/

LegalMist said...

Found you through the "black boxes" gadget. Love your writing style! You sound like a fun person, and your kids sound great.

Helena said...

Bless them! I can just image my old dad ever trying to tap his way around a keyboard - it would have been all " &^(#$%&! "..this and " &^(#$%&! "..that!

softinthehead said...

LOL my dad regularly "loses" his email!! God alone knows what he does but I have to keep giving him everyone addresses again and again. :) BTW I found you via A mother's place is in the wrong - not swear words....honest. Oh and I'll be back.

auntiegwen said...

LKSN - you want to hear the story of the email with the attachment !!!!

Shirley - I am trying to think that my lack of technology drives my children insane !

NB - yep that'd been funny except for my poor dad, she'd have strunted for a fortnight !

Mud - yep, you gotta love them

Tim - they would have enjoyed it, fortunately they're not in my book group !

WM - good on them, I'm not sure mine will ever get to that !

Lisa - it's because I'm so far away, if I could pop round their house it'd be so much easier

Penelope - thanks sweetie, I did

Mob - I think I've been stood behind them once or twice!

Lolly - you're right, good blog fodder my family are !

Becka - yep, I think it's the unknown that worries us really x

Legalmist - thanks, I have my moments (as do the kids !)

Lena - glad to have you back sweetie, I've missed you x

Softinthehead - thanks for that, I do try and moderate my language from time to time !!!!