Thursday, 20 January 2011

My father is not a happy

technocrat. Computers are not his "thing" as his grandchildren put it. He tried to learn to use one and gave up in the end. He simply was not sufficiently interested to be bothered. He has trouble using his mobile 'phone...the limit there is to 'phone me and tell me he is going to be late. He does this because he worries - and he worries that I will worry. I love him for that.
Being put 'on hold' with commercial radio chatter or "modern" music infuriates him. Having to press (1) for service A, (2) for service B etc confuses and infuriates him.
He has tried to keep his financial affairs fairly simple. He has the usual bank account, a cheque book and a credit card he almost never uses. He will not give his credit card number over the 'phone or over the internet.
He will be 88 next month and the modern way of doing things is vastly different from the time you had to send your signature to a specific bank branch a month in advance if you wanted to withdraw money when you travelled. The financial arrangements of his grandson about to leave for foreign parts alarmed him. Convincing him that these were standard arrangements these days was difficult.
He has some very modest investments. One of these companies now wants to put his little dividend straight into his bank account. He hates the idea. He likes to see the little cheque, to
know exactly what it is without having to search through his bank statement and how does he tell the accountant who does his income tax return for him?
We have sorted it all out. We have filled out the form and returned it. Life will be simpler for the company in question - and more complex for my father.
I wonder if my father, and others like him, would have felt the same way if they had been 88 when the telephone came into common use?


Frances said...

Cat: He will get the same dividend statement from the company, just without the cheque. Usually this is listed on a bank statement with the company name, so one doesn't have to search.
I understand his feelings completely: however, it did, as far as I am concerned, turn out to be easier.
All such changes can easily feel like - and possibly are - an invasion of privacy and a loss of autonomy..

catdownunder said...

Oh I understand that Frances - I am not sure he really believes it!
We will see.
There is definitely a loss of privacy involved and a potential loss of even more privacy - more than most people realise.