Just Because I have Gray Hair?

img_20161002_102510928I don’t know what it is about me that makes people think that I am totally inept or stoopid, when I ask in a store, to see something to do with technology.

Especially, newer stuff.

I just can’t imagine, what it is!

It has to be my charm, wit and good looks. Harold please stop you are being so freaking annoying – as usual.

Yesterday, I was at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Augusta, because I wanted to see the new Garmin Forerunner 35, up close and personal.

I have been doing some research on it, since my old 310XT GPS watch isn’t as reliable as it once was and has some issues uploading the data. Plus Mary has gotten tired of my whining and has offered to get me a new GPS watch for Christmas, since I use it almost everyday.

Enough Background

This might not have been exactly what was said, but it sure as hell captures the gist of what happened.

I stepped up to the front counter, where they keep the GPS watches and this “young fella” (he was in his 20’s – yes I am jealous) came up and asked to help me.

I asked. “Can I look at the FR 35 and he looked at me with a “huh” look.

I then re-asked the question “Can I look at the Garmin Forerunner 35? That black watch in the front row.”

I pointed to it.

Him. “Oh the new GPS watch from Garmin”.

Me. “Yeah”

He then proceeded to ask me what I was going to use it for. In that tone of voice that just says “it can’t possibly be for you”.

Now I am dressed in a bright safety green long sleeve tech shirt, same color ball cap, Nike running shoes and nylon windpants. I know that I had a certain air about me because I had finished running 4.o miles about 45 minutes earlier and hadn’t showered yet.

Nope, I guess I don’t look or smell anything like a runner  ;-).

However, I was nice and replied, “Primarily for running.”

Then he started in on his spiel on how great Garmins were for running and that they had a nice assortment of GPS watches for doing just that.

N0 biggie, but I just wanted to look at the FR 35 and asked if I could look at it again.

He asked. “Have you ever used a GPS watch before?”

Ummm guy, I am wearing a Garmin FR 310, which is a honking huge arse GPS watch and it is fairly noticeable sitting there on my wrist. I just showed him my wrist.

I pointed to the FR 35 in the case again and said “that one”.

At that point, I really, really wanted to say something caustically sarcastic, but I stopped and was a good boy.

“So you’re a runner?” he stated, with that “shocked” tone of voice as he handed me the FR 35.

I just nodded, purposely didn’t say anything and started to compare the FR35 to my 310 and was pretty impressed with the difference in size. You know how much smaller the FR 35 is.

He kept yakking in the background about how far GPS technology has come, how much lighter the FR 35 was and was much more wearable as a daily wear watch than what I was wearing.

All true, but…

Just shut-up guy and let me look at the FR35 in peace.

He kept on voicing his opinions and yakking about how much things had changed since I had gotten that old GPS watch. I really think that he thought he was being helpful to the doddering old fool in front of him, but the more he kept yakking the more annoying he was getting.

His voice and attitude were beginning to bug me and I decided enough was enough.

I asked him how accurate the wrist optical heart rate monitor on the FR 35 was, compared to a chest strap heart rate monitor and if it was compatible with Garmin’s Footpod. Did it incorporate Glosnost GPS technology, in addition to regular GPS?

He just looked at me like I had two heads.

But he stopped talking for a minute and asked to look at the FR 35 box. He says “Oh it does have a built heart rate monitor.”

I just replied “Yes, it does, that is one of the reasons I am interested in getting it and it also has an accelerometer for running inside on the treadmill/indoor tracks and I was wondering if it was compatible with the Garmin foot pod I have or if I could only use the acceleromotor?”

His response was. “Ummm, a, ummm, I, I”

“Also how does it connect to my smart phone, can it notify me of phone calls or texts and can I adjust the volume on my phone or not, with the watch.” I pulled out my phone to emphasize the point.

At that point I stopped. I was starting to be mean and it was very apparent that I knew a lot more about the FR 35 than he did.

I didn’t want to act like a complete ass and show him up.

I said “Don’t worry about it, I have been using GPS watches, besides this old dinosaur pointing to my FR 310XT, for a while now and have been researching FR 35 to see if I want it as a Christmas present or not. I know it has most of the features I want and I only wanted to look at it, to check out how large it was compared to my old watch.”

“You can put it away now, my wife will probably be around sometime in the next week or so, to pick one up as my present. Thanks and have a great day.”

He was holding the FR 35, so I turned around and walked away, before I my quick wit and sarcasm got the better of me and got me thrown out of the store.

He mumbled something incoherent and I went up back to get a pair of LockLaces for my Adios Boost 3’s – which turned out to be a good choice. That is a different story.

But really…

I know that I have a lot of gray hair, a few jowls forming and probably look kind of goofy, but really…I get tired of being stereotyped as a Luddite or doddering old fool, when it comes to technology.

Being an old fool is one thing, but…

Oh well, I guess it comes with the territory or the gray hair, but damn, sometimes it just irritates the hell out of me.





9 responses to “Just Because I have Gray Hair?”

  1. txa1265 Avatar

    The reality is that eventually technology passes us all by – and along the way we tend to miss out on some aspects.

    I look at the social media side as a weakness for me. I had no use for MySpace, and just as well – but was there for Facebook very early (even if my usage was light), but also took a while to ‘get’ instagram.

    At the same time, I have an intimate knowledge of the inner working s of computers and all sorts of electronics from both a hardware and software perspective. When I break out old keystroke sequences, terminal ‘hacks’, or other deep dive techniques, none of the very smart younger people I work with know them – life in the command line days is an ancient mystery to them, as is soldering things onto a circuit board, adjusting jumpers or dip-switches and so on.

    But I also know that I was a rarity back when I was young in that regard – of course that era was when tech-savvy people were not always treated well (Revenge of the Nerds might be fiction, but the sentiment wasn’t too far from the truth), so it isn’t surprising that most people over 40-50, who grew up with a corded landline and no computer in the house (maybe those closer to 40 did), college without a computer in you room, cell phones emerging well into adulthood and smartphones a recent and unnecessary addition … it is not a surprise that the majority of people in our age group are not particularly tech-literate.

    For me, I put off dealing with resurrecting my Alienware 13 for several months not out of a lack of knowing what was needed, but because installing the new SSD and reinstalling the OS and all of my programs was just a hassle I didn’t want to deal with.

    My wife can tell when I am starting to get annoyed – and also that I will just walk away and not buy something at that point (I tend to want to be ‘in a certain place’ to make a purchase), and even once said to a kid who was being a know-it-all “he designs stuff like this for a living, I think he’s got it”. Because she wanted to buy it for me – and knew I was almost done 🙂

    Oh well, it goes with the territory … personally I am still surprised when I hear someone talk about reading the newspaper.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Harold L. Shaw Avatar

      Yeah, certain parts of the technological world, I am letting go of. I no longer can get into the command line without a book or cheat sheet and programming, hell I have problems with HTML now. 🙂

      I think that is why I like my Chromebook so much, I can’t do a lot to it. Although it is getting to be almost as bad on my Windows 10 machine – although I do more than I probably should at times.

      However, as an end user, I can still do pretty well and I guess that is what got my goat yesterday. Here I guy was trying to upsell me to a more expensive GPS watch and when I didn’t bite tried to show-off how much he “didn’t” know about the FR35.

      I just get a bit irked when someone stereotypes me, as an old, goofy fart who doesn’t have any business being tech savvy.

      Then when I show them that I might know what in the hell I am talking about and asking in depth questions on the product that they don’t even have a clue about, they get all flustered and stuff.

      Mary has gotten so that when I go out to do any kind of tech shopping she just doesn’t go with me, because she knows that I tend to get a little “sarcastic” if the salespeople are

      look down their noses at an old fella trying to do tech
      start providing misinformation on the product or what it should be able to do. I tend to do the research before going in to look at or buy something, so I am not going in blind.

      Getting old is wonderful, but some parts sure do suck eggs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. wanderwolf Avatar

    Well, not to play the comparison game, but girls get that kind of treatment all their lives… still, ageism may be one of the most socially accepted attitudes and it frustrates me when I see it too.

    With that kind of knowledge, you could probably be the one working behind the GPS counter. 🙂

    I like your sense of humor.

    And I wish I was getting your Christmas present…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Harold L. Shaw Avatar

      *isms seem to too alive and well, and I have a feeling that they are going to become more noticeable over the next few years. The more gray hair I get and the older I get to look, the more I am beginning to notice the subtle and not so subtle anti-agist attitudes. Stuff that I wouldn’t have even thought about before, either irk me or flat out piss me off depending on the situation.

      Gotta have a sense of humor, otherwise you can get too down about these things and this is one of the reasons why I changed my blog, to include this kind of daily life stuff that I now find more and more important in my life.

      I am very lucky and get spoiled pretty badly by the wife. The old 310XT will get retired to the boneyard, after I do some comparisons to see how the accuracy is on the new one, if that is my present ;-).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. wanderwolf Avatar

        Ha ha, that’s right, you don’t know if that’s your gift yet 😉 maybe you end up getting a tire lever and I get a new watch and I’ll regret wanting to trade.
        But probably one of the best things younger people can do is hang out with older people, because that’s the quickest way to realize how wrong and inappropriate ageist attitudes are. Some older people are less healthy and struggling with that occupies their time, so they do tend to fall into patterns of what one associates with “being old,” but it still means one should not treat them as incompetent…
        Yeah, I’m worried that ism are going to be more “okay” and socially appropriate behaviors… a huge step backwards for the groups who suffer as a result of these isms.
        Those of us who recognize this need to remember that we can still fight back by not staying quiet about it. But yeah… sorry… I tend to go off on these kinds of reflections a lot these days.
        I’m glad you changed your blog… it’s become a platform to set up spaces for more dialogue. 🙂


      2. Harold L. Shaw Avatar

        I think that is the thing about our society is that there is so little real interaction between the generations now. We all seem to live so far apart and don’t have time for much of anything else,it is just such a fast-paced world that stopping to actually speak or visit with others is becoming a forgotten art. I am glad I changed the format too, it just seems to show more of the whole me, not just a small slice. The isms are a powerful, yet negative force in the world and will always be there simmering under the surface – just the way it is. The best way to combat them is to shine the light on them and hold them responsible for their actions or inactions. isms are a simplistic view on how to solve or get beyond what the person sees as an issue, unfortunately solutions are not often simplistic or easy. There are no quick fixes, it takes hard work, true leadership and unfortunately, sometimes sacrifice to get beyond the isms.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. wanderwolf Avatar

        Well said.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. OmniRunner Avatar

    And I was happy not to get carded at the packy tonight on the way home.
    I may still be too young for ageism. At 52 I can do things that the 20 Somethings in my office would never dream of. But my daughter shows me new stuff on my phone quite often.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Harold L. Shaw Avatar

      Yeah, it has been a couple of years since I was carded and I have a feeling that I might surprise a few of those young’uns, both athletically and in tech saviness, maybe even some of the social media stuff, but I am what I am almost 60 and loving life. It might be hubris on my part at times, but sometimes the attitudes that the gray hair I have on top and the lines/jowls on my face encounter, make me go huh??? Oh well, we probably did the same things to the old farts when we young’uns 🙂


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