Technology annoys the fuck out of me. It never bloody works.
Well it does. Clearly. I’m using it right now to write, and you can read it, so so are you. But you know what I mean.
I’m on my way to Valencia right now. Technology has been failing me all day.
It started months ago with the booking. I had slightly odd itinerary requirements in that I’m going to Valencia and coming home from Barcelona, but the travel web sites will let you do that. Except that they don’t. I set three sites off on their searches and all three of them said there were no flights available. It wasn’t the end of the world, I was still toying with only flying one way and driving the other, so I wasn’t concerned. I looked up the return leg from Barcelona individually and, sure enough, there was tons of availability. Then I checked the Valencia leg. That’s odd. There’s availability on that too. So why did they all tell me they couldn’t book both legs together? Tech fail.
So I booked the Valencia leg. Being a suspicious and paranoid bastard I figured I should probably hold out until the confirmation came through before I booked the Barcelona leg. So I waited five minutes. Nothing. An hour. Nothing. A day. A week. For fuck’s sake. Nothing.
So I checked the credit card statement. Opodo had charged me 20 quid and then refunded it. No mention of the 80-odd quid for the flight. Ah crap. Well I have other things to do that won’t annoy me so much so I’ll do what I do best and procrastinate.
As so often happens, the procrastination paid off and an email finally arrived saying my booking had been received and I should look out for the confirmation email. Which didn’t arrive. So now I don’t know what to do. So I procrastinated again.
Finally, 2 weeks after booking, a confirmation email finally arrived. But look at it. Just fucking look at it. What kind of backward My First Website created that piece of shit? Half the data’s missing!
Not entirely confident with that, I figured I should probably do some checking. It dawned on me that at no point during the booking process did Opodo’s web site ask me to log in. I have an Opodo account from a previous booking, but there is no opportunity to use that on the site. It wants me to log in using my Facebook account. I don’t think so matey, I don’t trust Opodo enough for that. I figure that as I never logged in, it must have done an isolated booking and not linked it to my account so I go scouting for the page where you can check your booking. Not there. Eventually after using the weeeeeeny “Site Map” link hidden away at the bottom I find “Check My Flight” – hurrah! Except that this is a third party site that doesn’t accept any of the reference numbers on the confirmation – they aren’t even the right length. Oh give me strength.
So let’s try the Easyjet site. I have an Easyjet reference. Or so it would seem. The Easyjet site won’t even let me enter the reference because the box is too small. This Is Unbelievable. Tech fail extraordinaire.
Oh fuck this. I’m just getting annoyed and not getting anywhere. I’ll just show up at the airport and see what happens. I have all day to get to Valencia, I can hire a car and bloody well drive all day if I have to.
Hello Gatwick South. Hello Easyjet desk. Holy cow. There’s a Windows blue screen of death above the check-in desk! Seriously! Nobody seems to have noticed. Tech fail. I take a photo of it with my phone. The phone makes its little cher-chink noise and does its little animation, however when I check the gallery later there’s no photo there. Tech fail. I’m not having the best of days and it’s still only 7am.
Mercifully there isn’t much tech to get in the way after that. There’s the gate, of course. What can go wrong there? You just wait until they call you and you get on the plane, right?
But I’m already primed for tech stupidity and so everything’s jumping out at me. “Easyjet welcomes speedy boarders,” the almost inaudible tannoy says. “Anybody who needs assistance something something and when we’re done with that we can board all remaining passengers.” I’m in boarding group 2. At no point does anybody mention any boarding groups. People just queue up anyway. I can barely hear the bloody tannoy and my hearing’s fine, how the hell is a deaf or old person supposed to know what’s going on? They have a bloody TV screen above the gate with the flight number on it, why can’t they have that tell us where in the boarding process we are? “Boarding speedy boarders and group 1” – that’s all it needs to say. How hard is that?
Then, through the gate, there’s a sign that says, “passengers for the front of the plane, this way. Passengers for the back of the plane, that way.” But we don’t know how big the poncing plane is! All we have is a row number. How are we supposed to know which rows are at the back of the farting plane?!
We’ve been flying passengers around for a hundred pigging years, how have we not got the basic process details right yet?
I’m being unreasonably critical, I know. These systems don’t work because they don’t *have* to. The process is still operating, people are still going where they’re supposed to go and nobody’s getting irate. We’re all on the plane now, we left on time and the nosey git next to me is sneakily reading what I’m typing (more on him later). None of these stupid tech fails made the slightest bit of difference, because there are *people* there to paper over the cracks. Dawn of the droids? I think we’ve got some way to go yet.
I just hope Easyjet allocated their shit people to the ground systems because their smart people are all responsible for keeping the plane from crashing.
Oh and when I type Easyjet on my phone it “corrects” me by adding a space in the middle without prompting. Tech fail. Bloody stupid technology. Grumble grumble. Let’s go back to pencil and paper. Arse biscuits.