TIME BANDITRY STEALING MY LIFE
How do other people do it? How do other people find the time to do the stuff that needs to be done to live a normal life? Just when I think I’m getting ahead, just when I think I can see some clear time ahead, something comes out of left field that forces a reprioritisation of my time. Left-field stuff is picking on me. I am a hapless victim of time banditry.
Do all those people sitting in cafes laughing and drinking and having a good time have their tax done? Do they have stuff go wrong that they just cannot put off? Or are there people in this world who simply refuse to deal with the minutiae of life?
Can I be one of them? Can I refuse to do stuff? If I refuse to do stuff, worse stuff happens. I am trapped into complying with the demands of modern life by the fear that something worse will happen if I don’t comply.
My passport needs renewing. I need to get a new driver’s licence. My credit card is damaged. Whose credit card actually breaks? Mine. My e-tag has died for some unknown reason. Who do I ring? When can I ring? No, I don’t know my PIN; the last time I did was 10 years ago. Do I really have to call back during business hours? And do I really have to sit on the phone for an eternity telling and retelling the story of my silent e-tag?
No, I don’t know the serial number of my e-tag. Do I really have to call back, wait and recite the serial number? Please?
How much can I pay you to make this problem go away? I don’t suppose you can help me with a passport renewal? The last time I did this eight years ago I just went to the post office. So I go to the post office but they say I have to do something online and come back with a printout and some photos.
When am I going to find the time to do that? During business hours? Really? Can you help me with my tax as well? Look, how about you take half of everything I earn for the rest of my life if I can be released from the purgatory that is dealing with tax issues.
Why can’t this be automated? Here are my bank accounts. And why doesn’t the second key to my car work? What do you mean it needs a battery? Where do I get that? Chadstone? When am I going to be able to get to Chadstone? I go to Chadstone; Mr Minute replaces the battery. So why doesn’t my second key work? Is the battery a dud? Do I really have to go back to Chadstone? Do I actually have to read the manual? Where is the manual?
I have read the manual. I have done what it says. The key doesn’t work. Do I really have to take my car to a service centre to fix this? How can I fit this in? How much is that going to cost? Oh, so you put the key in and turn on the motor so as to allow the car to connect with the new key? Is that all I had to do? You mean this issue that has been dragging on for four months could have been solved in a minute?
I need a batman. Someone to follow me around to deal with the technological and bureaucratic minutiae of life that others seem able to brush off. I want free time, to have time where there is no pending tax meeting, where my passport works forever, where my e-tag beeps forever, where my car key works forever, where I can book a dental appointment in the suburbs, so that I may sit in a cafe and laugh and drink and live like a normal person.