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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Machines Feel

I believe from the bottom of my heart and the depths of my soul that machines feel. They get hurt when you speak badly of them, and they get mad when you bang on them. Then, they will break down... stop work... go on strike. I came to that sound belief through rigorous experimentation. There was a time when I had to make photocopies - a regular Girl Friday, you know. It was the same machine, and we were 5 people. Somehow, when another Girl Friday was at the machine, it would break down every 7 pages or so. The Other Girl Friday cursed and swore... and the machine stayed resolutely silent. She leaves the machine and stomps off to do something else.

I come quietly behind... surreptitiously even. I gently pat the photocopier on it's hood, and whisper gently that I know it is a good machine and that I love it very much. Lo and behold! The photocopier wakes up and prints MY 300 copies in good humour.

As things turn out, The Daughter has absorbed many of my beliefs and values (through breast milk, I guess), and she too has an ingrained habit of being nice to machines. I even apologised to my Brother multi-function laser printer for accidentally breaking the feeder tray. Oops!!

The Husband, however, repairs machines for a living. He does so competently enough that people pay him to do that. He, of course, sniffs at my beliefs.

It was a mistake last night with our projector.

It was movie night and the projector decided that it would just go yellow. The projection on the wall glowed a bright yellow. We were watching a yellow movie. And The Husband was not pleased. He spoke derogatively of our projector. He cursed. He swore. He stomped about and changed this cable... and that cable. He did stressful diagnostic tests to "pinpoint the root problem".

Still yellow.

The Daughter waltzes into the room and declares "Dad... be nice to him and he will behave." I added "That's what I said, but he won't listen to me." The Husband opened and closed his mouth like a goldfish and said "Fine, you so smart, you fix it." The Daughter walks up and pats the projector's hair, strokes its ears, and then bends down to kiss its nose for good measure. Twice. She spoke nicely, said sorry for her Dad's uncouth behavior and she assured it that it was a very well loved member of the family.

Then, she switched it on. It worked fine, and we watched our movie. See! Machines have feelings.


Anonymous said...

I do believe you're right Petunia! There's an old saying, "you can catch more flies with honey, than with vinegar" Your post proves this beyond a doubt :)

Fresh Fry aka 福星 said...


btw, any news on Milo? =P

petunialee said...

Theanne - Oh! So that's what that particular expression means! I learnt something today!!

petunialee said...

Fry - Next post. Next post. Promise.

Blur Ting said...

It's true Petunia! It happens all the time with computers. They hang when you stress them out. Oh, cars too!

My SINFONIA said...

I did that too....with our old TV. Then when sayang did not work, I gave it one good smack and it did...maybe machines need a dose of discipline too.

petunialee said...

Ting - Hah! The Husband should see this!!

petunialee said...

Sinfonia - Oh! Smack? Like kids huh? Next time, I will wave my cane.

Blur Ting said...

Oh, you know something about TVs? When we had an old one at my parent's place, the reception was quite poor and often the screen will be so noisy/buzzy. When we go near, the screen will clear up, but whenever we walk away, it would act up again.