Sometimes I get frustrated when I can’t figure out a technology right away, or if I forget how to do something that I once knew how to do. For example, each time I arrive in San Jose after six months away, I never remember right away how to use the TV remotes or how to listen to voicemail on my US cell phone. It takes a couple of times before I get it right. Who would have thought, though, that the technology that would infuriate me the most is not a cell phone, but broadcast television?
I knew the winter Olympics started on Friday, but even though I scrolled through all the gazillion channels on my TV I couldn’t find any of the events. I found fishing, college basketball, and soccer, but no snowboarding. I thought for sure I’d be able to see the opening ceremonies, but no. Wrong again. I figured I was doing something wrong, so I checked the guide and the menu. I did searches, and I checked online. But, no. It wasn’t me. It was NBC. They had time-shifted so that while everyone I know in other parts of north America was watching the opening show, I was still waiting for it.
The most infuriating part was that while I was trying to track it down by searching online, I was seeing glimpses of the ceremonies and the results of the sports events in news headlines. I was chatting with friends on a discussion board. I knew what I was missing!
Eventually, the ceremonies did appear on my television, but by then I was cranky. I was made even more irritated by the commentators who talked over the choral background to the show, and who chose to make uniformed chitchat about political issues surrounding the games. That was so inappropriate, NBC! I watched most of the athletes enter the arena, but by then I’d had enough. I was tired and annoyed, and the commentators were making me grind my teeth. So, I went to bed and read a book instead.
I thought I had set my television to record the opening ceremonies, but today I couldn’t find the recording; this is something else I don’t do often! I had missed the moment. To make up for it, I sent NBC a terse email expressing my offpissment. They, in reply, invited me to join their Consumer Advisory Panel. Ha! All right, NBC. This is something I know how to do; critical analysis of media is my bailiwick.