Guilty as ChargedPosted: January 25, 2014
Several months ago we got Mom an alert clicker. The unit is completely self-contained inside a compact 1 ½ x 1 inch little white cube. If she pushes the button, she can speak directly into the unit and hear the operator talk back to her. There are only a couple of problems that we have with it – and it has nothing to do with the product or service.
The first is, Mom refuses to wear it. She claims it isn’t comfortable and weighs down on the back of her neck too much. Since it can’t be more than an ounce or two, I don’t understand her objection, but, as a concession, it’s hung on the arm of The Red Menace instead. I figured since she can’t go anywhere without her wheelchair, that’s as good a place as any.
The second issue is recharging. We’ve tried to get her into the habit of plugging it into the charger on her end table every morning when she parks herself on the loveseat for the day. It only takes an hour to charge, so after her breakfast and cup of coffee, but before she makes her first trek back to the bathroom, she’s supposed to unplug it and hang it on the arm of the wheelchair. That way, if Bill and I gone and she takes a tumble, it will be right there within reach no matter where she is.
The stumbling block is getting her to remember to unplug it and hang it. The problem is that it doesn’t really dawn on her until about, oh, maybe… bedtime! This means that, even though it’s the most completely charged unit of any that the company has sold to its several million households, if she takes a tumble in her bathroom and we’re at the grocery store, she’s screwed. I have asked, cajoled, pleaded and argued, but she never remembers to do it. So I’ve been doing it. Guess you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Or maybe she’s managed to teach me to do exactly what she wants. I’m thinking that’s probably closer to the truth.
The other morning I noticed the clicker still hanging on the arm of the wheelchair. As I removed it and plugged it into the charger, I commented, “Well I guess we know it’ll hold a charge for 2 days.”
“Oh, it’ll hold a charge longer than that,” she replied with a sage nod. “Probably a week or more.”
“But the company rep said to plug it in every day to make sure it was fully charged,” I said. “How do you figure it’s good for more than a week?”
“Because of that lady in the commercial,” she said. “The one on the floor.”
“OK, but what’s that got to do with the charge life?”
“Well, she’s got it around her neck and she has to wear it all the time so she can probably only charge it once a week or so,” she explained.
“Why wouldn’t she plug it in when she goes to bed?” I asked, trying to sort out her logic on this one.
“Because she’d have to wear it a night in case she got up to go to the john and fell. So she could only charge it when she takes a bath or shower.”
“But maybe she showers more frequently than once a week,” I argued.
“Maybe, but probably not. When you get old you don’t sweat so you don’t need to shower as often as when you’re young and active.”
“Well then how come you don’t wear yours around your neck?” I asked. “That’s what you’re supposed to do, just like the lady in the ad.”
“Well that’s just fake because she can take it off when they’re done making the commercial so she doesn’t know how uncomfortable it really is around your neck.”
“Well, if it’s fake, how do you know the charge is good for a week?”
“Because that’s just makes sense,” she replied with a huff. “And sense isn’t fake.”