The curse or blessing of tech

If you saw my closet talk …..

…. you will understand how I feel about technology. It is hard to believe that when I first came to Canada in 1995 having an email address was a rare thing. Now everybody has one. In fact, many people have two or three. One for family, one for business, and one for competitions. You know how you have to enter your email and don’t want to be hounded by marketing but you make up an email so you can enter your name and maybe have a chance of winning. Yep. We have all been there.

Now we have Google or Alexa sitting in our kitchens listening to everything we say. We have cameras at the front door – sometimes at the back fence too. One interesting thing is the amount of wildlife that has been spotted in the suburbs. You would never know that bobcats, coyotes and other creatures regularly stroll around our neighbourhoods in such numbers.

Technology has made travel easier … and more challenging in some ways. In the old fashioned days, I just took my travel wallet with a printout of my ticket and my passport ….. now I have a whole folder full of vaccination certificates, attestation forms, e-tickets (which seems a contradiction in terms), negative covid test results, all of which I am told that I could happily display digitally if I wanted to. I just don’t have that much faith in the digital world and always like to keep a backup hard copy.

But technology has not helped much over the pandemic either. There has been SO much that technology could not do and people could but it has meant being on hold FOREVER. So as the airlines and the tour operators hire back all the laid-off staff we realise that people are always going to be more important than technology.

Not that I want to go back to the days of the telex!

OK, who knows what I am talking about? Don’t be afraid. It will just show that you have been around a while!! From the telex, we went to the fax machine. Oh wow – now there’s progress for you. And of course, we patiently waited for the reply to the telex, or the fax or the good old-fashioned letter that was sent out. Now if you send an email and don’t get a reply within the hour …… well! Don’t get me started.

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

6 comments

  1. I’m getting back to phonecalls although I suspect many people just send me straight to voicemail. But when I can connect it’s such fun just to chat.
    📞

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  2. Leslie, you really are young. I remember having hard multi-carbon copies for the tickets. E-tickets are really nice. We seem to have a similar attitude to documents (I must have 60 pages for this trip) and frustration with being on hold and not being able to access a real person.
    Travelling now and not being really computer literate and with a smart phone and no data, I wouldn’t have believed how many pieces of paper and expensive tests I needed. It has really changed over these last 2 years. Also how often you have to sign your life away to do something as companies are really concerned in this litigious era.
    I started to check in 24 hours before our flight but I couldn’t check my wife in as WestJet’s system wouldn’t recognize her name when compared to the COVID passport both of which were formatted like mine. So we had to line up at the understaffed counter for an agent and provide a paper copy to verify that she was fully vaccinated. The agent was actually very pleasant and finally we got our boarding passes. Waste of time.
    I also needed a hard copy of pre authorization to enter a country to show the agent. Then we will need to get a PCR test, (hard copy required?) to board the ship and they will do another rapid test 24 hours later as we embark. Don’t they trust the local lab? Why should we (fully vaccinated and copies provided) have to get a PCR test followed by the rapid test? Then there will be tests before we disembark and more tests before we board the plane back to Canada having wrestled with ‘ArriveCAN’ app. Good thing that I set up our ArriveCAN account before leaving Calgary because I had to upload the proof of vaccination which is on my home desktop computer.
    We still don’t know if we will be allowed to disembark at various cruise stops and walk around by ourselves or have to pay for the cruise lines ‘follow the coloured umbrella’ tours.
    We booked the trip about 9 months ago to have a mentally relaxing winter vacation and I hope the actual trip will meet our desires. Stay tuned for our final report.
    From Toronto between flights.

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  3. Always enjoy your blogs Leslie. Oh my ……..I had totally forgotten about the “Telex” machine. I was the telex operator for a bank many years ago (I’d be dating myself if I told you what years). It was my first experience with “technology”. I found it fascinating that I could send a communication to a bank overseas and receive a reply. Thanks for the memory! (:

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