The Story of a Tech-Minded Woman and the Man She Saves
Scene I – Mark has just started to pack up for his move across town. He’s wigging out and decides to run out for a coffee and cinna-bon break. While standing in line he sees his techie friend Theresa, who is bypassing the long wait to pick up the order she placed on the coffee shop’s ordering app.
Mark: Hey what are you some kind of VIP here? Back of the line, sweetheart.
Theresa: Oh hey Mark! How’s it going?
M: All right. Pretty busy actually. But seriously, what’s the deal? You call ahead for your latte or something?
T: Yeah! Well kind of. I ordered a sandwich through their app.
M: Their app?
T: Yeah, they have this app where you just punch in your order, send it in and come pick it up. Totally easy, and no waiting in line forever…Oops, sorry.
M: Yeah. Well thanks but no thanks, I don’t need a computer just to get a cup of coffee.
T: Computer? You mean smartphone. Come on Mark, step into the 21st Century. Don’t be afraid, a little technology won’t hurt you!
M: No, it’ll just turn me into a zombie like everyone else, faces buried in their phones all the time. Look, those two right there. Totally ignoring each other. And mom over there with her two little kids. Someone could kidnap them and she wouldn’t even notice.
T: Be nice, maybe she’s getting a babysitter.
M: Where, on facebook?
T: Hey, not everyone has turned zombie yet. Some people actually find technology makes their lives simpler.
T: Yes. You can do pretty much anything with all the apps out there. It’s so easy to communicate now.
T: Yeah. You know, texting people, sending photos and links, and uploading stuff.
T: …Why are you doing that?
M: Doing what?
T: You keep repeating me.
M: Repeating you?
T: Stop it!
M: Stop it?
T: YES! STOP IT!
M: All right, well then get to your point, would you? I’m busy, I gotta get my coffee and get back home.
T: Get back home?
M: Don’t start. Yes, I’m going nuts trying to get all my stuff packed.
M: Ye-es. Pa-acked. I’m moving, didn’t I tell you? I have to put my entire apartment into boxes and move everything to my new place up in Hillsdale.
M: Cut it out! Yes, Hillsdale. Well, most of my stuff. Some of it is going into storage, for a little while anyway. Some of it I’m stashing in my parents’ garage till later, the rest goes to my new place. Unless I can’t fit it all, in which case I’ll have to put more boxes in storage.
T: Sounds fun.
M: You have no idea. I can’t believe how much crap I have. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is trying to keep track of everything. I’ve only done like, the living room and half the kitchen and already I don’t know which boxes most of my stuff is in.
T: Why don’t you write it down?
M: I am. I mean, I write living room or kitchen on the box, plus a couple major things.
T: Why can’t you write down everything you put in each box?
Girl at the counter (to Mark): Hi there, what can I get for you today?
M: You’ve never moved, have you. That’d take forever. And I wouldn’t just have to write everything in every box on the side of each box, I’d have to keep a list of what’s in each box since some of them will be in storage, some in my mom’s garage…
M: Yeah, hold on. I’m gonna have stuff all over, I’m just trying to separate it out now and hope I don’t need to go digging for anything later.
T: Or you could use a little technology.
Girl: Sir, you’re next.
M: What, order a secretary with my coffee?
Girl: Sir? People are waiting.
M: Okay, sorry. Yeah, just give me a large coffee and…one of these cinnamon things please.
T: You going to be at your place later?
M: Unfortunately. Why, you wanna come by and help me pack?
T: Sort of. Look, I gotta go too. I’ll stop by later!
M: Great, bring a pizza and some markers!
Later, at Mark’s place.
M: What, no pizza?
T: You were serious?
M: Sort of. I was more serious about the markers.
T: Actually, I brought you something better.
T: No. This!
M: Your phone?
T: No, this app. It’ll help you keep track of where everything is.
M: Nothing can keep track of all this stuff. Might as well just take a picture of each box before I tape it shut.
T: Look, this is actually really cool. This guy designed an app that lets you record everything you pack in every single one of your boxes.
M: And he calls it an app? Sounds like a voice recorder to me.
T: Well that’s part of it, but there’s a lot more to it. Look, basically all you have to do is number your boxes, then as you pack each one make a voice recording of it.
M: Like I said…
T: No, but then you upload all the data – all your recordings – to this thing called Clarify, which creates kind of an archive of your stuff for you. Then using another site called Twilio you just punch in your box number and it gives you your list of everything you packed in that box.
M: I don’t get it.
T: Don’t get what?
M: How is that different from just recording everything and keeping it on my phone?
T: Well for starters, say you’re looking for…I don’t know, your external hard drive.
M: Don’t have one.
T: Okay, your GPS.
T: Fine, your abacus.
T: You have an abacus?
M: It’s around here somewhere…
T: Okay, fine, you need to find your abacus, and you call your Twilio number and enter ‘abacus’ and the app basically searches your data files for ‘abacus’ and tells you which box it’s in. Pretty cool huh?
T: Come on, you know it is!
M: So how does one use this magical mystery abacus finder?
T: Well, the guys at Twilio posted this article with all the steps, including all the code and script you need to create your own app.
M: Code? Scripts? Create my own – ? Look, Theresa, thanks but by the time I figure all that out I could have everything written down in ten different places. Seriously, you didn’t bring any markers?
T: No. But I brought you a present. I already worked out the coding for you. I just need to transfer the app to your phone and you’re set.
M: So…okay, so can you show me how to use it?
T: I don’t know, I was going to run out and get you those markers.
M: Yeah, yeah. Look, thanks. This could be cool. I’ll probably still write stuff down though, just in case. I don’t completely trust all this technology stuff.
T: Why not?
M: Because look, if you don’t know how to use it things just get messed up and it’s back to the pen and paper routine.
T: So you don’t trust you using the technology. Right?
M: That’s one way to put it.
T: All right, fine Mr. Pen-and-Paper, I’ll help you get started. Let me get it loaded onto your phone while you order the pizza.
T: Ham and pineapple.
T: And hey, order online, it’s faster.
M: You can order pizza online?
Two weeks later. Theresa stops by Mark’s new apartment.
T: Hey! Nice place!
M: Thanks, it’s still a mess.
T: That’s obvious. But I like it. You have curtains for the windows yet?
T: You’re such a guy. Hey, how’d it go with that app? Finding everything all right?
M: Actually yeah. Seriously, I had so much stuff I was just throwing it all in boxes at the end. Been having to dig around for things but that app thing has been a life saver.
T: That’s awesome! See? Better living through technology.
M: you know of an app that can help me rearrange all this furniture?
T: Did you move all this stuff yourself?
M: I was going to, but by the end I was so stressed out and tired I hired some people to load it all into the rental truck for me. Took them like, two hours, tops. Would have taken me about ten.
T: You called a moving company?
M: Called? A moving company? Ahem! Welcome to the 21st Century, Theresa! No, I went online and found some guys to just do the loading and unloading. I drove the truck in between.
T: How’d you find them? I never heard of a moving company that does that.
M: Me neither. But apparently they’re all over. There’s this website called HireAHelper.com, they have this network of movers all over the country who will come out and move your stuff for you. Pretty cheap too, I was kind of surprised.
T: Were they good?
M: They were awesome. Two hours, nothing broken, done deal. Took them even less time to unload it all.
T: Same guys?
M: No, different guys actually. The first guys couldn’t do the unload, too busy that day. But finding another company was cake since I already knew about HireAHelper.
T: What did they think about the app? Did you show them?
M: Actually they’d already heard about it. Said they might start using it sometime in the near future.
T: Hey! You could be a mover!
M: Ha, no thanks. I don’t think I could handle it. Carrying stuff all day every day. I don’t know how they can do it.
T: Well it looks like your stuff all survived. And accounted for too with your little app friend, huh?
M: Yeah. Seriously, thanks for that. Pretty much saved my sanity.
T: You’re very welcome. So, you wanna jump online and order some food for us again?
M: I have a better idea. Why don’t we take a walk downtown, see what’s around and find a place to sit down and have a real dinner? You know, with like, a real waitress?
T: Still avoiding technology I see?
M: No. Just avoiding avoiding people. Some things, technology just can’t replace.
M: Ugh, don’t start that again…