Friday, October 10, 2014

"An Ongoing Story Of Frustration And Chagrin"

Another title I will certainly regret, as it reveals nothing concerning what this blog post is about.

“I got you a present.”

… the continuing portion of this saga began.

Recapping – hopefully briefly – I had decided I was in need of a new CD-Clock Radio, because I did not know (or had forgotten if I ever once knew) how to adjust the “Alarm Setting” on the CD-Alarm Clock Radio that I have used for over fifteen years (and whose “Instruction Manual” I have long since misplaced), and I had determined that it was better to get a new CD-Clock Radio than to continue trying to figure the original one out. 

(I know there are easier solutions to this problem.  And while we’re in “Peripheral Parenthesis Mode”, word is, they are phasing out CD-Clock Radios, because people are now waking up to their iPhones, making the CD-Clock Radio an increasingly difficult appliance to come by.)

My “present” turns out to be that new CD-Clock Radio, the last one, I am informed, they had left at Best Buy.

Here’s a fact that will be useful to you down the line.

I habitually wake up at six-thirty in the morning. 

There may have once been a reason for why.  But the only explanation currently on hand is that six-thirty in the morning is the time I traditionally run entirely out of sleep.

But that’s it.  Six-thirty A.M. is overall my permanent, official “Wake-Up” time.

There are, however, occasions in my life, not many but a few – an early plane departure, a pre-dawn colonoscopy – when I am required to wake up before six-thirty A.M.  And, as mentioned, I am unable to re-program my CD-Clock Radio’s “Alarm Setting” to accommodate those atypical “Wake-Up” times.

Hence the problem, and hence the solution:

A brand spanking new CD Clock Radio, where I can start fresh, peruse the “Instruction Manual”, adjust the settings, and a new and glorious life begins.

I take my still boxed apparatus upstairs, setting it down not in the bedroom but in my office.  There is no rush.  The original CD-Clock Radio is doing fine with its 6:30 A.M. “Wake-Up” setting.  Why rock the boat? 

Besides, there are loyalty issues involved.  You do not just jettison an old friend to the “Helping-Hands-For-The-Blind Give-Away-Pile”, abruptly supplanting it with a snazzier upstart. 

There is a time – Turn, Turn, Turn – for everything.  In this case, a time to replace, and a time…to simply leave things the way they are for the moment.   (There is a reason that one did not make the cut in Ecclesiastes.  It does not exactly “sing.”)

A week later, I decide that it’s time.  I go into my office, and I open the box containing my new “fresh start” CD-Clock Radio.

First thing I notice:

It’s so sleek.  Shiny black, and easily a third the size of my comparatively clunky-looking original CD-Clock Radio.

The second thing I notice:

There is no included “Instruction Manual.” 

(Leaving me precisely back where I started.)

I immediately report this deficiency to the contraption’s purchaser.  Dr. M explains that she herself had been concerned when she noticed that the box to my new CD-Clock Radio had apparently been tampered with.  But since it was the last CD-Clock Radio in the store, she had decided to take it anyway. 

(Apparently, someone else had had CD-Clock Radio adjustment difficulties and had entered the store not to buy something but to abscond with the “Instruction Manual.”  I was angry.  But I identified.)

Feeling an urgency to set things straight, Dr. M immediately moved to the computer, locating and then printing up a new “Instruction Manual” for my new CD-Clock Radio from the Internet.  For some reason, the writing on the printed-up manual was exceedingly small, making it useless to a visually challenged person like myself, though just barely decipherable to Dr. M.

“Instruction Manual” in hand, she proceeded to set up the new machine, first, the time, and then, the “Alarm Wake-Up”, which was programmed for 6:30 A.M.  My habitual “Wake-Up” CD (the sixties theme song from “Hockey Night In Canada”) was then dutifully transferred from my retiring CD-Clock Radio to its replacement, and we were off to the races.

I thanked Dr. M for her efforts, and placed the new machine on the night table beside the bed, setting it on top of the soon-but-not-quite-yet to be discarded original machine. 

“Oh, the humiliation!  Oh, the shame!”  (Anthropomorphizing the original machine.)

We head off to sleep, soothed by the satisfaction of a longstanding annoyance successfully resolved.

Next thing I know, I am awoken by the familiar, stirring strains of “Hockey Night In Canada.”


“It worked!” I exclaim, elated, though still partially asleep.

Dr. M arises from the bed.  And the next thing I hear is,



“It’s six o’clock.”

I look up at the sky.  It’s dark.  Not six-thirty A.M. dark.


It turns out, it was an imperfect though hardly disastrous resolution.  Dr. M had tried to program my new CD-Alarm Clock for six-thirty and had come within half an hour of her intended destination.

Meaning that if we are unable to make the adjustment - and the smart money is not betting we can pull that off - six A.M. will, by necessity rather than choice, now be my new, permanent, official “Wake-Up” time.

Postscript:  Near the end of my morning’s meditation, I hear an electronic beeping sound, first quiet, and then increasingly louder.  I press every button on my new CD-Clock Radio, but beeping continues.  I call for assistance, which quickly arrives.

The immediate diagnosis:  The continued beeping (which began at 6:30 A.M.) is coming from my original CD-Clock Radio.

Apparently stubbornly insisting on the final word. 


Garth Iorg said...

I'm happy to hear/read that everything got worked out, alarm-wise...or maybe close to being worked out! It's doubtful that the instruction manual was pilfered. Judging by the last 3 or 4 electronic purchases I've made, the manufacturer no longer encloses manuals. They probably save billions by not printing those annoying things! Most recently I bought a new Samsung phone. In the box, a small (2x4) 10 or 11 page multi-folded guide to 'getting started.' It was handy. However, on-line, is the 157 page manual. The same was true with my previous phone; my Kindle; my Kindle Fire and my smart TV.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I'm still back wondering why you set an alarm clock for 6:30 when you don't have to. Why not just wake up when you wake up?