The other night I had a nightmare about computers. This is not surprising. Technology often gives me nightmares in the daytime as well. For years I’ve maintained that technology is “out to get me.” Considering the rise of AI in technology, this assumption is more than warranted. Who knows what evil forces lurk beyond the monitor of my computer just waiting to do me in? If I wrote science fiction, I’m sure I could come up with some scary plots.

In my dream, I had to enter a large amount of patient data into the computer. This is another nightmare, in that I don’t see patients anymore. At least five computers occupied my workstation. None of them were the same. I couldn’t figure out which mouse went with which, and the conglomeration of cords ran everywhere in a tangled mess. As I picked up the first chart, I couldn’t figure out where to start. An employee came over to help me and suggested I use one particular computer, so I laboriously began to type in information. Not only did I have to enter patient notes, but I had to create a patient chart, bill, and then print out the invoice. The idea ran through my head that I shouldn’t have to be doing all these extra duties which should be the job of a receptionist or secretary. Nevertheless, I plodded along. Then I hit a wrong button and couldn’t find my way back to where I was. I think that’s when I woke up in a cold sweat.

The above scenario is not all that unusual in my waking world. I can’t count the number of times something has repeatedly not worked for me on my computer or phone or T.V., and someone else comes along and does the exact same thing I did, and wah-la! Everything works fine. As I said, there is a conspiracy against me, but for the life of me, I don’t know why, unless it was that one time I insulted Suri as a joke. Perhaps she put the word out on me with all the other contraptions out there in cyberspace.

My phone is another source of aggravation in more ways than one, and it is also out to get me. Even people who know what they’re doing can’t get things to work on my phone. It took hours for a friend to install Venmo and Square on my phone, after telling me it was simple. The other day, I was at a conference where I wanted to purchase something, and they told me I simply had to scan the barcode. I almost laughed (hysterically). When someone tells me to “simply” do anything related to technology, I know that not only will it not work, but it’s going to be agonizing. But I scanned the bar code. Twice. Then I handed my phone to the salesperson and said, “Now what?”

She looked at the phone and said, “Hmm, the site is supposed to come up, but it didn’t.” Imagine that. It was my phone, after all. I did what I should have done in the first place and pulled out my credit card, then filled in my information the old-fashioned way—by hand.

But the instance that really bothers me is when I recently went online to fill out a survey about my experience at Chick-fil-a in exchange for a free chicken sandwich. You bet I’ll fill out that survey! I love Chick-fil-a, and their sandwiches aren’t cheap. So, I went online and, miraculously, the website opened up to the survey (which is never a given). I spent a good ten minutes answering the questions, then when I finished, I clicked the continue button. It took me to a page that said, “We’re sorry, this page can’t be accessed at this time. Try again later.” What? I could almost taste that chicken sandwich. But I didn’t have unlimited time to start all over with the survey with no assurance I would get to my end result of a free sandwich.

No wonder I have nightmares. It’s one thing when technology messes with my data. It’s quite another when it messes with my Chick-fil-a sandwich.