I just concluded a stressful week, all because of a webinar I took in, on handling stress.

Being retired from the practice of law, I find my main stressor now is technology. I’m a devout baby boomer and I feel marginalized dealing with computers and other machines. I find it impersonal, frightening and simply overwhelming. I’m suspicious about spams, scams and snooping, especially. I Googled Texas Holdem the other day and within minutes my screen loaded up with ads about Texas, including info about where best I can buy a ten-gallon hat in El Paso.

I muttered under my breath that technology was stressing me out.

By chance I received an email about a free webinar on how to smash stress. Then again maybe it wasn’t by chance; maybe Alexa ratted on me.

I had nothing to lose. Unbeknownst to me I would however have to undergo the ordeal of figuring out how to log in successfully.

I signed on and received an email, suggesting 3 ways of signing in: 1) on my computer; 2) on a mobile device via an “easy to download” App; or 3) via telephone by calling some bizarre area code.

Apps do not sit well with me as I am never able to readily enter the right password. I’m certain Apple is out to get me. I get a note about, “forgot your password?” but I don’t see an option to say, “No I did not forget; I am entering it correctly. You guys are jerking me around.”

Regarding the phone, I am not comfortable dialing these oddball 900 numbers for fear of reaching some scam telephone sex outfit following which I get billed $800.00. That for sure would stress me. And my marriage.

I clicked on a link on my PC, but I got lost. Firstly, I had to confirm I was not a robot. I had to copy from an image a combo of 6 numbers and letters some of which were totally illegible. One character was smudgy, looking like it was created with a thumb dipped in ink. Others were in a weird font, like Middle Phoenician.

After sailing through this gauntlet, I received a message suggesting proper computer specs needed. It talked about Firefox, Explorer and Chrome in a language totally foreign to me. I am sure Socrates must have used similar language and that lead to the State ordering him to drink that hemlock. Rightly so.

I just hit keys in front of me randomly. Eventually I scored, but audio access only. The speaker asked listeners to enter their names and residences in the “chat box”. Unfortunately, I could not see a chat box, whatever that is. He rattled off welcomes, such as “Welcome Gerald from Chicago. And welcome Marlene from Edmonton. And welcome Cookie from Cleveland. Hello Cookie.”

I felt excluded. I shouted back, “What about Marcel from Thornhill?” I thought perhaps Alexa would hear me and relay my message. No go.

I did see a note offering tech support. I had to email my problem. With great difficulty I restrained myself from using language I would not use in front of my grandchildren.

To my surprise a live person, Raymond telephoned me. He asked if he could take over my computer, after realizing soon enough his instructions to me must have sounded like they were in Klingon. I gladly gave Raymond control. I started to feel much better

I finally joined the webinar.

The speaker was making useful comments such as, “Stress can be stressful.” He then listed sure fire ways of dealing with it. One was breathing; in then out.

How could I have missed that one. I zealously made notes.

Another tip was changing your thought focus. If for example your boss tells you you’re fired, think about something you can be grateful about, like a gorgeous sunset. Noted. This one could come in handy when you’re driving through a blizzard in Toronto in January. Getting stressed? No problem. Just imagine some guy in Fort Myers enjoying the sunset.

The seminar concluded.

I realized I must inoculate my mind against the stresses of technology. I’m not certain what the answer is. One thing for sure, I’m definitely not asking Google. Maybe I can get friendly with Raymond?