About two months ago, my watch finally gave out and I decided that I wasn’t going to buy another one and just use my cell phone as my time piece. I had made this decision about three years prior but only lasted two weeks before breaking down and buying another watch. (I don’t buy expensive watches). This time I made it two months. I actually bought my watch on Amazon rather than driving to Walmart or Target. It arrived in a couple of days.

This is not a fancy watch. It’s not digital so it has hands and numbers on the face. It also has a day and date display next to the 3. Much to my surprise, there were no instructions in the box with the watch, but simply a card that directed me to download an app on my cell or visit a website to obtain instructions on how to set the time and day/date on my new watch.

I don’t use apps on my cell phone much. I’m always in awe of people who use their phone as a boarding pass and scan it at the gate to get on the plane. I like the paper in my hand and I don’t want to take the chance of deleting my boarding pass as I get to the gate. But I was feeling bold and curious and downloaded the suggested app to obtain instructions and register my watch.

The first question the app asked me was if it could take control of the camera on my phone. That didn’t sound like a good idea at all, but wanting to use this experience to advance my tech skills, I pushed “OK.” Then it said I needed to scan the face of my watch. I had never scanned anything with my phone before and after fumbling around and finally getting my watch in focus with the camera on my phone, I pushed what I thought was the correct red button only to have the app tell me to scan the face of my watch. A second try yielded the same result. Looking at my phone screen I noticed two red buttons, so on my third attempt I pressed the other red button and got a reply that the face of my watch had been scanned.

Next, I was asked to scan the bar code on the box my watch came in. That required a trip into another room where I left that box. Again, I had to muster all my dexterity to line up he box with my phone so I could scan the bar code. My first response was that it couldn’t read the bar code and I was to try again. Screw this, I thought, I’ll just go to the website. But no, I need to learn how to do this type of stuff, so I gave it another go and this time it said I had successfully scanned the bar code and that it was searching for my watch.

“WE CANNOT FIND YOUR WATCH. Please try again” Appeared on my screen. AAARRRGGGHHH! I went through the process one more time and this time it brought up pictures of various watches and I was to click on one to confirm that it was my watch. One problem. None of them looked like my watch. After the last watch picture, there was a message.

“If you cannot find your watch, please try again.” AAAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH. ALL I WANT TO KNOW IS HOW TO SET THE DAY AND DATE DISPLAY.

I’m about 45 minutes into this project now and my blood pressure is running at about 180/130. I put the phone down and went to the computer. I typed in the website and was taken to the support area, where I was asked for the model number of my watch. There was a picture as to where to find the model number and it happens to be on the back of the watch. I turned the watch over and looked in the spot and sure enough, there it was. It was so small that no one could read it. WHAT THE H—! I played trombone with it but couldn’t distinguish any numbers whether it was close or far away. Damn, I need a magnifying glass. I had a vague idea where we kept ours and went tearing through drawers to find it.

Even with the magnifying glass, some numbers were hard for these 65 year old eyes to see. Is that a five or a three? A one or a seven? It took three attempts to type in the correct model number but I finally got to the point of deciding between a PDF of the owners’ manual or a download. Both of which, even with my small amount of tech savvy, I could handle.

I printed all 20 pages of the owners’ manual, including instructions in French, Japanese and Spanish, so I would never have to go through this process again. And yes, I did get my day and date display set correctly.

The efficiency of technology over simply putting an instruction booklet with the watch turned a three minute job into an hour job. Hmmmmmm.

These are the opinions of Legacy Wealth Management, LLC and not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice.

Mike Berry is a Registered Representative offering securities through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Legacy Wealth Management, LLC and Cambridge are not affiliated. Cambridge does not offer tax advice.

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