New tricks can be difficult for old dogs

As our lifetime progresses we get indications we are being viewed as senior citizens. Lately those indications have not come from a few aching joints, but from outsiders who observe our actions or have simply seen the gray hair and conclude this guy needs some help.
More and more frequently when I enter a store and hand reaches out accompanied by a young person’s voice saying, “Sir, let me get the door for you.”  Struggling at a checkout counter the carryout person offers to carry my purchase to the car and when I decline, the question then arises, “Are you  sure?”
I must admit I am not a computer geek, or at best computer literate. That message came home loud and clear to me a month ago when I was invited to attend a state seminar to learn a lodge secretary interface because the state lodge had revamped its website and reporting procedures for local Nebraska lodge secretaries.
At the meeting I got the idea the presenters were well aware they were going to be dealing with a bunch of senior slow learners. The 190-plus pages of Lodge Secretary Interface Tutorial pictured what you would view on the screen of the computer after following the directions telling you to “Press the ‘Add Transaction’ button . . . and hit the ‘Submit Transaction’ button” etc.. The screen shots were accompanied by circles and arrows emphasizing those directions.
I couldn’t help looking around the room as we went page-by-page through the tutorial. I saw puzzled looks over much of the class before questions began emerge.
“What if we don’t have a computer? Will my seven year old software work on this system? How long do we have to learn the new system?” These were questions that brought home the possibility many of us “old dogs” can’t be taught new tricks.
Now it has become change-over time and it is also evident the adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” has appeared. But, in all fairness to the young ladies who worked on the tutorial and built the new website, this old dog will still give it a try.
A word of warning to those young ladies in the Lincoln office: “There’s going to be coming from Aurora lots of loud yells of ‘Help!’”
RL Furse  is publisher emeritus of the News-Register

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