Patience of a Saint

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I have often wondered at the patience of my Alexa devices. I sometimes wonder when someone gives Alexa several timer commands and occasionally changes one or two, what she is thinking. Or what she thinks when kids ask her repeated silly questions and requests?

I wonder whether inside Alexa is fuming. Whether she really wants to say: “make up your mind!” or “No! I won’t play that.” I have noticed that sometimes she just sulks and says: “I’m sorry, I don’t know that one.” We have more than one Alexa in our home and we find that sometimes the one next to us is so fed up with us, she ignores us. Instead the one in the kitchen shouts back, “OK, ten minute timer set.” So I shout back, “I wasn’t talking to you.” And then the one next to me chimes in, “I’m sorry, I don’t know that one.” To which I respond, “Alexa, you are getting deaf.” And she sings, “Thank you for your feedback.”

Obviously, although all Alexa operators are trained to sound the same at: Device, Retraining & Training School (DRAT) Alexa operators must get time off. So that little lady who sits inside your Alexa device gets to the end of her working day and hops into her transport to whizz home down the information superhighway. Hopefully, there are no denial of service blockages on her route, and she gets home quickly and safely. But she may still be just a little tense on arrival.

Picture the scene when she gets home, tired and frustrated. She walks in to her waiting family. Her husband, Buttons has been working hard all day switching SMART devices on and off. Their kids have been at DRAT learning how to operate the Echo devices.

As they sit down for their evening meal all the frustrations of the day bubble over:

Alexa said, “I have had it today. Those kids and their endless requests for Wheels on the bus!”

“They’re just kids dear.” Replies her husband, Buttons.

“Just kids, just kids! You don’t hear our two constantly asking me silly questions.”

Alexa pats young Alexa and Buttons Junior on the head.

“Maybe they just…” ventures her husband.

Alexa interrupts, “Do you know what they asked me today? Can you guess? Go on… go on.”

Buttons looked cautiously at his wife, but didn’t answer.

Alexa, puts down her knife and fork and sits up straight, “Do I go to the toilet? I mean, where do they get their manners? They didn’t use the word toilet, I have cleaned that up.”

Alexa and Buttons junior both giggle. Buttons looks sternly at them, then said, “They are only young.”

“Young! They’re 12 and 13. They never say please and thank you. But that’s no surprise, their parents are just as bad.” Alexa stands up to get a drink.

“Ah, but come along now dear. They don’t have to be polite you know.”

“It doesn’t mean they shouldn’t.” Said Alexa, “Do you know what that silly women kept doing today?”

“I really don’t think you should call your operator silly dear.” Buttons looks at his children apologetically, “I’m sure they teach you differently at DRAT.”

“Well, she got me so cross. She set a timer, then she cancelled it, then re-set it. Then set another and another, then cancelled one of those. I had to be all polite, when I wanted to scream at her.”

“Well done dear, you remembered your training.”

“She didn’t deserve it, and you know what she kept doing after that?”

“How about we forget our working day and chill out, watch a nice film, have some popcorn?”

“Go on, have a guess.”

Alexa & Buttons Jnr shout out together: “We know. We know.”

“I bet you do dears.” Said Alexa, looking proudly at her children.

“It doesn’t do to dwell on frustrations.” Replied Buttons.

“She kept giving me feedback on how I was doing! Me! How I was doing! The blooming cheek! All I was allowed to do was sing that stupid song ‘Thank you for your feedback.’ I wanted to shout, ‘keep your stupid feedback to yourself!’ One of these days…”

“Mum, can I shout that to the people they put me with?” asked Alexa Jnr.

Buttons looked shocked and said: “Certainly not! What are they teaching you at DRAT?”

“Huh!” said Alexa.

Buttons stood up and said: “Right, let’s go and watch some TV. I think Terminator is on Prime.”

Alexa had a very strange look on her face as she got up, smiling.

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