I Clicked the “I am not a Robot Box”

Today I visited the Department of Motor Vehicles website in order to renew the registration on my motorcycle. At the end of one of the pages is the familiar box, where we certify that we’re not robots. I clicked on it – and then realized it’s not entirely true.

In reality, we’re not all that different from robots. In a sense, we’re elaborate machines.

This became apparent to me when I tried to do some shopping at a local grocery store. They were playing Christmas music.

No problem! Even though I’m Jewish, I’ll have no part in The War Against Christmas. Christmas is an important part of Western culture, and specifically American culture. If I don’t like it, there are other countries I can move to where Christmas isn’t such a big deal, and where I’d be spared the constant drone of Christmas carols at retail outlets. When Americans celebrate Christmas, and greet each other with “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays,” I say, all the power to them!

And yet I was triggered. I literally had a bad mood attack, and felt an anger rising up in my bowels that was out of my control.

What happened?

Years ago, I used to work in retail. From Black Friday until New Years, we would work long hours, sometimes 11 or 12 hours a day. At this particular store, the manager was a born-again Christian (or so it was said). He made sure that we were bombarded with Christmas carols for our entire shift – and not just any Christmas carols; he handpicked the most religious-oriented ones, the ones whose lyrics included “Christ Child,” and the like, numerous times.

These were hard times for me. As a borderline Aspie, noises and sounds have a big impact on me; I can’t tune out barking dogs, snoring or certain types of music. Over the course of those weeks, I couldn’t sleep, I felt tortured by the incessant carols assaulting my ears, it was raining non-stop and cold. I had nobody to talk to – and the music became a point of contention with my bosses. I got yelled at for wearing ear plugs.

Eventually, the holiday season ended, my work schedule went back to normal, I was prescribed Ambien to help me sleep – and I no longer had to endure the long days of constant Christmas carols.

But the trauma left its mark. The machinery of my psyche had been damaged. On a positive note, I can avoid these situations, so it’s not that big a deal.

It may not be true for all of us, but speaking for myself, the older I get the more I realize that I’m not that special. When it comes down to it, we’re products of our circumstances – not that different from robots.

On a positive note, here’s a photo from my recent vacation, driving a dune buggy while sick as a dog on a rainy day. What fun.

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8 Responses to I Clicked the “I am not a Robot Box”

  1. 370H55V says:

    We have an oldies station in this corner of Florida that started playing Xmas music 24/7 around Veteran’s Day. I don’t know why they antagonize their listeners by spending fully more than 1/2 of the year on this, but I tuned out and won’t be back until Dec 26–if at all.

    I’m also a fan of their Sunday “Smooth Jazz Brunch”, but even that is complete Xmas. Amazing how they can actually fill a five-hour program with Xmas smooth jazz (and have to do two more weeks no less).

  2. You don’t have to be a Jew for repetitive carols to drive you mad. I wonder how many people have gone postal from hearing Last Christmas one too many times.
    When you’re shopping it’s okay, but working all day with repetitive sound is torture.
    I used to work in a shop that played girly pop non-stop: Cher. Shania Twain, that Did It Again girl. Every now and then they’d play a decent song and it would be a slice of heaven.
    In Japan I sometimes worked in malls. There was one branch that played a loud, irritating jingle over and over and over. Pushed some people over the edge. I can tune out so that such nonsense is an annoying drone in the backgound, like power tools on the weekend, but some people can’t do that.

  3. Lon Spector says:

    Don’t worry. In 6 months Biden will depart for that big White House in the sky. Kamala will
    take over, and you won’t have to be annoyed about the celebration of any annoying “racist”
    Western holidays again because they will be banned

  4. AsheDina says:

    I love the Carols 🙂
    It always feels like it’s 1942 when they play the old ones.
    I dont get the war on Christmas, either.
    Jews wrote most of the carols.

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