Remember the talking clock? The 1194 number we called to check the time? At the end of September, it went the way of the dodo, discontinued because technology rendered it obsolete. During a discussion of its demise, a colleague announced she hadn't had a watch for as long as she could remember. A digital native, she checks the time on her iPhone or laptop.
We got talking about other once familiar things which have been consigned to history.
Along with the time service, we could call a number and book an early morning wake-up call.
We refer to the paypacket but who among us still receives one? Very few if any. Some time in the late 1980s, it began to disappear, replaced by a direct deposit into our bank accounts. Whether we liked it or not, our wages went straight to the bank which charged us fees to look after our money.
Before plastic began filling our oceans, we had bubblers located throughout our cities and suburbs and no one would dream of paying for bottled water. The stuff was free after all. Now, those bubblers are making a slow but steady comeback. Just recently, Bundanoon in the Southern Highlands celebrated 10 years of banishing plastic bottled water.
Parents once struggled to get their kids to return home after roaming the neighbourhood - the rule was "come home after the streetlights go on". Now, it's a struggle to get the children out of the house and away from their screens.
Remember filling up the family car? Once upon a time there was a thing called driveway service - an employee would fill the tank, check the oil and the tyres for you. One of our younger staff members said how unsettling it was when she encountered driveway service on a road trip in New Zealand. "I was so confused, I didn't know what to do," she said.
Supermarket shopping has changed dramatically too. Years ago, navigating the checkout was a pleasure. Someone rang up your purchases while another person packed them for you - in sturdy brown paper bags. In one popular cut-price chain, negotiating the checkout is like combat as your goods are scanned and fired at you machine-gun style.
Technology has enhanced our lives but in some respects has made them absurd.
The talking clock was one last link to a slower, more sensible world.
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