I have “zombie finger” 😢

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I have been having trouble with touch pads on gasoline pumps and customer number machines.  A few weeks ago, I needed to renew my license plates, and I was one of those random people who needed to do it in person rather than mail this year.

When I walked into the office, there was a “take a number” machine that asked a few questions why you were there, and then gave you a printed number.  It was a touch screen.  I poked the answers, I stabbed them with my fingertips, I pounded them with the side of my fist, and nothing happened.  Finally a woman behind me lightly touched the information in for me and the machine spat out a ticket like it was my fault that I was held up.  I passed the event off as another one of those miracles of modern science and technology and went on about my business.

But today, I went to my usual gas station, and they had recently installed brand new pumps with that same type of touch screen.  I put my credit card in the slot, and tried to punch in my zip code when it asked.  I poked.  I hammered with my fist.  I pushed my thumb in it.  I rapped it hard with my fingernails.  Finally the machine said that my card was declined.  I know better. I was waiting for my zip code and didn’t get it in a timely manner.

I figured that I couldn’t be the only person with that problem, and when I got home, I googled it and came up with “zombie finger” … most of the time it attacks people with touch screen cellphones and pads.  It shouldn’t be confused with zombie hands which is a serious symptom.

Apparently my fingers are too dry, according to the people who have written about it, and I should either get special gloves with finger tips sewed on to them, or a stylus, or some type of ointment. I was also suggested that I blow warm air across my fingers before using the touch screen.

Why is it always my fault that machines don’t work the way the designers want them to? Why must I adapt to it instead of it adapting to me?

5 thoughts on “I have “zombie finger” 😢

    The Hinoeuma said:
    April 5, 2023 at 7:25 pm

    Ain’t technology grand? 😠


    Rivergirl said:
    April 6, 2023 at 5:19 am

    That’s weird, but also strangely fascinating.


    Catherine said:
    April 6, 2023 at 6:32 am

    How frustrating, Rusty. “Zombie Finger” is a new one. My issue is with the receipt. I punch in “Yes” but there is no receipt. So I have to hoof it inside the store, stand in line while people pay for their snacks, and then point out which pump is mine.


    Lia Storm said:
    April 6, 2023 at 2:35 pm

    I have never heard of this. Oddly enough, since I have had to prick my finger a couple of times everyday for a few months now, I noticed that touch screens don’t work for me a lot of the time. I’m thinking from what I read, that it might be related. I guess the ends of the fingers get toughened up with all the pricks 😁😉

    Liked by 1 person

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