10 Tech Things... guaranteed to stress you out

Self-checkouts, updating an OS and more frustating tech tasks

Tech is supposed to make our lives easier. Try telling that to your local self-checkout machine...

Tech is amazing when it works straight out of the box or without scanning over pages of instructions. But as we all well know, life is never that straightforward. Here's 10 scenarios where our relationship with tech can often lead us to reach for the medicine cabinet.

1. Putting home gadgets away

Nothing is certain to cover a man with more bruises and put him in more danger of a ricked back than trying to force a vacuum cleaner back into its cupboard. It’s like trying to push a large, malevolent octopus with a grudge into the back seat of a Kia, but somehow more difficult.

2. Self-checkouts

“Is this a gala or a honeydew? He hasn’t put a barcode on these ham slices! Why has it stopped registering my bag – it hasn’t left the bagging area?! Seek assistance for a can of Shandy Bass?! Where’s the man gone?! I’VE BEEN HERE FOR SIX HOURS NOW!!” You get your own back, though, by lying about using two of your own bags instead of one, thereby scooping extra green points… that you then fail to collect at the customer-servicesdesk- cum-tobacconist, due to the queue.

3. Realising you’ve been typing after pressing the ‘Insert’ key…

Ten minutes too late. To the man who invented this key: we would like to “insert” something into you, then “overwrite” you, using a steamroller. How do you sleep?

4. Realising your suit doesn’t fit

Ah, the sadness that descends after an hour of furious gut-sucking and trouser-tugging, before you realise that despite what that suspiciously free weight-watching app tells you, yes, you have put on a tiny bit more holiday fat than last year, and you are going to have to go to the church with the bottom button undone.

5. Cooking a roast

Prep and carving are rendered impossible by your worktops having been wholly colonised by the bean-to-cup coffee machine, “health grill”, four-slice toaster the size of a small pig and the sous vide you used once to cook a chicken breast to succulent perfection in a mere 17 hours. You’re left to balance the potatoes on your head and rest the beef in the garden. Then a guest breezes in, insisting on making his special gravy, and that’s what everyone ends up praising.

6. Filling out a form online

You spend an hour trying to realign the page after you push all the dotted lines around (is that allowed? Are you meant to delete them as you type?) then you accidentally centre everything before clicking the Tab key, inexplicably turning everything to Wingdings. Good thing HMRC is so chilled…

7. Losing a charging cable

After fruitlessly turning the house upside down for hours, breaking up with your partner in the process, you’re going to have to retire your DSLR forever. Still, at least you found that glove.

8. Using 3G for anything vital

After an hour of frantic finger-jabbing at a smartphone you’ve crafted the perfect 1,000-word report. Sure, you should have done it in the office yesterday rather than on the first morning of your holiday as you speed to the continent, but hey – now it’s done. Just press send, wait as it uploads… Connection lost? Yup, and that’s how it stays until you reach Paris.

9. Updating an OS

Well, it’s deleted all my photos and my contacts are now in Russian but it’s left my Solitaire high scores alone this time, so let’s call it a partial success.

10. Satnav crashes

When you’ve just driven by Harrods for the fifth time, increasingly certain that Knightsbridge isn’t even near Leeds, the only thing to do is pull over, scream, then resign yourself to living in your car in a lay-by for the rest of your life.