Thursday 01/03/18

It’s not that I’m technophobic, but it worries me when people leave home for the day with nothing more than a smartphone and an EFTPOS card. These are only two of your everyday carry items. In addition to these items, you should never leave home without a watch, a small amount of cash, and a pen.

Always wear a watch. “My phone just died; does anybody know the time”? I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard this question over the years. Smartphones perform a lot of functions and as a result they quickly chew through their batteries. Unfortunately, many people fail to charge their phone before leaving home for the day. Although smart watches have their place, they suffer the same battery issues. A good quality analogue watch is a smart addition to your wardrobe and should last many years, if not a lifetime (unlike smartphones). Obviously, you can tell the time with your watch (and maybe the date and/or day), but did you know you can also use your analogue watch as a compass?

Always carry cash. A little while ago I enjoyed a quiet Sunday lunch in a usually busy café. This wasn’t due to lack of customers, it was due to the chalkboard sign outside the front door “EFTPOS DOWN. CASH ONLY”. While I ate I watched at least twenty people arrive at the shopfront, read the sign, then walk away. It was disturbing how few people carry cash with them anymore (not even $20). During a natural disaster (bushfire/flood/cyclone – all are common in Australia), EFTPOS infrastructure may fail so petrol stations and other retailers may implement a temporary CASH ONLY policy (especially if they are profiteering). Do you carry a small amount of cash with you when you leave the house? If not, how would you cope if you were out for the day and EFTPOS was suddenly unavailable? You don’t need to carry enough cash with you to do your weekly grocery shopping, but $20 should be enough to catch a taxi ride away from trouble.

Always carry a pen.Hang on, I’ve just got to turn my phone on to take notes”. That’s ok if you aren’t in a hurry; but if it is an emergency, you don’t have time. If you’ve witnessed an incident that requires details to be noted, a pen in your pocket is instantly accessible. “What could be so damned important that it can’t wait for two seconds while I get my phone”? Good question. If you witness something like a hit & run, the perpetrator will be long gone before you can snap your first photo. You need to start writing details immediately, before your brain starts merging or forgetting them. No paper? No problem! The skin on your forearms and legs make great notepads.

And there you have it; three everyday items that will save you lot of grief during your day-to-day activities. If the information in tonight’s blog was helpful, please share it with your friends and family on social media.