It was first thought that, due to a fault in the technology, the announcement was 'delayed' in getting to Sarah Murdoch through the ear piece.
This created world wide news. Sarah Murdoch said she wasn't told ahead of time who the winner was, instead she was waiting for it to be communicated via her earpiece.
Murdoch said the last information she had received (behind the stage) before announcing the winner was what she went on, as she had nothing else. Because the information didn't come (at that moment) through her [earpiece] she said that she went with what she was last told.
But five days later, we find out that it was not the technology but human error. After an enquiry, the producer has accepted the blame.
Well-Being Australia chairman Mark Tronson points out that this type of experience happens every day of the week in a host of technological and non-technological mishaps.
Sometimes the consequences are horrific. How many times has the '000' number failed or the system has broken down in communicating the urgent message to the ambulance or para-medics? Sometimes it's the technology, sometimes human error.
As recently as the first AFL grand-final night 25 September it took over three hours for an ambulance to arrive and by then …...
Then there are traffic chaos dramas when technology lets down the community. On April 12th, there was a major traffic jam on the F3 that runs north for about 150 km from Sydney to Newcastle, due to an accident. The 'planned' contra-flow of traffic to allow continued movement had not yet been fully implemented, so no traffic flowed. For hours and hours and hours. One man stuck in traffic for nearly six hours told smh.com.au he was forced to ring police and use the emergency lane after his children became ill.
One motorist said, "I am utterly disgusted by the lack of accurate information and common sense displayed by the authorities. I was watching the RTA (Roads and Traffic Authority of NSW) website from 2pm. I phoned their hotline and queried whether the contra-flow would be used and was told that no one had even mentioned it in their traffic centre."
M V Tronson also remembers the drama when VirginBlue's computerised ticket system failed at the start of the September school holidays. It took, in some cases, three days to clear the back-log of travellers.
More recently, there have been two separate problems in the automated banking systems by one of Australia's 'big four' banks, NAB. In both cases, there was absolutely nothing that could be done manually to address the situation – people just had to wait, in some cases days, for their money to come through.
Then there are multitude of bureaucratic bumbles that leaves residents with overcharged services. A recent case saw a family with a $1000 over-charge for their electricity. We all know the experience of trying to phone a utility service to be left on hold and finally, when getting on, the dispute is encased with mumbo jumbo and the authorised person isn't available.
In another article Mark Tronson has discussed what might it be like, to return to a previous era without the remarkable aid of computers from the fast life to a much slower pace.
This current discussion however focuses on the frustrations involved in our fast-paced life when a computer glitch forces the situation at hand to a most unwelcome change of pace.
Little wonder we hear of stories, M V Tronson says, where the heartache and frustration mount up to such an extent that people take a more direct route. They either go to the media as we saw with the grand-father from Toowoomba recently whose was wrongly told he could not have his grand-daughter visit him. Then there saw the elderly gentleman who drove his car into the doors of Parliament House in Canberra. And the farmer who sat on a pole on hunger strike over the NSW 'green' legislation that locked up farming land.
These avenues in a democracy seem to get the 'squeaky wheel' oil attention. The media has a crucial role in our society where they expose such issues. Alternatively, doing something alarming seems to clear the bureaucratic mind (accompanied by a loud media).
Yes, some of these issues are not directly technology driven, nonetheless they are linked in that, like when technology delivers late results, they disrupt our fast-paced itineraries and or smooth running home economics.
In reality there are a number of scenarios to consider. Perhaps it is time to do a stock take and drop a couple of activities, so that we all work at a slower pace and are not so dependent on 'just-in-time' technological systems. This is a common response in Christian Ministry that could perhaps be applied to our businesses and homes.
However, none of this will obviate the human or technological errors by 'others' or by large bureaucracies.
Inevitably, frustrations will continue to be part of our lives, M V Tronson noted. Having issues addressed will continue to be slow and cumbersome. There is some relief in recognising all this will continue, and to find ways to relieve the stress. Jesus found a way to do this, he went apart and found a quiet spot away from everyone..