I’m not a digital native. My childhood did not know joysticks and it was only when I was fifty that I came across a smartphone, which after a while would have introduced me to social media and the use of chat and voicemail. But I’m not an anti-machinist Luddite either. I am a “digital migrant”, who daily climbs up the not easy challenge of quickly changing his way of working. Since I am not a born scholar, I try to stay afloat with different apps and devices, also because my job as a university teacher puts me in dialogue with girls and boys in their twenties, in front of whom I can not make the figure of Tyrannosaurus rex (let alone you without politeness who in sweet words exalts the charm of the old master to young people; these are things from books of parypathic philosophy … in practice, the depression reminds us that the most visible analogy in their eyes with their grandparents are the shaky qualities in generation).
Last Monday, a booklet was distributed with Courier describing what cashback is and how to prepare for access to the service. A fantastic opportunity to take another step into modernity and also make me calm for the future: I want to be an example of traceability. Therefore, I thought I would take advantage of the four days of celebration and the absence of disruption from Zoom or Team – for Milanese on December 7 Sant’Ambrogio – that I would have to constantly contribute to the cashless plan launched by the government and, why not, perhaps participate in the “zero-cash” lottery, which is reserved for those who will constantly use electronic payments. I therefore start at 14.00 with patience on my computer and after the manual I discover that to join the program you have to register in the “IO” app, which at first glance seems very simple. But it is immediately suggested that it is necessary to have access to the Public Digital Identity System in order to register. SPID enables citizens to manage all public services electronically. Well, two birds in one stone, because once you have created the SPID identity, you can also use this secure and unambiguous identity for other services. And then for free, so get rid of SPID. The government’s website recommends that I prepare all ammunition before I start: e-mail address, telephone number, valid identity documents and health card for the tax code. Nice, I put everything well in shift on the table next to the computer. You can do SPID by going to one of the designated calculators or taking advantage of the webcam, provided you recognize online. Yes, cheers, you recognize me. Continue.
The procedure at present complicates us. It is necessary to choose from a dozen operators who are authorized to activate the service (some know each other because their brand is hammered by radio or television advertising; others on the other hand are completely unknown to non-professionals). There are eight variables to choose from, including some intuitive but others rather idiosyncratic, such as the SPID security level you need (but how ?, I do not know what I’m looking for and you ask me to choose based on the degree of security I would expect ?!). In addition, the instruction states that some of the providers could (could not “,” be careful, but “could” …) request an additional payment for this service. Mah! Convinced that in our country if you do not pay you will not get, I unknowingly choose an operator who (maybe) can make me pay and I choose one. A box appears where I am told that I can get help, if I need it, by booking an appointment at the offices in Pomezia (Pomezia-Milan, 625 km., Estimated time by car 7h05). At that point, the procedure asks me if I’m a robot (but how? You just saw me in the face with the camera …). Of course I answer no, I fleggo a series of small written contract agreements by reading them superficially and continuing.
I enter my details and the computer gives me a verification code that comes to my phone and that I have to download on the procedure. Done! Now he asks me to read another SMS code on the phone and download it also on the procedure. Done! It has been almost sixty minutes since I started and I still do not see the tunnel lighting (which would then be the first tunnel, because after that the IO app will complete in this obstacle course). But we are diligent soldiers and the pandemic has taught us to be patient, very patient. As the alpine troops say “Tasi e tira” and let’s move on. New personal information is requested. Easy, address and tax code. I’m prepared for that. since 1973 – the year the code was introduced – which I remember from the heart. My, my wife and then my two sons too. I type everything and click “Continue”. But the computer stops. The tax code does not match the applicant’s name. I put it back, same answer. Ah, I suspect he wants the middle name, which I never use. I try to. Macch. The stubborn negative answer and this time also comes in red, because after the fourth attempt, the procedure wants to give you a signal that you are annoyed. The “IO” app and the mirage of cashless repayments for Christmas are moving away.
So I’m going back (okay, holiday, even though I’ve lost 85 ‘now). Now the challenge is a fight against digital bureaucracy. Let’s see who wins it. Meanwhile, some irregularity flies. Operator change activated. The former was really no friend. I choose an unknown (who knows that the beginner is no longer effective and helpful precisely because he has to gain market share). I do gym gym again but this time the track stops earlier: when the camera is recognized via the web it gets stuck and a box comes out and advises me to book an appointment to complete the registration procedure in front of an operator. And this time, fortunately, I do not have to go as far as Pomezia, but someone is waiting for me in Milan. The service is available 24 hours a day. Okay, let’s try this. A new box appears, this time in red letters: “SERVICE CLOSED ON EMERGENCY PISTON”. Exhausted, two hours have passed since it all began. The system has crashed against me, of course. My children and grandchildren will surely make fun of me for the lack of technical expertise, typically for the third age. But I would really like to be replaced by the Minister of Public Administration, Fabiana Dadone, 35 years old from Carr (CN) and see what effect it has. Not helped by an assistant, Madam Minister, but as a simple citizen, to restore the SPID. Depressed, I turn off the computer and in revenge I go down the street to make an ATM. I give up.