Thursday, July 14, 2005

Reality Bites... today I bite back!

When I was a child I couldn't wait to be a grown-up. It would be so cool!

I'd have boobs and wear high-heeled shoes and beautiful dresses to my glamorous job.
And then one day I would meet a handsome prince who would whisk me away to live in his mansion happily ever after....

So where exactly did it all go wrong?
The boobs get in my way when I exercise (something I have spent many years perfecting the art of avoiding), the pretty shoes hurt my feet and wearing dresses to work is just not an option - I'm a Techie, so I spend at least half my days under desks sorting out various cabling and PC problems. Not so glamorous.
As for the handsome prince whisking me away... well, I did leave the safety (?!) of SA to move to Dublin with my hubby a few years back so I got the 'away' bit right I guess... but the 'mansion' is in reality a fully-furnished 2-bedroomed rental apartment.
So much for romantic fantasies.

But I digress. My main beef today is my job. Don't get me wrong - as much as I bitch about being in IT, it can be a lot of fun being part of The Great IT Conspiracy; plus, there's very little paperwork involved. I'm just wondering how, after all the time I've spent studying and learning about computers and software, at least 80% of the calls I get are a complete insult to the intelligence of anyone who, well, has any.
Take today, for example:

Problem: My monitor is not working
Solution: Plug in the power
Problem: My mouse is not working
Solution: Plug in a new mouse
Problem: My computer won't accept my password
Solution: Press the 'Num Lock' key

You get the picture.
How do these people survive at home?
Wife: The kettle won't boil.
Husband: (panic) Call the electrician!
Electrician: (Plugs it in / switches it on) That'll be €250 please.
Does this happen? I think not!

Thus, on behalf of Techies the world over, I'm taking it upon myself to spread the word to the uninformed, the technophobic and the just plain lazy:

1. Computers use the same kind of electricity as your other appliances. You don't require any special technical training to plug in their power cables.

2. Computers do not have minds of their own - therefore, they cannot arbitrarily decide to change your password while you are not looking, just for fun (Although, occasionally a bored and frustrated Techie might, hehe!)
3. Computers do not have personalities, therefore they cannot dislike you, therefore it is highly unlikely that they will take it upon themselves to delete that document you swear you saved. (Try the 'Search' button!)
4. Computers don't ask trick questions. When they ask, "Are you sure you want to delete this file?", that is exactly what they mean. (PS, when they ask you this particular question, spare a moment to think about it before clicking Yes. If you're not sure, say No. Especially if the file in question is named something like "Windows" or "Config".)
5. When an error message pops up on your screen, DON'T PANIC! First, try reading it. Most error messages will be in the same language as all the other stuff on your PC. You may even be able to understand what it says. And if you do feel the need to get some technical help, try writing down what the error message was. "I think it said something about the thingy" doesn't really give us much to go on.

OK, I think I'm done venting for now.

But really, don't be afraid to ask - we Techies love to help...


chitty said...

Haha... It is amazing how few ppl are able to find logical solutions to the simplest of problems.
I once visited friend of mine who lived in a highrise building. When I got there she complained that the flat was hot and stuffy and that the aircon was in the blink. My solution: "Why don't you just open the windows?"
It worked!

kyknoord said...

I think 'just plain lazy' is as good a definition for 'technophobic' as any other. To extend your kettle example into the realm of motoring:

"Okay, now this is the steering wheel. You use that to turn the car".

"Steering wheel? Turn? What's with all the jargon? I just want to know how to drive, dammit!"

Anonymous said...


Terri said...

Chitty: Ur obviously a very useful person to have around. I'll remember that the next time I'm stumped with one of these mind-boggling problems.

Kyknoord: So that's why I keep driving into things!!! ;-)

Anonymous: That's a great way to stay anonymous... leaving your URL and all...

Underachiever said...

Hey techie?

I can't stop laughing. Help!


Terri said...

Hey Undr?
Thanks 4 asking, but I think u need more help than what I can give, hehe!