Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Persiflage’s guide to mastering the recalcitrant ether

Make sure you have available an expert. This, most often, is one of your children. In cases of technology, they all know more than you do. Be sure to buy their children gelato often, as a simple way of giving thanks. Childminding also gives you brownie points. As does simple family affection.

Cultivate friends who understand all these complexities, and who just love being able to demonstrate their expertise. And who are good and loving souls.

Be sure you know how to turn everything off and on. Also, knowing what and when to unplug it all, and waiting 20 seconds, is a valuable skill.

Make sure you know what the modem lights are for. When in doubt, unplug it all and start again. NEVER assume you got it right the first, second, third or fourth time….

Also, work out just what exactly the screen means when it refers to a device.

I have just solved a little (LITTLE!) problem by remembering that these days your keyboard is likely to be a device. (I keep forgetting that the current keyboard needs a battery to work.) Switching it off and on has just worked a treat. Don't just sit there muttering 'Device! what device? It does not help.

Do not forget to seek help from your computer firm – in my case Apple – and your Internet Service Provider. Don’t allow yourself to be embarrassed by your rather demonstrably obvious lack of simple understanding of what the hell you should be doing. Remember that these people on the other end of the phone do this All Day Long, probably for 12 hour shifts, and have to cope with long, abstruse, careful explanations and instructions all day long. (And you thought YOU had problems!)

Be aware that this inevitably results in being on the phone for at least three hours. It also means that you have to crawl around the floor, unplugging and re-plugging, and of course moving all the desks and other furniture and equipment that generally are placed carefully away from the trip zones of the house. You don’t want to lie on the floor with a broken leg, unable to continue to rectify your technological problems. Do you?

When all else fails, change your internet service provider. I am in the process of doing just that, but it won’t happen for a couple of weeks. This is because I am paying to have a technician to the home to set it all up for me (and, I hope to write down simple instructions). Or is that a contradiction in terms? Probably.

Remember that there is possibly a simple explanation for your problems. Or maybe not. And even if there is a simple explanation, there probably won’t be a simple remedy. But you never know. One can live in hope.

Best of luck.


molly said...

Out of great frustration come hilarious blog posts! This was way up there. I howled with laughter from beginning to end. I felt your pain! Maybe we were separated at you think??

Elephant's Child said...

This afternoon I have spent far too much time on the phone having a problem resolved. After the first stint they assurred me it was all better - which it was until I rebooted when the original problems returned.
However, apart from having to reject a hard sell to buy expensive ($500 or so) computer support when I pushed hard I did (finally) get the advertised free service. My eyes have crossed and I am exhausted though.
Sadly often (though not today) my problem is a screw loose in the operator.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post ... I understand the level of disgust you'd reached to be able to write this so humorously, but regardless ... thank you. (From a computer tech who does that 'all day long' deal you wrote about...)

VioletSky said...

One of the reasons I love Apple is the cheerful and non-condescending way the help you with any problem or question