Frustration Nation

While I’m home recovering from surgery, I log in remotely to my job. As a technical writer, I don’t always have manuals to write, but I like to keep on top of things so that if something suddenly becomes a priority, I’m ready.

That said, I can just barely manage keeping our home computer up to date, protected, etc., never mind the one I have from work. I’m usually on site about two days per week, so the “remoting in” works for me.

…until it doesn’t. Things got so bad the other day that I had to call in our own personal computer guy, whom I call “Poor Steve.” Poor Steve has to cope with idiots like me every day, and bless him for having both patience and a sense of humor. I also had him working over the phone with my work tech guy, Paul.

When I get asked a question such as ‘are you logging in on @3rf5%ff.port?’ I usually answer, ‘um, I think so.’ (I have NO idea.) So it takes a village plus Poor Steve and Paul to get me logged in (remotely) properly. Listening to them, I might as well be witnessing two Klingons talking about Klingon grand opera in Klingonese–I am clueless.

Even our 4-year old granddaughter, Ava, can understand computers better than me. But then, she was born into a time where computers, laptops, mobile devices, tablets, Kindles, smart phones, smart houses, smart cars and their ilk are second nature to most people under 20. Us in our 50s and 60s–not so much. Seriously, the first time I even saw a computer was when I was a junior in college.

So we need help. That’s why we have Poor Steve, and for me, Paul, my company’s IT guy. They speak a language that I only recognize a few words of, and certainly can’t hold my own when trying to upgrade my system, or even think about shopping for a new system. The young and eager salesfolk in the computer/device/phone/TV, etc. arena assume I know far more than I do. I am one of those dodos who, when asked about storage space, IP addresses, etc., will smile and nod, and finally say, ‘so—do I press/click/hit the clicky-thing-y to start it or what?’

As I write technical manuals for a living, I make instructions as easy as possible, using easily recognized terms (i.e., if I refer to something as a ‘widget,’ then all through the manual, I will ALWAYS refer to that thing as a widget). The instructions today assume we know a lot more than we do.

But fast forward through the ordeal that Poor Steve and Paul went through; between the two of them, they finally got me up and running. I could now log in remotely and stay in touch. So all is well there. I even tried to write down how I got there, so that I wouldn’t have to bother Poor Steve and Paul for a while.

However, I must admit here that, while my profession is writing manuals, I seldom read them….what, you thought that *I* read them?! Seriously? I, like every ham-handed newbie before me, does the gorilla-paws-smashing-down-on-every-key thing when I’m stuck, hoping that something I hit somewhere will get me to where I want to go.

Does anyone out there want to volunteer as my online “Poor <insert first name here>?” Just putting it out there……


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