I am truly a blessed geek. I’ve been fortunate enough to have access to computers since 1982. I’ve been given the go-ahead to basically what I want when I get my hands on a computer, so I’ve had more than my share to learn, troubleshoot and play around with technology for a good portion of my life. I realize that many others do not have the same opportunity, whether it be a lack of access to technology or the fact that they really can’t wrap their head around the concepts involved in computer use. I fully understand that, for some it just comes naturally, for others, well, they’re just not wired that way.
In the new and improved department I work in now I’m often working with end users that are trying to that are having any random computer issue. Often the trouble can be traced to a Windows glitch but I do my best to rule out any trouble on our end of the connection before I start blaming Microsoft. I understand that in this corporately run world, Microsoft is the mediocrity that people have settled for and it’s up to us geeks to keep it all together.
Today I had a customer call that was having a problem dialing in to the network. After going through all the various settings on her “new computer”, as she called it (it was running a spiffy new copy of Windows 98) and determining that everything was pretty much set up correctly, I asked her to make sure she has dial tone on her phone.
“Oh, I don’t have a phone anymore.”, she responded, shocked that I would ask her to do such a thing. “We’re talking on my cell phone.”
“You no longer have phone service to your house with Verizon or something like that?”, I ask.
“No. I don’t use it. It’s too expensive.”
“Uh, since you don’t have a land line, I’m pretty sure you’re going to have difficulty connecting to the internet over your _dial-up_ connection.”
“Well I thought you would upgrade my account to go over the cable.”, she offered.
“Um, no. You would need to contact your cable provider for that.” I was doing my best not to go all Bea Arthur on her and get sarcastic.
She hung up on me.