Technology: Aggravation, Frustration and Satisfaction of Victory!

I do not claim to be tech savvy by any means. My children and their spouses have set up everything for me while explaining what they were doing so I’d have some limited knowledge of how computers, printers, etc., work. I do claim to know how to use the many electronic devices that I have in my home. I also admit to being totally tethered by them and dependent upon them for daily tasks, keeping in touch, and feeling secure in the knowledge that I have a link to the outside world. This may seem a bit dramatic (and it is!) but anyone like me knows what it feels like to be helpless in the face of a technology issue that seems too difficult to resolve without help. By way of setting the scene, I have an IPhone which is never far from me, holds all addresses and phone numbers, calendar with dates going well into 2014, not to mention my email and hundreds of photos. The IPhone is kept next to my bed so I can use it as a clock, alarm, and update on Yankees scores when they are on the west coast (don’t ask!). My IPad is easily accessible when I am home for banking, shopping, email, and Words with Friends. My laptop with two monitors is in my office and is used for blogging, keeping spreadsheets for various reasons, shopping, and lots of other things.

This morning when I woke up I bemoaned the fact that it was the same old routine — let the dog out, open the doors and blinds, feed the dog, let her out again, and then finally sit down with a big mug of coffee and begin the morning’s emails. This would be followed by looking at Facebook and then reading the New York Times on the IPad app. I get three emails each day that I look forward to whether I’m first and initiate them or my friends do. So, you can only imagine my horror (really!) when I realized that I had no internet this morning. The cable was ok, the phone was working, but no internet. I plugged and unplugged as we have all been taught to do and then called Blue Ridge Cable, my internet provider. That got me to a tech support person, Stu, who I believe is from another company that provides internet support. Stu was the epitome of the arrogant tech support guy. This was so unexpected because any time I have had a problem, the Blue Ridge support people have been terrific, but I’d never had a problem with internet service. Stu immediately asked me for things that had initials that meant absolutely nothing to me. I asked him to explain what they were and where I could find them. He sounded exasperated but told me to look on the bottom of the box under the tv (which is in a very dark corner so this is easier said than done, not to mention that the box is all hooked up with limited accessibility). Under the box were three stickers and a plethora of numbers. Again, Stu sighed, “the CMAP,” he said. I read off the numbers and he said he didn’t have any device like that registered so could I read them again this time giving a word for each letter. Clearly this had now become a military operation! That worked and he told me to plug and unplug which I told him I had already done, but I did it again. More sighs from Stu. He asked if that worked and I said no, there was no internet connection for my IPad at which time he told me that was not something he provided tech support for and would I please go to a computer.

This did not end well. Finally, I asked one simple question: “Is this an issue on your end?” “No,” Stu replied. Fine. I hung up. One thing some tech people (not all) do not understand is that if I understood everything in the first place, there would be no need for them and they wouldn’t have jobs! I figured out that it must be equipment, so I dug out the old router from Tallahassee, plugged it in and within moments had an internet connection. I was so proud of myself for listening to my children (this includes in-laws of course!) the many times they had attempted to explain things to me. They taught me well. I will order a new router online today with Michael’s expert help and will leave the second part of this story until tomorrow. Suffice to say, I am up and running, happily and thankfully with my phone in my back pocket, my IPad on the table upstairs where I can see it, and my computer right here at my fingertips.