Friday, November 24, 2006

Unsung Tech Heroes

Badger's posts about trying to help her father-in-law with his networking woes on 4 or 5 different computers made me think of all the adult children, children-in-law, siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews who this very holiday weekend are holed up doing tech support in their relatives' studies, home offices, guest rooms, living rooms, and basements, sweating and gnashing their teeth and crawling under desks and tables to untangle cables, while their families watch TV and play Boggle.

Then, for their trouble, these valiant volunteers get to gently but firmly explain to their uncomprehending and/or indignant relatives why x or y don't and never will work they way they think they should, or why they should do z differently from now on to make sure the problem doesn't recur. Sometimes they even write it down in numbered steps on a piece of paper, which then gets filed away and lost.

My very own spouse and her cousin have done such support for me, and I am exceedingly grateful.

If I had the expertise, I'd make an award and put it right here for anyone to swipe and download who's been drafted for such duty: "FAMILY PRO BONO TECH SUPPORT SURVIVOR." Or maybe "I FIXED MY SISTER-IN-LAW'S WIRELESS, AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS CUTESY BADGE." Or "PROUD MEMBER OF TEH FAMILY TECH SUPPORT BRIGADE."

Hail to you all!


Blogger PPB said...

I'm up for that! (Only in my family it would be my father who would join that brigade---for the next generation down--nephews, nieces, etc.)

1:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the going gets tough, the tough crawl under the desk. And then after a couple of unsuccessful hours of sore knees and unprintable curses, I call the I.T. Jedi Knight, my wonderful cousin Nathan, who is unfailingly kind and helpful. Many kudos to him!

Those of you in Vancouver BC, check out the ethereal beauty of his medieval music ensemble, Chanterie.

- Renaissance Woman

9:37 PM  
Anonymous wired said...

I like the new look!

When my husband and I got married on the spur-of-the-moment, we were, you know, broke. Really broke. silmarian traded 3 hours of tech support for the money to pay for our marriage license.

3:47 PM  
Blogger witchtrivets said...

I am that person. Because I work in the computer industry and mwt is an engineer, everyone in my family and mwt's family assumes we can fix their computers. And the thing is the problems are usually fixable even with our limited skills. We call these our $1000 tech support visits, where we fly up to visit, pay for a hotel, and then spend the majority of our visit hooking up printers and downloading virus protection. But there is a lot of reward on our end too. mwt's mother thinks I am a genius and I know that has given me some credibility. That and that I use coupons.

9:35 PM  
Anonymous chasmyn said...

On behalf of my wonderful husband, who is most definitely THAT GUY, I thank you. His wife has even been known to vulunteer him to fi the machines of friends and once, a neighbor she ran into while going for a walk in the neighborhood. He has been such a great sport about it, too.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous badgerbag said...

Oh, but it is glorious to be holed up in the attic with the computer, peaceful and alone, reading books about japanese samurai scholars while pretending to fix the computer, for hours and hours, while the family argues and diagnoses each other with mental disorders and senility and bad parenting two floors below and the shrieking children step on the dog.

We like the machines for a reason sometimes!

But yeah, the painful explaining! omg!

12:10 AM  

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