Want to waste hours of precious time? Try on-line help

Dear Mr. Gates:

computer5It’s me again, Lynda, for the umpteenth time. This isn’t funny anymore. Our friendship is really straining at its limits because you have ignored my earlier pleas for providing technology that works like it’s supposed to. Two simple computer problems are driving me crazy and dipping into the on-line help sites is making me even crazier. I’ve wasted hours, entire days trying to resolve my issues through on-line manuals, user forums, manufacturers’ websites and Google searches. The only result I’m getting is my hair falling out, I’m getting old and cranky really fast, my back hurts from being hunched over my computer for hours at a time, my skin’s breaking out from the stress and my husband is questioning whether he made the right decision in marrying such a bitch.

Every couple of days I naively regain my resolve and dive into another futile attempt at resolving my problems. Several hours later I’m frustrated, angry and no further ahead. This only serves to strengthen my appeal to all Baby Boomers to encourage your grandchildren to study computer sciences in college or university so they can help us out—hopefully for free. Then, don’t move too far away from them. And I refuse to waste any more time on Microsoft or HP’s website help lines. They are too technical and only confuse me and send me in circles. I can get quite enough of that trying to figure out how to watch on-demand TV. If you’re a regular reader of my blog (which I’m sure you are), you’ll recall that I’m a right-brain thinker and following linear instructions is not my strong suit.

computer6Problem No. 1: Why won’t my laptop recognize my wireless printer as a scanner? I’ve tried reinstalling drivers and software as well as updating and deleting old stuff. And stop telling me to install a disk. I no longer have a disk and my laptop doesn’t even have a slot. I’m not the only one with this problem. My girlfriend recently had to close a real estate deal using a neighbour’s old-fashioned fax machine (remember them?) because she too couldn’t get her computer to recognize that her printer is also a scanner.

Problem No. 2: About a year ago I purchased a little gizmo called Chromecast which is supposed to wirelessly transmit my computer screen images to my TV from the Google Chrome browser. It used to work. Now it doesn’t. The little casting icon evaporated from my screen and I can’t bring it back no matter what I do. Hours have again been wasted searching on-line, trying various tricks and tactics that I can never complete because things don’t happen the way the instructions say they should.

Computer2Mr. Gates, Bill, where can an old lady turn for help? If you would build your equipment to simply perform like it should, you wouldn’t keep getting my hate mail. Your time would be much better spent providing vaccines or safe drinking water for third-world countries, which only makes me feel guilty about bothering you all the time. But my life is in a shambles because I can’t manage my electronic equipment’s technical issues. I may be forced to abandon technology altogether and spend all my time eating brownies and plotting the downfall of our federal and provincial governments.

Then, last night, for reasons known only to select members of the high Jedi Counsel, my wireless casting icon reappeared on my screen. I have no idea what combination of mouse clicks I employed and I’m doubtful I’ll ever be able to repeat that sequence again in my lifetime, so I gently minimized the screen and I’m keeping my finger crossed. And now, to my ever-loving horror, my laptop is starting to chug, chug, chug which means the built-in obsolescence fairy is getting ready to crap on my equipment any day now and we all know what that means. Life in the fast lane just keeps getting better and better. It looks like I’m going to have some time on my hands. Please send cases of wine. By FedEx. Immediately.

Your soon-to-be-ex-friend, Lynda

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Perryu McEwen
Perryu McEwen
7 years ago

I really, really hope he listens to you this time Lynda. Computers are the biggest causes of major stress. Every time we have to update or change our settings in any way I break out in hives. There’s always a subsequent domino effect of failures that we have to try and fix on our own. Now maybe if a woman had invented the computer we wouldn’t be having to deal with these issues. We’d have got it right the first time.

Lynda Davis
7 years ago
Reply to  Perryu McEwen

We’re in this together. Let’s hope for a resolution.  Lynda Davis Follow my blog at: http://www.boomerbroadcast.net Social commentary on life from a Boomer Broad’s perspective e-mail: lyndadavis1@yahoo.ca For further insights into the Boomer perspective on business, fashion, mind and body, order my new book, BOOMERBROADcast. It makes a great hostess, birthday or Christmas gift. Click on this link: http://www.lulu.com  or http://www.amazon.com