Family Troubleshooting

You know who you are. You are a god among men, at least that’s how you feel when your family calls you to ask for technical support, because let’s face it, they are about as computer literate as a gerbil. They marvel at your expertise and knowledge accumulated by years right clicking a mouse and being able to understand how Google works. You my friend, are a freakin wizard from Hogwarts PC university. Hooah! You bask in the glory for about 3 minutes, before you realize you are in for a world of hurt and emotional blackmail. This will last until the day you disappear from existence which brings you joy, knowing that you will never again, have to pull fluff out of that 1980s ball mouse at 10pm at night.

Unfortunately, if this is something you can relate to, then statistically you are more nerd than jock. Which sadly means, you will end up living a lot longer than you would want to, with this curse. So buckle up, settle in and prepare to enjoy the ride for the next 30+ years. Not only is this a life sentence but a continuous struggle with your own sanity as you deal with this pack of technologically inept wombles. Your loving family.

Family IT Fails:

  • You are in IT. That means you are friends with Bill Gates and therefore must get technology at prices that would make Wal-Mart blush. Your family cannot truly comprehend the price of advancing technology and will always believe you are conning them
  • That DX486 will sit in your parents home and run until it falls apart from rust even though you could literally boot it up in the morning go to work and come home to see it still sitting at the Windows 95 logo screen. You are in IT and have the patience of a saint
  • Your father who originally inspired your passion for computers and more than likely was a computer technician himself considers 256K of memory to be more than sufficient for the home computer. He knows best apparently
  • You will spend more than twice the amount of money a brand new PC would cost, scouring the earth looking for rare parts from the ark, for your parents donkey.
  • 50 adapters chained together on the serial port is a perfectly normal thing in your family’s home. What’s U.S.B?
  • The internet is for aristocrats. There is no need to keep your computer’s virus scanner updated or your data backed up online
  • You are a miracle worker, you can raise hard drives from the dead and recover all data in perfect working order. Your parents figured out how to “Ask Jeeves” about putting it in the freezer for a bit and advise you accordingly. Apparently that works…
  • Showing your parents how to play a movie from your laptop to the TV is labelled witchcraft. You will never convince them to invest in something that makes their lives more convenient #factoflife. They may also burn you at the stake
  • You’ve worked at a corporations with thousands of employees. Paper jams occur maybe once a month. Your parents manage to achieve a paper jam at least once a day #winning
  • Just because something pops up and says it should be installed doesn’t mean you should go ahead and do so. How did you survive your childhood with that logic

Fortunately, most of the minor issues aren’t a problem for me nowadays as I’ve slowly tweaked my family’s registry settings and written a couple of batch scripts for their personalities to make sure they operate independently as often as possible. However, there are still a few kinks to work out as they do eventually have to use GOTO commands to approach me for assistance and in all fairness at that stage, they need their IT hero. As Spiderman’s Uncle Ben once said “with great power comes great responsibility”.

I must admit that my family has managed to achieve a lot on the technical front over the past 10 years. Both parents have agreed to use HDMI, Blu-ray, media centers and USB. On top of this, they have laptops (yes those little computers people use) and can surprisingly print most days without a paper jam. So all in all, it’s not that bad for me. I just need to occasionally remind myself to practice Uncle Ben’s mantra.

This is a generalization of course but I’m pretty sure a lot of this is still relevant to most people even in today’s age of technology and social media.


4 thoughts on “Family Troubleshooting

  1. I am not a gerbil, nor an inept womble. I do not have a DX486 and I do not own a donkey (aforementioned DX486). I am however a Jedi prophesied to bring balance to the Force, who fell to the dark side of the Force and serve the evil Galactic Empire !

    “You will never convince them to invest in something that makes their lives more convenient” ?

    Who persuaded me to buy a HDMI, Blu Ray DVD player with USB port ? Who I ask you, who ? Huh ?

    Oh and one more thing “IT hero” !….

    Don’t you feel good that your parents (who as much as supergeek would like to think he didn’t need when he was young) need your brains, your experience, your strength and youthful vigour in their “old age”. It’s called PAYBACK bud and I’m afraid, that is one debt, you never want to fully pay off ‘cause that only happens when the old dinosaurs are no longer (slowly) roaming the earth with their DX486’s.

    I also read your second last paragraph which is your attempt at a disclaimer, nice try to hide that in the small print mate. Lastly, I have NEVER called you for a paper jam (yet)

  2. One more thing to tick off on the “daddy to do list” – make son laugh without tickling, farting inappropriately or blowing bubbles on his tummy.

    The mission continues…

    1. That’s one I have to add to my list. Find a way to publicly embarrass my adult son on the interweb by listing all the cute things I used to do to make him laugh when he was a kidlet. O_o Thanks dad, you’re the best!

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