My computer – my friend, usually

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My iPad and compatible iPhone are extremely important in my life. No, not as important as the people in my life, but really close, if you know what I mean. Now, you probably think I’m nuts or you’re laughing because you feel the same way.
I have been using a computer for more than 20 years and I admit it was a rough start. It took many hours of sitting there and making mistakes to learn on my desktop computer, which seems antiquated now when I use an iPad for everything. It’s much smaller, sleeker and once I learned to use it, my life as a writer has become easier.
I write my columns on the iPad and everything that I put on it goes automatically to my phone. This is a fantastic advantage in this era when everybody needs info quickly. In the beginning, just like others, I made many mistakes. All I learned about the computer, someone else taught me, so thank you to all those patient people.
It has become evident to me that there are some people in my life who are just never going to be totally comfortable with the smart phone or a tablet of some sort. I frankly am amazed at that and continually think that they will come around and actually use those items more often. Several friends and even someone who also lives in my house, just use it because they have to. But I try to avail myself of all things offered there and I will never understand that they don’t have a big need for communication.
I recently came across some really interesting things that a tech expert shared. Some of his customers are unbelievable in their lack of knowledge about the basics of Internet communication. No matter what your level of computer use, I think you will be surprised. See what you think.
The first conversation with this tech-support guy began:
Tech-support – “How may I help you?”
Customer – “I’m writing my first email.”
Tech-support – “OK, what seems to be the problem?”
Customer – “Well, I can get the ‘a,’ but how do I put the circle around it?”
Then there was this:
Customer – “I get this error when I check my email. It says there are no new messages.”
Or this:
Customer – “I can’t seem to send my email.”
Tech-support: “What are you doing to send it?”
Customer – “I write it down on a piece of paper, slide it into the slot on the front of my computer and click on ‘send mail.’ Since I can’t send this email, I’m wondering if the Internet is full? (Seriously?)
This same tech-support guy told this story: “My boss never could get the hang of email. He only used email for one thing -sending weekly messages to his daughter, an English instructor in Saipan. We will call her Mary Smith, but that was not her name. Her address was simple enough but every week he would call me over to the computer with another problem.
Boss – “It’s gone. The email I just spent an hour typing is gone.”
Me – “What happened?”
Boss – “I clicked send and it just disappeared.”
Me – “It’s in your outbox, because you told the computer to send it.”
Boss – “Oh.”
Either that happened almost every week or this:
Boss – “It won’t let me send this message.”
Me – “You need to type her exact email address, not just Mary Smith, in the ‘to’ field.
Boss – “Well how many Mary Smiths could there be in Saipan?”
This one is a classic. The tech guy said, “One day I had a user receive an email that our antivirus software had probably quarantined. The user was frantic, saying, ‘I must have that email.’”
“I’m sorry,” I said, “It has a virus. You’ll have to contact the guy who sent it, have him clean his computer viruses, and resend.”
He replied, “Can’t you just turn off the antivirus long enough for me to get this email?” (Oh my gosh!)
Our tech-support guy truly has patience, as I know is required by all of them.
Tech-support – “You need to right click on the ‘open desktop.’”
Customer – “OK.”
Tech-support – “Did you get a pop-up menu?”
Customer – “No.”
Tech-support – “OK, right click again. Do you see a pop-up menu?”
Customer – “No.”
Tech-support – “OK, sir. Can you tell me what you have done up to this point?”
Customer – “Sure, you told me to right click and I wrote ‘click.’”
Tech-support guy – “At this point I had to put the caller on hold to tell the rest of the tech-support staff what happened. I couldn’t, however, stop from giggling when I got back to the call.”
Tech-support – “OK, did you type click with the keyboard?”
Customer – “Oh, I have done something dumb, right?”
We all make crazy mistakes with the computer, but I can say none of these happened with me!
(Melanie Behrens – melb@marysvillejt.com)



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