Technological Stupidity

We just got cable and Internet access from a well-known cable company. Yesterday, a rainy Sunday, seemed like a good day to rig up my laptop to the cable Internet, and install a wireless system.

The goal was to make things more convenient for me, and speed up my Internet access, so I would no long wait three hours to upload a two-minute YouTube video of a LOL Cat or something.

Jeff was there to help. Or more precisely, to do it for me, since I’m the Coyote to technology’s Road Runner: When I tangle with technology, it always ends badly for me.

Frankly, I’m surprised Jeff didn’t run screaming from the house within a half hour of starting the effort. Everything seemed to go wrong with whatever we tried to rig up. When things go wrong, I rant.

As per usual, I don’t have a very optimistic view of a technological project. “This isn’t going to work. Let’s give up,” I kept saying in a bitter tone of voice, as one failure after another accumulated.

By contrast, Jeff, once confronted by an impossible challenge, doesn’t give up until he succeeds. “I won’t let an inanimate object defeat me” he intoned darkly, like Clint Eastwood before a shootout in a violent Western.

He managed to stay on hold with Comcast for a half hour without cursing. How can anyone stay on line and listen to that chirpy woman say, “Please hold Your call is very important to us,” over and over?  If the call was that important, somebody would pick up.

To me, holding like that is worse than waterboarding. To Jeff, it was nothing more annoying than the fly that was buzzing around the room.

Finally, a very helpful Comcast technician got on the line and figured out how to connect my Laptop to the Comcast system. Jeff looked smug, especially since I had told him 1,347,297 times in that hour of dealing with Comcast that this will never work and we should give up.  In fact, it did work.

Next, we had to connect my laptop to a router. Jeff said the salesman he bough the router from said it was so easy to set up even his grandmother could do it.

The salesperson didn’t tell Jeff the grandmother was Director of The World’s Most Complicated Stuff at Dell or some other damn computer place. We couldn’t make the router work.  I just kept getting error messages. “My whole damn life is an error message,” I whined.

Jeff, sick of my whining, fed me popcorn and banished me from the room. Jeff stayed on  hold again when he called customer support. “Please hold. Your call is very important to us.”


Finally, a very helpful Netgear technician came on the line. Turned out all this frustration came about because Jeff and I neglected to press one little button hidden in the back of the router.

So, as usual, one has to be patient to make even the simplist technology project.  Like three hours of patient, which is a tall order for me.  If it’s not right in five minutes, I just throw big, heavy and inexpensive objects at whatever is broken.

But, after three hours,  everything was hooked up and working fine. Videos download like a dream.

Jeff also seemed to weather my technological meltdown remarkably well. The twitches I induced in him seem to be diminishing and there’s a chance he might actually recover from my whining, thrashing and other negativity. One can only hope.

I guess I’ll never get a job designing rockets for NASA, that’s for sure.

One Response to “Technological Stupidity”

  1. jeff modereger Says:

    Me thinks you exaggerate a bit, but then, I’m still laughing.I love your imagery of me as Clint facing down an inanimate object….”OK punk, you feeling lucky. Are you? HUH? Go ahead. Make my day”.

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