The funny disease.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

You Want to Waste My Genius on Cutting CDs? I'll Make You Pay!

One of my friends has a brother who charged her $50 to help her cut four cds. That was half of a C note for what amounted to five minutes of his time. It’s disconcerting to think that there must be other self-proclaimed technical geniuses extorting money from friends and relatives for such commonplace computer usage. My own sweet husband, a man who eats, lives and breathes computer programming says that the technically knowledgeable have a duty to society to help the tech-impaired.

Being as tech savvy as a baboon with a tack hammer is a serious liability in a culture where even four-year-old have cell phones. It is one thing paying for the expertise of a techspert, but entirely another for a friend or family member to take merciless advantage of one’s lack of computer skills. We’ve gotten way past the point where even someone who knows a lot about technology can do everything. In other words, there is an obligation for us to help each other figure out how to Instant Message our friends in the comfort of our cubicles.

Of course, there is also plenty of opportunity for the tech needy to take unfair advantage of their friendly, neighborhood Mt. Dew drinker. Sweetface worked for a small software company, and was run ragged by the demands of programming and administering the network, at the heart of which was two servers held together with duct tape and baling wire. On the night of our second wedding anniversary the boss was out of town, and his wife’s new computer crashed. The boss was unaware that my husband was called upon to retrieve his wife’s data. Poor Sweetface spent five hours, after a regular day of work, doing what the wife should have called customer service in Bangalore to do. He was retrieving her contemptible insignificant data when we should have been eating anniversary lasagna at the Olive Garden. Her vile computer was still under warranty, after all.

The good thing about that was that if I was ever going to snap and bludgeon another human to death with a candlestick that would have been it.


Anonymous SarahToo said...

My brother is run ragged at his current job as their resident computer guru. I feel so bad for him when he actually has time to go home for a visit and ends spending hours doing computer stuff for aunts, uncles, cousins and that third cousin's friend of a friend who can't get her computer to turn on.
(Thanks for dropping in on my blog today too. I sometimes wonder what happened to Egghead. There was a lot of wasted brainpower there.)

2/16/2006 12:33 PM

Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Computers are the debbil!!! How much do I owe you for those photo CDs??

2/17/2006 8:28 PM

Blogger the Alpha John said...

I can't disagree with your husband, and as an IT person myself I'm happy to share my vast knowledge of all things IT and business related (we could finish four pots of coffee and not be done with the minutae of an rfid-enabled supply chain), the great divide is almost impossible to measure with many people.

To IT people, my job is one thing, to non-IT people I have a different stock answer. Most of them, not understanding the bowels of a computerized multi-national corportation, seem to think that IT in business is simply a whole lot more desktop computers. While I can keep mine (plural) running without trouble, I haven't done desktop support in almost a decade.

So while I'm happy to share the wealth when it comes to knowledge, if you can't understand what it is that I do, what I know isn't going to help. It's not that different from meeting a federal commodities lobbyist and wondering if he knows somebody in my town who can fix a ticket.

On the other hand, were I in your husband's shoes, the boss would come home and find that his wife had been shot out a cannon with a quickness. That nutjob needs to confine her shopping to a brick and mortar mall.

2/21/2006 8:33 PM

Blogger Sarah Letnes said...

Phos--you owe me $5,367 and two cents. We can talk about a payment plan.

the Alpha John--unfortunately disposing of the boss's wife was not an option.

5/11/2006 3:35 PM


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