I am finally typing at my desktop, and therein lies a tale.
As I briefly documented here, I spent much of the day failing to get my computer to work, though it was fine late last night, and it is less than six months old. The initial problem was that I had no WiFi connection and “no networks available.”
I spent almost three hours with three different Verizon techs who made me check connections and wires, reboot the modem, restart the computer at least 15 times, uninstall and reinstall programs and updates, and some other things I didn’t understand.
We changed settings and the date, to no avail. Then the last Verizon tech put my desktop in safe mode, whereupon my password suddenly wouldn’t work. She couldn’t explain why. I could connect turn my WiFi on, which represented progress, but I was locked out of my computer and stuck in safe mode. I also couldn’t reset my password. At one point she had me working off of two Microsoft websites on my laptop to find a way to reset it, while also using my cellphone.
Verizon’s best being officially stymied, they put me in touch with a Microsoft tech, though I had to wait on hold for about 20 minutes, and I had to ask him to repeat, slowly, literally every statement he made because his accent was impenetrable, and he spoke faster than an auctioneer. I tried his various fixes, many of which I recalled fron hours earlier, for another two hours—no, I never had lunch— until he gave up too, and made an appointment for me to talk to a super-duper tech tomorrow at 1 pm. At that point, having dealt with this disaster from a little after 10 am to a bit before 4 pm, with a perid in there when my computer was supposedly taking one hour to regain WiFi, but didn’t, I couldn’t access anything on my computer, and was locked out, stuck in safe mode, and contemplating driving nails into my face, just to lighten my mood.
At 5 o’clock, my son Grant stopped by as he had promised to do after work, and had everything fixed in about 30 minutes.
- The Verizon employees were professional, dedicated and patient. They were helping me with my computer free of charge, even though we established that their system was not at fault: our internet connections worked everywhere but on my desktop.
- The prompts and options in the bowels of Windows are so obscure it almost makes you wonder if it’s intentional. Surely it doesn’t have to be this complicated for reasonably intelligent non-technicians to follow. Sure, as Mike Bloomberg points out, a farmer couldn’t be expected to understand it, but I’m a lawyer…
- At least my son didn’t embarrass me, as he has at other times, by fixing a device by just looking at it. He has had the power to fix anything mechanical by intuition, instinct and chutzpa since he was about 9. I regard the fact that some people are born with this ability as cosmic injustice, and I want to know what Democrats propose to do to address the inequality of results it causes.
- I know my Microsoft tech was speaking to me from Sri Lanka or the Black Hole of Calcutta, but if a major corporation is going to outsource customer service jobs abroad, the ability to speak English clearly ought to be mandatory. Yes, this principle also applies to McDonalds staff handling Drive-thru orders. Last week one such employee was such a mush-mouth that I said, despite the growing line of cars behind me, “I’m not ordering until I understand what you’re saying, so speak slowly, and distinctly.” She actually brought a supervisor to the mic, and that worked just fine.