Technically, Older and Wiser

I am a stay-at-home mom. I used to work in software companies with lots of computers. I taught people how to use them, I wrote training manuals about them, and, many moons ago, I fixed what was wrong with them.

I did alright. Way back when, I knew my way around a computer to fix any number of basic problems with a number of software programs, and could futz and faff around enough to make things happen that people didn’t know they could do.

Except with printers. GodDAMN, I hated printers. And they hated me. I thought I had them beat for awhile, and treated them all like an HP printers, and bent them to my will. But that was a very SHORT while, a very LONG time ago.

But I didn’t have to deal with printers much. Mostly it was software and servers and such. And I did alright.

Nowadays, though, my relationship with computers is mostly social or educational in nature. I have long since forgotten what I once knew, and leave the troubleshooting to BDH. And I like it that way.


Except for days, like today, when I go into work, where we have just moved to a new office space and I find the first task my boss has for me is… WAIT FOR IT!!…

Installing a new all-in-one printer-slash-scanner-slash-fax machine on what will be my computer.

My VERY OLD computer. Which is not even MY computer.

But I am the most tech-savvy person in the office, so heigh-ho, I grab cables and install CDs and away I go. Plug it in, and wait for it to plug-and-play do its own install, right?

Not so much. There is no internet connection yet. BUT, I have the install CD, so I pop that in and away I go. Install, install, install.

And then we get to the part of the show where you reboot to finish the install. Okay, so, watch me reboot.

Old computer shuts down, and then chugs back to life. At which point, one of the random bits of software already installed on this previously-owned-by-a-high-school-boy-home-computer computer gives me an error message. Apparently X software had Y memory error located at Z.

Whatever. Click OK.

I wait. And wait. And wait.

I grow impatient.

And I try to utz it along a little bit.

It doesn’t like that. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t want to do much of anything. It has ground to a halt.

So I do what any relatively confident computer user would do. I cursed it out. And then I punted the damn thing.

It starts up again. It gives me errors again.

And then it locks up like a warthog after a cheese dinner.




Lock up.

Cuss some more.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

So then I try to reach back into the dusty nether reaches of my mind and figure out what was wrong. I put the damn thing in safe mode. I disconnected things. I tried uninstalling shit. I tried reinstalling shit.

Mostly I just rebooted. Like, A HUNDRED FUCKING TIMES. I spent the better part of 3 hours just restarting the machine, over and over and over again.

And it just looked at me and froze up over and over and over again.

So, three hours later and with significantly less patience than when I showed up for work today, I shut everything off and walked away. And told my boss to get someone to fix it.

I felt defeated, a little. I used to know how to do this. But now, after years of neglect and way, way too many sleepless nights and Baby Einstein videos, my technical aptitude seems to have gone the way of the dodo.

I was defeated. By a PRINTER.

Colour printing, faxing, scanning little BASTARD.

But I don’t care as much as I used to. I did, for example, resist the urge to throw everything out the window.

So, although as I have gotten older, my memory may not be what it used to be… with age comes maturity, right?

At least, that is what I am telling myself.

Shut up.

4 thoughts on “Technically, Older and Wiser

  1. I used to work in computers too – printers were the worst job out there! If given the task now I would have given up far quicker than you, I give you credit for sticking with it.

  2. Me, I hate projectors. Like the one that wouldn’t read my laptop at the presentation I was giving today, even though its worked every time previously. Wish my BDH had been there to help me! Why does technology REALLY like to lie in wait until you have an audience????

  3. This made me laugh so hard. In our house, it is HOTY who can’t even be near a printer without blowing it up, and me, my one and only super power? Making our printer work. Seriously. It’s amazing. I get high on the feeling of power. (the secret? you need to sweet talk them. it works every time. just don’t let anyone see you cuddled next to your printer, giving it a hug and whispering sweet nothings, they might think you are weird)

    Not that I ever do that.

    (yes, it really works)

  4. You poor thing! The same thing happened to me in reverse order. New computer. Old software. Much profanity. I’m looking forward to a time when computers are cognizant and can install themselves. Yep, that will fix all our problems.

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