When it comes to being abused as the resident computer geek, I guess it comes with the territory. When it seems like everyone I know knows I’m proficient in computer stuff, I get asked for help more often than I care for (or I would if I didn’t hide from most people looking for my help).
If I really wanted to be a computer geek in such a way, I’d apply for a job with some company like the Geek Squad (which operates out of Best Buy). No, I don’t like being the resident computer geek, the “go to guy” or that “computer guy”.
I’m guess I’m lucky because I haven’t been asked very often lately. The last time was this earlier Wednesday, when my daughter-in-law’s parents came over. By the way, there isn’t an English language term to describe our relationship. In the Philippines, it’s bilae (in Tagalog).
Anyway, my daughter-in-laws father asked me to check his printer and find out why it wasn’t printing. He came over to pick me up the next day (Thursday). He could have saved some gas and some time if he had simply checked to see if the USB printer cable was plugged into the USB port of his desktop PC. Apparently, he connected it properly when he first set it up, but he didn’t realize he pulled the cable out when he moved the printer.
He has a more expensive printer than the one I just bought, but I learned something about my daughter-in-law’s father. He doesn’t like upgrading anything. I’m willing to bet his desktop PC is as old as his Windows version, which is Windows XP. Honestly, I didn’t look close enough to see how old his equipment was.
Way back in the 90s and into the first half of the first decade of this millennium (ancient history in computer years), I was asked more times than I care to remember to fix either hardware or software. I eventually gave up on fixing hardware because the tips of my fingers aren’t slender and working in tight spaces was way too frustrating.
That didn’t stop a couple of neighbors in the Philippines from asking for hardware help sometime between 2007 and 2010. One was a hard drive issue I couldn’t fix (a new hard drive was required). The other turned out to be a virus on a USB flash drive infecting the guy’s computer every time he plugged it in.
Nowadays, I decline helping people more often than helping. I usually refer them to one website or another. I just don’t have patience for people who refuse to learn about the tools they’re using. That includes mobile phones, tablets and laptops along with desktop PCs (as well as oddball things like the PS Vita). It was much easier to get along when very few of us were “technically inclined” and were the only ones using computers for anything other than word processing and spreadsheets.
I used to be a computer geek people could count on. Now I’m a computer geek in hiding.
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