Along the Trail: A Little Information
It was one of those dreaded letters we all get from time to time. It was a federal government department looking for a “little more information.” A little more information as in “How many people died on the Titanic and who were they?”
Well, there was no choice but to suck it up and get at it. As I booted up my laptop, I could feel the stress creeping up my body until my neck was as stiff as a poker. I kept telling myself this will be a few “easy steps”, then we can do something useful like go salmon fishing or make a batch of mustard pickles.
My angst with computers is well documented and I tried to assure myself that this would be nothing. Just click here, click there and we’re done. I even gave myself a lecture about how I had to get with the ages. Except I didn’t believe it for a moment. My exploits with computers and machines are legendary, and there was no reason to think this time would be any different.
So, I entered my password and tried to follow the “few easy steps.’ And they were easy, especially if you had a degree in advanced calculus.
From time to time, I glanced at the clock on the wall and it was quietly moving along from hour to hour. The few easy steps now were in their third hour. Finally, in desperation, I called the attached call centre and got a lovely, most helpful young lady. Colette, I do believe. Her main virtue had to be patience. I could picture her sitting in her cubicle looking at her fellow workers and quietly pointing at the phone while mouthing the words “You wouldn’t believe!”
Well, hour three passed with more helpers on the line than NASA during Apollo 13, and I finally got the task completed. All I had to do was print, and we were good. Except it wouldn’t print. Why did I know that? The printer kept telling me to go press the button on the router and start again. So I spent about 20-30 minutes going downstairs to the router, coming back upstairs to see if the print had started (it hadn’t) then repeated the exercise. Over and over, up and down, up and down, blinking lights everywhere, but no action on the part of the printer. After about half an hour, I could feel the burn except this was not aerobics, it was computer 101. It was brutal. I was scared to take my pulse.
The future is not looking so good, either. As I thumbed through the scant flyers we get here at the ragged edge of the corn belt, I saw things were on sale and I did not even know what they were, never mind if that was a good price! When I, on rare occasion, enter one of those big box stores that specialize in electronics (do they still call it electronics?) I feel I have just been casted in an episode of Star Trek. I can only imagine what is next. I hope it does not require a “few easy steps “or “some assembly required.” To be so lucky!