Thursday, April 10, 2008

Swings and roundabouts

One minute I'm singing the praises of the solitary life, and the next minute my friend D's kid writes this in his Facebook status update --

[Anonymous Son-of-D] is installing software to replicate a COM port via USB to trick a DOS program into working in Vista

-- and I am re-plunged in gloom.

I mean, if I'd ever got round to having one, chances are s/he too would have been able to say that kind of thing, and all that that implies for personalised helpdesk service finely tuned by filial obligation.

And if, like D, I'd had four ...

Oh well.


innercitygarden said...

When my father outlaw rings for the helpdesk my smartarse partner says "I'll just start the timesheet".

When my father rings it's usually because he's forgotten how to cut and paste. I can't tell you how hard it is not to sound condescending explaining that one for the trillionth time. It's tempting just to let it out, but I remember all the years of him paying my bills while I studied something he has no interest in and which is never likely to pay off financially.

So while child-based help desks are free, they have an even lower than average level of customer kindness & understanding, and they cost a lot in the long run. At least the guy at the Apple shop never expected you to pick him up from the pub that night he over did it.

ThirdCat said...

And if I was going to spend my life with an engineer, why didn't I make it the sort who knew more about than computers than just 'have you tried turning it off then on again'?

Hilary said...

You could try having kids for the promise of free, in-house IT customer service, but it's a gamble. You could end up with, 'Mum, I can try but I really don't think I can do any better than you.' And they don't try all that hard anyway.
*Sigh* All those dirty nappies. All those sleepless nights.

Mindy said...

Years and years of hard graft and chances are they'll bugger off overseas anyway. Or be a new age Luddite. Why not just borrow the expertise of one of her kids?

David said...

Although I occasionally ask my eldest child to channel his inner 12-year-old when I'm having difficulties with my mobile 'phone (he's 33), when it's anything to do with computers I'm generally _their_ first line support. (It must be that degree in computing science I acquired a few years ago ... )

On the other hand, I can usually rely on them to help me move heavy objects, so there is _some_ payback.

fifi said...

then they could just announce one day that they want to play Rugby League.

all those sleepless nights, all that....agh.

So small. yet so powerfully annoying.

Zarquon said...

...installing software to replicate a COM port via USB to trick a DOS program into working in Vista

Cheese... Just boot Freedos and you're done.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Why thank you, Zarquon. I will let his father know and tell him to pass it on.

genevieve said...

It's not always tuned that finely, though. More often than not, they say, 'here, I'll do it' and click a few things and before you can see what they've done (so you don't have to ask again another time) they're gone to do something more interesting...

And FOUR is a ridiculous expense to incur, even for helpdesk purposes. Two would be quite enough, one of them would be bound to have a mate who could help out.

innercitygarden said...

My kid found a function on a friend's mobile phone the other day. She hadn't known it was there (he put a caller - his father - on hold) and didn't know how to undo it.

He's fifteen months old, she's 23. We lost no time explaining to her that being beaten on technology by a younger person is one of the Seven Signs of Aging.

After the way he's slept (or not slept) this week, he'd better be helping out technologically in future.

Pavlov's Cat said...

"He's fifteen months old"


"Seven Signs of Aging"

Only seven? Surely not.

Besides, why would one need a sign? The calendar and the mirror between them tell one the entire horrid truth. A friend of mine recently went to a doc who examined the small spot on her face she feared might have been a skin cancer and said 'No no, that's harmless. You know what causes these things? Too many birthdays.'

innercitygarden said...

Seven Signs, as in the Oil of Olay ads of the 80s. Which my 23 year old friend isn't old enough to remember, and it came up at trivia once and none of us knew what each of the seven signs was, but at least we remembered the reference.

We ended up inventing Signs, including The Mirror of Truth, The Calendar etc etc... The first thing that made me feel old was hearing that a kid I used to babysit was going to Schoolies Week. That and going to a 21st where I was chatting to the parents and home before midnight.