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Troubleshooting and chatting it up with Amy’s Dad

Dad’s in Florida. He’s in his condo by the ocean for two full months. He left at the beginning of January and has been there, therefore, for most of the month.

Dad is bored out of his skull.

His people don’t arrive until February (my aunt and uncle, his sister and brother-in-law, are arriving then, and his cousin is visiting then, and I think he’s going to visit another cousin then – yes, my entire family has become a flock of snowbirds) so Dad’s been hanging out at buffets and the American Legion (do NOT ask him if they’ve given him a fez; he’ll just yell “THEY DON’T WEAR FEZZES!”) and walking on the beach and getting scratchers at the 7-11 and – best of all – calling me up at all hours to tell me things. Or texting me. Or emailing me weird links, like “You should read this good site, do you know about this?” and it’s MSN.

Dad said he's not doing well on the scratchers this year, and therefore I will no longer have an inheritance. Oh, well, I wasn't betting on one, anyway.

Dad said he’s not doing well on the scratchers this year, and therefore I will no longer have an inheritance. Oh, well, I wasn’t betting on one, anyway.

So I thought you would enjoy a glimpse into the type of conversation Dad and I have been having lately. You like such things, right? Right.

Oh, a thing you need to know for this to make sense…

Dad bought a laptop so he could take advantage of the free wifi in the condo. Dad’s never had a laptop before. Or high-speed internet. It’s like Dad was released into a very big playground. Or the ocean. Without a lifevest. Or a map, to completely muddle this metaphor.

So, I had the day off today. I had car work to get done, which got done a lot sooner than planned (also, goodbye, savings! sniff), so I used the day to do all of my usual after-work errands like grocery shopping and laundry and such, so I don’t have to do them after work this week. I was PROACTIVE! And when I got home Dad sent me an email to call him RIGHT AWAY so I did. (Dad + boredom + high speed internet = lots of email, you guys.)

So of course I called him. It’s a day off. Lots of time to talk to Dad.

Me: Hey, old man. What’s up?
Dad: Stop calling me that.
Me: Fine. Howdy, young lady, what’s shakin’?
Dad: Not at all better.
Me: But funnier.
Dad: Not really. I have a computer question.
Me: I will answer that!
Dad: You broke my computer.
Me: That’s more an accusation than a question.
Dad: Remember you made me put that antivirus on here?
Me: Yes, so you didn’t get viruses and no one stole your identity.

Oh, Dad would HATE this.

Oh, Dad would HATE this.

Dad: It gave me a virus.
Me: The antivirus gave you a virus. No, I don’t think that’s how that works.
Dad: No! True story! Ever since I bought it, the computer keeps shutting down if I walk away for ten minutes.
Me: Huh. That’s weird. Did you change any settings?
Dad: What does that mean, settings. No. I put on this virusy virus thing.
Me: Well, go into the settings of Norton and see if one of them says “sleep settings” or “power saver” or something.
Dad: That is SMART. Where are Norton settings.
Me: I don’t know, I’ve never needed that. Click on Norton? It’s probably at the bottom of the screen or something.
Dad: It WAS! You’re good at this.
Me: Yeah, I’m totally an IT guru.
Dad: It says I need to sign into Norton.
Me: Sign into Norton, then.
Dad: It says I don’t know my password.
Me: Do you know your password?
Dad: No.
Me: Did you write down your password when you signed up?
Dad: I did but I wrote it down wrong.
Me: Well, that’s unhelpful.
Dad: There’s something to click if I forgot my password! Should I click that?
Me: Yep.
Dad: This is exciting.
Me: SO exciting.

Look at my excited face. LOOK AT IT!

Look at my excited face. LOOK AT IT!

Dad: I am resetting my password now.
Me: Maybe use the one you wrote down, then you already have it written down.
Dad: Man, you are really good.
Me: Yeah, I’ve got brains to spare.
Dad: SOMETHING IS WRONG! SOMETHING IS WRONG!
Me: Uh-oh. What’s wrong, jellybean.
Dad: It sent me a reset link and then I reset it and then it said it was wrong AGAIN.
Me: OK, well, there’s something wonky with Norton. Try again tomorrow.
Dad: That’s not a solution.
Me: Turn the computer on and off?
Dad: That is also not a solution.
Me: Oh, it surely is. Turning things on and off fixes more than you know.
Dad: I’m just going to give up now and go watch television and think about how terrible my life is.
Me: Do you want me to try to talk you through the computer settings and see if those somehow got screwed up?
Dad: No. I HAVE TO GO NOW.
Me: OK. Bye. Love you.
Dad: Grumble grumble grumble grump love you bye.

TWO MINUTES LATER!

THE PHONE RINGS!

Me: Yo, s’up, Pops.
Dad: I got into Norton.
Me: How’d you do that?
Dad: Don’t even know.
Me: Fair enough.
Dad: What do I do now?
Me: I don’t know. Let me ask the internet.
Dad: How does the internet know about my computer problems?
Me: Because the government’s watching you.
Dad: I KNEW IT!
Me: Foolish. Because other people often have the same problems you do, if you Google problems, they can help you.
Dad: But then the government knows you’re having a problem.
Me: *sigh* Yes, there’s always that. Oh, ok, here. Someone had the same problem. I’m going to talk you through how to fix this, ok?
Dad: STOP TALKING SO FAST.
Me: I wasn’t…ok. FIRST. CLICK. ON. NORTON.
Dad: Well, if you talk slow, I just feel stupid.

(Eventually I talked Dad through clicking some boxes and unclicking some other boxes and setting some things. This took a very, very long time. Pretend there’s a musical montage here, or something.)

Dad: Is this even going to work?
Me: I don’t know. I’m not there. Try going to your desktop and changing your power saver settings there, too.
Dad: What’s a desktop?
Me: Like, if you turn on the computer, before you open the internet. On my computer, it’s where I have that big picture of The Nephew scowling because I love his attitude.
Dad: I don’t have this on a desk, though, it’s on a table.
Me: NOT THAT KIND OF DESKTOP.
Dad: I found the control center. Is it there?
Me: I don’t know. Is it?
Dad: THIS IS SO HARD.
Me: It would be easier if you were HERE and I could SEE the computer, yes. Yes, it would.
Dad: Your brother just sent me gibberish email.
Me: What does that mean?
Dad: He sent me an email that said “IDK what a good price is.” What is IDK.
Me: I don’t know.
Dad: Should I look it up online? Did he make a mistake?
Me: Oh, this is like an old comedy routine. No. It MEANS I don’t know. IDK equals I don’t know.
Dad: Why didn’t he write I don’t know?
Me: It’s textspeak.
Dad: But it’s an email.
Me: Yeah. It’s a thing people do.
Dad: You should write a whole thing out and not confuse your father, is what I think.
Me: Write him back and say LOL.
Dad: I will not say LOL.
Me: Ooh, say YOLO.
Dad: I DO NOT SAY YOLO. Is my computer fixed?
Me: I guess you’ll see the next time you don’t use it for ten minutes in a row.
Dad: If Norton ruined my computer I’m going to call them up and yell at them.
Me: Oh, they’ll like that a lot, I think. You’ll be very popular.
Dad: Your governor hates me.
Me: What? Is this related to what we’ve been talking about at all? I think I have conversational whiplash.
Dad: No. Look up what your governor said now. He wants to kick me out of our state.
Me: Shush, I like our governor. He’s all gruff and cranky and passionate about things and I think if you make him mad he’d either punch you in an alley or shoot you in the face.

SO MAD!

SO MAD!

Dad: LOOK IT UP.
Me: Oh, so he said extreme conservatives don’t belong in New York State. Huh.
Dad: I’d like to have him come upstate and say that! WE WOULD TROMP HIM!
Me: I don’t know. He seems pretty badass. He might punch or shoot you. Or give you a really dirty look.
Dad: When he runs for president you’d vote for him.
Me: Is he the Democratic candicate in this scenario?
Dad: Well, duh.
Me: Then yes, I’ll vote for him.
Dad: Who are you. WHO ARE YOU. I am so disgusted.
Me: I am going to watch television now, and write a blog post. Are you good?
Dad: Yes. Don’t tell the internet where I live.
Me: I won’t.
Dad: Or put up photos of me.
Me: Nope. Won’t.
Dad: Or tell them what I like to say or do or wear.
Me: OK. Noted.
Dad: THAT IS HOW THEY GET YOU.
Me: Yes. I’m sure it is. Go play on the beach, bub.
Dad: I might call you later.
Me: OK. I might answer.
Dad: GOOD. You SHOULD answer! If I call you ALWAYS should!

Don’t worry, interwebs, Dad will have friends to play with soon. Only a few more days. I think he will manage to retain most of his mental stability with people to interact with. Hopefully, anyway. I mean…

Crap. Gotta go. Phone’s ringing.

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

24 responses to “Troubleshooting and chatting it up with Amy’s Dad

  • meANXIETYme

    I had an elderly aunt like this with the computer and she lived four hours away. Since I was her technical support, I finally put a free program called TeamViewer on her machine (and mine). So then I could log into her computer from my house and fix stuff for her. Voila! No more walking her through things. :)
    (I am so not affiliated with TeamViewer…just a happy family-IT-support-user.)

    Like

  • mfennvt

    I was wondering what Amy’s dad thought about Cuomo’s remarks. I like how he’s YOUR governor.

    Like

  • The Waiting

    Your dad is probably my favorite person. I don’t know how he’d feel about an Internet person knowing enough about him to love him, but still tell him, OK?

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I will tell him, the next time I talk to him! And he will say, “HAVE YOU BEEN TALKING ABOUT ME TO THE INTERNET AGAIN?” and I’ll say, “Um. No?” and he’ll grumble (but only a little!)

      Like

      • AreYouFinishedYet

        hahahahahahahaha! Can you record that conversation? I was seriously snorting all the way through this. I also have a slight obsession with cute old men (like I think they are the most adorable things on the planet), so I was kind of in heaven picturing this all playing out with him hunched over the computer and getting really close to the screen.

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          Ha! He would kill me if I recorded anything. He has tape over his camera on his computer in case the government is spying on him. He’s sure the government’s out to get him. I have no idea why they’d want to.

          I’m sure he was all close to the screen. He’s always losing his reading glasses, even though he has a billion pairs!

          Like

  • earthandink

    Your dad makes me like extremely conservative Republicans. Well, at least one extremely conservative Republican.

    I’m pretty sure he’d flip out if you installed a program that would let you make changes from a distance, although it’s an excellent suggestion.

    Don’t tell him the NSA can read anyone’s harddrive even if the computer is turned off.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      He’s not a bad guy, unless you get him talking about…well, the things we hold dear, politically. And what’s nice about him is, if you have a strong opinion, and can express yourself rationally and well, he’ll actually listen and debate you. You won’t change his MIND, or anything, but he can be respectful. I actually made him laugh with my strong support of Cuomo the other night, because I went into a rant about how much I admired Cuomo’s passion, and how more politicians should be passionate, because we had too many sheep and not enough people willing to stand up and shout…and he said, “It’s a shame you’re not on the right side, because you’re amazing.” Aw! Dad!

      I will NOT tell him about the NSA, oh, can you IMAGINE? He would FLIP! He already put a piece of electrical tape over his camera! And you’re totally right. He’d flip out if I could remotely control his screen; he’d think the next thing to go would be his BRAIN.

      Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    I’ve done my fair share of remote IT support. It’s not easy, especially if the recipient is technophobic or impatient. Or both. Remote assistance helps though.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I’d love someday for YOU to do tech support for Dad. Can you even imagine? “OK, now go to the Control Panel…” “Don’t you tell ME what to do, COMMIE!” “Sir, Amy has discussed this with you, I am not a commie.” “THAT’S WHAT THEY ALL SAY!” “Sigh. Amy, I think maybe this isn’t working.”

      Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Hey, you used the same picture as I did for my Limbic society post! Yay!

    Like

  • becomingcliche

    Ohhh! Poor you! You’re a good teacher if you got through it all in one evening, though. I’ve got stories! The IDK screenshot made me spit my soda.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I didn’t even think of that until Dad and I were talking and he misunderstood the “I don’t know.” Then I realized who was on first? *I* was on first!

      I think we fixed it, but I’m not sure. I’ll have to ask him if it’s still doing it next time I talk to him. I’ll probably know immediately by his “YOU STILL BROKE MY COMPUTER!”

      Like

  • grrgoyl

    Maybe I’m just a naive liberal, but I don’t understand this paranoia at all. If the government IS watching me, I’m not doing anything particularly incriminating so they can knock themselves out. However, my friend is also liberal and she refuses to even play her Xbox Kinect for fear someone has hacked in and is watching her do Zumba. Hey, you want to watch me flail around like a dancing bear (my partner’s description), have at it.

    I don’t envy tech support people who I have no doubt deal with this every day. But those programs that take over your computer remotely are a little creepy (I always delete stuff that isn’t related to work before calling, even though I’m sure they’ve seen everything).

    More conversations with dad are in order. He is highly entertaining!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I tell Dad that ALL THE TIME. I even say, “Oh, they’re listening? HI GOVERNMENT! How was your day? Do you want some brownies? I just made some!” and Dad’s all “I DON’T THINK YOU UNDERSTAND THE GRAVITY OF THIS SITUATION” and then I make a knocking noise and say, “Oh! That must be them! Because of the brownies!” and he gets SO MAD.

      I’m with you. I’m not doing anything illegal; there’s nothing I’m doing I’m ashamed of. They’re wasting their time if they’re surveilling me. Sure, it’s a little disconcerting…but if the overall idea is to stop terrorism, how can I not be behind that, you know?

      But, like you. I might be totally naive. Or just a dirty, dirty liberal.

      I’ve never had a remote takeover at home, but I’ve had them at work. They always make me laugh. It’s like the future! Look at my cursor go! MAGIC!

      Like

  • Mer

    There is always so much I want to say about Amy’s dad posts, but I’m at a loss, a happy, happy, loss for words, so…I love you and your dad so hard!

    Like

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