From Wonderful Day to Bewildered Haze

i really wanted this post to be just about a wonderful mother’s day, because last sunday was just that: a wonderful mother’s day. we spent part of the day visiting c’s mom then c got all three of our kids and some (not all) of their significant others to come over for dinner.

every time our kids are together i just marvel at how smart and funny and caring and thoughtful and opinionated and interesting they are. and how much i learn from them. and mostly, just how much i enjoy spending time with them. it’s great to see them mature and settle into their lives. my thoughts and actions now is for c and i to take good care of ourselves so we can spend as much time as possible with them all.

and then… monday came and along with it another f*&%ing computer equipment failure. yeesh!

this time some idiot drove their car into a utility pole and took down the electricity for about 2,000 households and businesses in our area. when the power came back on, the spike fried two of our network switches and knocked out the programming to our modem and router. in short, no internet.

wow, have times changed. without internet at work we can… um… or maybe… er, well, maybe we could or… in short, we can make phone calls to people who ask us to send them an email and take notes by hand (horror!) and fax stuff. pretty much back to the stone age.

i was able to diagnose the problem and then flounder around to try to find a solution, which was to call in some networking professionals. i know enough to replace the blown hardware but to reconfigure a network? not a chance. after watching two networking professionals and all the intense detail it took to interface with verizon, configure network settings and solve issues, i’m more convinced that before that this area is completely out of my league.

now, it took these guys five hours to get us back up, but in fairness to the technicians, they would have been able to finish their work in about three hours if not for the sd effect.

there are four men in our office, all of whom are fairly technically illiterate, not to mention severely handy-man crippled. yet, and always, when there is a technician or workman here in the office they each have to saunter out of their offices and pretend that they know something and attempt to engage the workmen in endless irrelevant conversations, which pulls them away from working the problem at hand. i call this the swinging dick effect. frankly, it drives me nuts. it wastes time and amounts to nothing except to make these guys feel like they are not the soft boys they really are. but hey, if they want to run up the bill by running up the technicians clock…

in short, my wonderful sunday turned into another monday from hell (which extended into tuesday this time).

i wonder if i we could avoid yet another computer catastrophe if i stay home on monday. it’s worth a shot.

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One response to “From Wonderful Day to Bewildered Haze

  1. “i call this the swinging dick effect. frankly, it drives me nuts.”

    Trust me — it was much worse for the techs.

    It’s so weird. When someone tells me what they do for a living (brain surgeon, carpenter, mechanic, public relations professional, etc.), the last thing that occurs me to is to impress them w/ my knowledge of their field.

    When I tell people I have two computer science degrees, some of them go on to tell me about their brilliant backup scheme, the reasons why their chosen personal computer platform is better than another, that they could work for the Geek Squad, that my hardware/software recommendations are ill-considered (“A Mac is *always* better!”), etc.

    Then, at some future time, I get called for my advice b/c something they did hosed their system. My fave story is about the friend who had 50% of a large hard drive free — but, was determined to keep it optimally clean. I explained about the Law of Diminishing Returns for worrying about reclaiming space that there was a zero percent chance she would ever need versus the risk of deleting something she needed. JUST DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT — it’s like that one box of papers in the basement that is not in the way. Don’t waste three hours going through it until you need to find something. Your kids will throw it away when you die, no big deal.

    Well, she deleted a whole bunch of stuff. And then called me when Windows wouldn’t boot. I grabbed her MyDocuments folder from the hosed drive, reinstalled Windows, and left her w/ a reinstallation mess that must have taken her weeks to get through. All b/c she had to do some unnecessary cleaning after being told by an expert not to…

    If I don’t trust what my mechanic tells me about my car, I get a new mechanic instead of installing a car lift in my garage. Knowing how to change my oil (did it for many years) does not make me a car expert.

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