I miss Nancy. She provided tech support to everyone in the building where I once worked. Nancy was calm under pressure from the masses of employees who called her every day saying they needed her help immediately, optimistic that she could solve their problems, and — get this — able to supply new equipment when the problem was bigger than a reboot, a new battery or a little fussing around could solve. She would haul in the new printer, keyboard or console, set it up, and get everything working properly in a short time. No long phone calls, no standing in line for help, no queries about whether you have a long-term maintenance contract, just complete satisfaction with the results Nancy provided.
I’ve been thinking about Nancy a lot lately. My computer, a Methuselah in the IT world, started slowing down. The alleged grandfather of Noah lived 969 years and my desktop iMac is failing after only eight or nine. Apple doesn’t repair anything over five years old, proof that my equipment is getting senile, losing its teeth and hair, and hardly able to walk. Why would anyone invest in long-term insurance when it and the equipment expire while in their youth.
This week, I bought a new tablet. I still haven’t figured out how to get email onto it. Apparently, I first need to find passwords for comcast, msn and yahoo. These are passwords my desktop computer has remembered for years, so why should I have to?
I’ve received technical support for both these products in the form of two afternoons on the phone to Apple support, and one afternoon on hold, and an hour sitting in the Verizon store waiting for help.
A friend spent a couple of hours checking out my desktop computer. I wanted to be certain I’d saved my photos onto an external hard drive so I wouldn’t lose them when my machine required hospice care. He said I’d better replace the hard drive — more than 10 years old — because it might crash before the computer. I’ve bought the new hard drive. It’s still in the box waiting for Nancy to appear and install it.
I met the proverbial camels’ straw this morning. My husband and I save $5 a month if we let our insurance company monitor our driving through a “beacon” in our glove boxes and an app on our phones. I know. It’s insane to reveal this personal information for $60 a year. But I always worked hard at being a good student and now I get grades in categories ranging from left turns to speed. (So far I have a B average, with only one C+ grade for acceleration.) This morning I had to update the beacon software. I followed the directions and got an error message, and along with it a phone number… for technical support.