The Gift That Kept On Giving

Is there any Christmas gift more bold and brave in terms of your stress level than giving a piece of new computer technology to the aged parents?   It begins with dissatisfaction at the speed of their internet and the annoying propensity it has to work badly because of ‘poor signal’.  Even trying to work from a back room can be trigger the program into a vaporous fainting spell.  Try carrying on a conversation in Skype?  It freezes up, even when you’re standing in front of the wi-fi.  Oh yes, there are multiple complaints to the service provider and the usual yada-yada-yada; the long and short of which is, if you don’t want to pay the exorbitant monthly fees for their ‘deluxe’ speed package, then they insist that there’s nothing wrong with their service.  Meh!

Number one son mulls over the situation.  He’s convinced the router is crap and makes the bold and brave decision – a google router with two satellites to mesh would make a splendid Christmas gift.  Wonderful!  And now the aged one springs the trap – it will come with your assistance in setting it up…right?

Past experience might have led him to reassess the offer.  We’re talking parents born in the cretaceous period.  To them a router sounds like something to do with fixing a plumbing problem.  When it comes to computers, they have a black thumb where nothing works the way it’s supposed to and problems arise that no one else in the universe experiences.  No doubt taking the words of Admiral Farragut to heart, it’s ‘Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead!’

Christmas arrives and the new router looks lovely in its shiny box.  Days pass as the significance of what you’ve done seeps into your very bones.  There are unsubtle hints from the aged pair, wondering when you’ll call. Oh yes, it’s there, lurking on the horizon – the dreaded task. You’ve put it off as long as possible, but there’s only a single afternoon left before starting work again.  You pick up the cell phone and hope theirs is malfunctioning.  No such luck. 

You take a deep breath.  The usual litany begins: What button?  I don’t see that.  It’s not on my screen.  No, that didn’t work.  Why do you want me to put the dog on the phone? I’m sure I did what you said… can you think of any other twenty minute job that takes three hours? Of course the new system is a miracle – everything now works properly. Take note – the providers of cable service really do provide their lower tier customers crap routers.

And now, like all good programs, you get to fill in a short survey about your experience.

Please choose the answer that best describes your experience:

a) So helpful – it made the prospect of returning to work a relief

b) Another session like that and I’ll be qualified to teach special classes

c) I won’t need a barber if I have no hair left

d) Next time just shoot me

TL:DR  Thank goodness Christmas comes but once a year. Thanks again Brendan, it really is miraculous.

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