High Tech, Low Tech, No Tech
In honor of my wonderful experience at the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop I am posting the piece I wrote for the writers competition in my blog. I didn’t win the contest but I still like this piece and think it’s a fun read. Enjoy!
“Honey, how do I … ?” came the all too familiar question. My voice faking a patient smile, I called out “On my way.”
He sat in the office – a windowed closet repurposed for my writing and his occasional visits to The Computer – hand on mouse in fixed concentration, index finger aggressively poised to click. An intelligent man, my husband knows his strengths. Details and computers are not among them. He values and depends on good administrative support. At the office details are in capable hands with smaller, well trained fingers that easily command a keyboard. But he wasn’t at the office. He was at home. Here his support staff consists of one unpaid, part-time, easily annoyed tech support with attitude. My patience and my ability to answer questions are limited, but they’re all he’s got.
“What are you trying to do?” I asked, peering over his shoulder.
“How do I sign out of Google?” he asked thoughtfully.
“You don’t,” I said. “It’s an internet browser, just X out.”
He frowned. “But YOU said to click on the ‘P’.”
“You’re thinking of Gmail,” I replied.
“But I can’t find the ‘P’,” he said, frustrated.
“Go to Gmail and I’ll show you. Then we’ll close Google.” I watched the finger move in slow motion, hover, hesitate, then heard, “Click here?”
“Yes,” I said with an eye roll, enunciating slowly, “click on the word Gmail.” An eternity passed before he clicked. “What do I type here?”
“Your password. You reset it last week, it should be fresh on your mind,” I replied.
“Well it’s not. I wrote it down but lost the paper.” A few swipes on my smartphone called up his information. I leaned down so he could see the screen. “Type this.” His fingers trudged over the keys, double checking. A parked car could move faster. He pressed Enter.
‘Invalid Password’ appeared in accusatory red letters. He threw up his hands. “See, this NEVER works for me!”
Sighing, I asked,” Did you remember the ‘!’ at the end?” His glare answered me. “Try again,” I said. To his amazement his inbox opened. Like all of us he was sucked in immediately, but in 15 minutes I heard, “Okay I’m ready to sign out.”
I returned and pointed to the purple circle. “There’s the ‘P’. Click on it to sign out.”
“I can do that,” he said. Again the mouse crawled over its pad. The cursor moved, the index finger hovered hesitantly, then descended deliberately. Click. Oh, that welcome sound! “There,” I said, “that’s all there is to it. If you’re finished with the internet we can close that too.”
“Great,” he said. “Now how do I sign out of Google?”