Monday, January 25, 2010

Just fix it

Posted: January 25, 2010 -


What is it about technical people that makes them think you want to know what the problem is? I don't care about what's causing it. Just fix it.

As soon as the man from Time Warner Cable arrives to make the Internet work again I explain that I know nothing about computers and wireless connections. I tell him that I don't know the difference between a router and a modem and that my life is happy that way.


I essentially tell him "Just fix it." in a very roundabout British way. As proof that I am focused on our very definite gender roles I offer him a cup of tea. He laughs. I ask him why that's funny and he says:

"I love your accent." which makes me dig my nails into my arm until a bit of blood comes out.

"Ok! I'm going to leave you to it!" I say with a faux cheerfulness and disappear into the kitchen and do some dishes loudly so it's clear I am occupied and he won't bother me.

"What is your network key?'' he shouts 3 minutes later above the banging of plates.

"I don't know anything about computers." I say defensively
"Yes, but I just need to know what your network key is."
"Well I don't know, because I don't know what one of those is."
"Your network?"
Blank expression from me.
"We should call my husband." I say.
"No Miss, I can fix this, don't worry I will find the network key."

So I leave him to find the key, even though I don't know of any keys that came with the Internet stuff. Where does it fit? What does it lock? Maybe I lost them? I make crashy washing up sounds so it will be clear I'm busy and not bother me again. Doesn't work.

"I think you may have a problem with your router, but I am going to replace the modem anyway." he shouts at me.

I sigh and come back in from the kitchen holding my rubber gloved hands aloft as the clearest sign possible that I am busy doing pink jobs and should not have to be bothered with this bluest of blue jobs and that he is trying to make this Internet thing a purple job and everyone knows that purple jobs don't really exist.

I breathe deeply when he starts mentioning routers again and I allow myself to drift away into a happy place where technical things are fixed by a twinkly fairy who never dares speak of the reasons that things are broken.

''So you gotta problem with your proxy server Miss.'

What language is he speaking?

''I'm ringing my husband."
"No Miss I was just kidding on that last bit! I can fix this, it's just your router."
Oh. Computer humour. I am deadpan.
" I don't know what that is either, I'm ringing my husband."
"No, I can re-establish the modem connection with a hotwire."
Hotwire? I haven't heard that phrase since I dated a football hooligan in the late 80s. What has hotwiring a car got to do with the Internet?


He keeps speaking but all I hear is ''Na noo nam nam blah blah blim blim internet wah wah."

"I'm ringing my husband"

He says no again, but this time I'm not listening because I know that The American is expecting me to fail at this whole getting the Internet fixed thing and therefore actually <span style="font-style: italic;">wants</span> me to fail, so he can swoop in riding a white Macbook and declare me unfit to deal with blue jobs in his absence. So I dial him and pass the phone over to Time Warner Cable man and they speak to each other in perfect harmony like Navi flying the magical forest. <span style="font-style: italic;">Blue</span> Navi.

"It was a mainline ploxim issue with the mighty plexy server widget connecting with the blunket torch fixator?" The Time Warner Cable man says. Possibly.
"Meh." I say
"But it's fixed now."

I check the internet 5 times before I set him free and then bake some cakes.

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