Gather ’round children, for it is story time. (Yes. Again. Quit bitching.)
Once upon a time, I had a Toshiba laptop. And it was a good little computer, but after about two years, it grew tired of my constant abuse and overuse and tried diligently and repeatedly to commit suicide.
Jen said, “Dude, since you’re thinking about getting a Mac, you can use my MacBook Pro and see if you like it. Come over, and I’ll show you how to use it.”
Jen is aware of my deep and abiding fear of learning new technology. In fact, I’m pretty sure she gave herself a concussion when she slammed her head on her desk (literally – I watched her do it) upon learning I was still using Media Player to listen to music. (Quit judging me!)
But despite the fact that she knew she’d be fighting an uphill battle that would require copious amounts of hand holding interspersed with a whole lotta tough love, Jen was willing to fall on that sword for me. Because she’s a good person, with, perhaps, a large deficit of common sense. So on Saturday, I went to her house to learn about the Mac – having picked up the new power cord Jen had ordered for it.
Our tutorial session ended up being an exercise in futility, because Jen’s son had been using the Mac…and apparently loading the whole of the internet on it so I guess it only had 14 out of 500andsome gig (that’s a computer thing, right?) available and the whole system was utterly jacked. She worked diligently to fix it, as you’ll see outlined below, but to no avail.
So Jen scheduled me a session with an Apple Genius for Monday. When I asked her what I should tell them when I brought in the computer, an expression of pure and utter horror crossed her face, and she said, “Nothing. You’ll tell them nothing.” Then she whirled around to her computer and started typing. Depending on what Jen is typing, the sound of her fingers flying over the keyboard can be either very soothing or it can sound a lot like a fully automatic machine gun pausing only to take aim at the next target. I’m sure you can guess what the following sounded like.
I have no idea why those two things look so different. Anyway, I went to the mall *shudder* with great trepidation, bearing Jen’s MacBook Pro and the above letter. I stood in line in the Apple store that was crawling with people, though more than one employee assured me it wasn’t busy. This did not make me want to hide in a corner and rock back and forth any less, because holy hell, all the people. I’m convinced that Apple pumps the store full of some sort of benzodiazapine blend before they open for the day, misting its employees so they can handle the crush of people with mind-numbingly stupid questions. And for fuck’s sake, if they’re going to do that for employees, they should do that for those customers who might need it, too.
I was directed to the “Mac Table” where I sat and waited for a Genius to be free. While I waited, I watched a lady who’d apparently made a Genius Bar appointment because she couldn’t locate the song she was looking for on her iTunes account. And another dude who was having trouble watching videos. A third gentleman sat down and wanted to know where the booze was. ‘Cause it’s a bar. Get it? Yeah, buddy. I’m sure they don’t hear that joke seventy-eight times a day. But all the employees handled all of this stuff with seemingly genuine kindness and good grace – completely reinforcing my sedative theory. Also, it made me feel a little more confident about my questionable tech skills.
While I was sitting there, lost in my own little world and plotting the next scene of my book, while wishing for a benzodiazepine mist of my own, I was approached by a Genius named Javier. And when I say approached, I mean he walked up beside me said hi, and I freaked out and jumped about three feet in the air. Because I am nothing if not super classy. Anyway, this conversation happened.
Javier: Hi, I’m Javier. What’s going on with your Mac?
Me: I’m not allowed to talk to you about anything technical. I’m just supposed to give you this letter.
Javier: *looks confused and more than a little wary*
Me: *hands him the letter and thinks maybe he needs another shot of the benzodiazepine mist to deal with me*
Javier: *reads the letter and tries valiantly not to laugh*
Me: It’s okay. You can laugh. It’s not like any of it’s not true.
Javier: *looks relieved* I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve ever gotten anything like this, but this is great.
So he plugged in the laptop and did things to it. (I don’t know what things, fair readers, for as you remember, I have the technological capacity of a 15th century peasant. Really, I think we should all just be glad I didn’t try dousing it with holy water to rid it of its demons, but whatevs.) Anyway Javier did a lot of things to the computer. And it finally started to do more things than Jen had gotten it to do.
Points for Javier.
A nearby Genius read the letter, got to the PS and very calmly looked at me and said, in the most deadpan voice possible, “If your computer is broken you’re supposed to make your appointment on the app on your phone.”
Fair enough, dude.
Finally, Javier had even more success because he discovers the computer is named TARDIS. And he did more things. There were progress bars. And partitions, and hell, I don’t even know. There were things. And stuff.
Javier: You don’t by any chance know what OS this was running, do you?
Me: *stares blankly* We’re gonna have to check with Jen for that.
*Calls Jen. Gets Jen’s voicemail. Leaves message.*
Javier: Wow. She leaves her numbers but doesn’t answer the phone. She left you like The Doctor left Amy.
Me: I was feeling more like Rose. All bereft. *Calls Jen’s cellphone. Jen rings back while I’m leaving a second message. Answer call*
Me: Were you trapped under something heavy?
Jen: I was on the other line. I’m sorry. I’ll try not to talk on the phone anymore.
Me: Okay, so Javier needs to know the OS this was running.
Jen: That would be Mountain Lion.
Me: That’s not even a thing.
Jen: Yes, it’s a thing!
Me: Are you sure this isn’t like when you lie to me and try to get me to believe stupid crap?
Jen: I’m not lying. Mountain Lion is a thing.
Javier: Mountain Lion is a thing.
Then there was some talk about Yosemite being the new one. (Apple, these are ridiculous names. You need to sit in a corner and think about your choices.) The upshot is, I now have the stupidly named Yosemite OS, but hey, it’s gotta be better than Windows 8.
Then it came time to set up the computer. Remember how it was called the TARDIS? No longer, my friends. Because Javier is awesome, he renamed it BAD WOLF.
Javier was also very patient when I asked questions like:
How do I open tabs?
Damn it, why can’t I remember my password?
Erm, do you know how to turn this thing off?
Hey, can I mention you by name when I blog about this?
Javier fixed the computer, was super awesomely patient and funny and probably deserves some sort of medal of honor. At the very least, an extra spritz of benzo mist.
And Jen? Jen is really awesome, too. It’s not everyone who would lend you a computer and protect you from having to make sense of things that hurt your brain. But, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say Jen’s got the need for benzo mist covered.
And really, for Javier, it could have gone so much worse. Like the day I ruined Bill’s life. The lesson here is that we all won. Or something.