So I'm doing my normal Saturday night cruise of my favorite journals and I come across an entry that has me giggling. Tara is complaining about her experiences with HP tech support (funny on so many levels) and the fact that she finally found a competent tech in Canada...but had to call back and then got someone (in a certain large 3rd world country that shall remain nameless) who was rather more a helpless desk than a helpdesk type. Most of you know how that goes.

Nothing really earth-shattering until I read her comments and someone said something to the effect of "Ever notice how no one ever knows a tech or is friends with a tech" with speculation that techs are actually some species of fairytale folk (gnomes I think).

Now this REALLY cracked me up! Why? Because I am a tech. Well, really I am a RETIRED tech since I gave up the biz to become first a high powered web development exec. and then gave THAT up to become a full time Mom. My skillz have gathered a little rust...but my point here is...

The reason no one knows or is friends with a tech is because WE HIDE. That's right this very moment, many of your online pals sitting over in that buddy list on the right side of your screen may, in actuality, be a TECH.

[queue dramatic music here...] DUM DUM DUM!

OK. My closest friends and family know what I did for a living. They are bad enough. Why do we hide? Well, it goes something like this...

I get to know a bunch of nice people online. We chat about our lives, our kids, our hobbies...nice friendly chats that are interesting and pass the time. One day, online pal tells me about a problem she/he is having with their computer. Oh crap. I know exactly what the problem is and how to fix it. Do I help? Or do I point them to the answer online? Or give them Keyword: Help? Or the 800 # for the helpdesk of the PC manufacturer?

Early on, I would offer to help. I'd walk them through the often long and tedious steps to repair their problem. Ta da! Happy person with working computer goes off and posts thank you message on message board or in chat room where other online friends congregate. Oh crap.

Suddenly every IM I get from that point on goes something like this:

onlinepal2: Hi. Busy?
me: Nah. Just reading journals and junk.
onlinepal2: Good! I have a quick question for you...
me: Oh yeah?
onlinepal2: OK. When I turn on my laptop, it makes this funny noise and then I get this message...

yadda yadda. No more "How are you?" "What's new?" "How's the kid?" LOL It's all about the latest virus infection or hardware failure. Even my own father, who NEVER CALLED ME IN HIS LIFE JUST TO CHAT...he started calling me to help him fix his PC over the phone (once he realized after I'd fixed it a time or three on my visits home that I knew what I was doing.)

Don't get me wrong! I love my friends (online ones included) and I do love to help them out. But when all polite conversation goes out the window and the only reason they IM you at all anymore is to help with their latest PC problem...well, that gets tedious to say the least. Then when you start getting IMs from their parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, other friends, parents of friends, the neighbor down the yeah. You get the idea.

So, in short, we caves...with the wee folk and the leprechauns. LOL You might be best friends with a tech and NEVER KNOW IT.

But if you invite me over for dinner and give me a glass or two of merlot...then casually mention that you haven't been able to read your email for 3 weeks because you can't get the program to open...well, this tech gnome might just plop herself down at your PC to have a looksee. (And my elf friends will come by later to fix the broken heel on your Manolos...)

[queue Twilight Zone music now...]


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