Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Strictly Writing - and strictly for computer dummies.

Phew - deep breaths ... I'm just calming down from the excitement of coming back on line after yet another frustrating computer problem, to find that my guest blog post has been published on the Strictly Writing blog ( ) - fame at last! Thanks, guys for letting me have my shout on your brilliant blog. Only sorry I was late finding out about it.

Does anyone else feel like crying and throwing their toys out of the pram when they have computer problems or is it just me? I'm the first to admit that I'm technologically challenged, but we have other friends of our generation (pre-computers, almost pre-typewriters really!!), who never seem to endure the sort of frustrations we keep coming up against. It makes me feel like we must be doing something wrong! And being without the internet, even for a few days, is such a horrible experience these days, isn't it - how did we all become so dependent on it! I managed a quick visit to our village library (only open for half days on alternate days) yesterday to have a brief check of my e-mails, but it just isn't enough time to do all the things I need to do. I've now got to catch up on all my favourite blogs and writers' forums etc! Sigh!

And one of the worst things about computer failure is the way some of the experts on the Help lines speak to you. They either babble away in computer-jargon so that you haven't got a clue what they're on about, or else they adopt a really patronising attitude as soon as they realise they're dealing with someone who knows next-to-nothing. This can be even more annoying. OK, I might not understand the workings of a computer but that doesn't make me an idiot! I'm the customer, and I'd like to be spoken to with respect and a little sympathy, to have my problem taken seriously and discussed in layman's language. If a doctor can manage that when dealing with his patients (I'm on home ground here, as I worked for doctors for most of my life), then I'm sure computer technicians can manage it too. After all - for all these very superior-sounding so called Help people know, I could be a brain surgeon or a brilliant linguist or a world-famous scientist - (or even a novelist, ha ha!) - and computers could be the only one thing I'm not clever at! (I wish!).

Having said that - we do sometimes come across really helpful, polite, people on the help lines and we spoke to one recently at PC World, too, who obviously knew his stuff and was prepared to talk to us like we were human beings despite the silly questions we were asking. So if there are any IT technicians reading this - please remember all this when dealing with computer dummies! We do need your help but that doesn't make us thick!


  1. Argh the dreaded computer problems. I've been having a few here - haven't been able to get on the internet as much as I'd like (and have I spent the time writing madly - no I've spent it trying to get the flipping thing to work!)and it's been on Go Slow. Touch wood I've never had to get help from official IT bods and my husband sorts it out for me - just as well.

    I feel like the dog in the Simpsons when people talk in computer speak and all I hear is a stream of gobbledegook with the occasional legible word thrown in. He does try to explain things to me but he might just as well be talking in a foreign language for all the sense it makes. But as you quite rightly say that doesn't make us thick!

    I loved your guest blog on Strictly.

  2. Thank you, Teresa. Lucky you - sadly my other half is no more computer literate than me, although I must admit he has more patience with it! I turn into a badly behaved, sulky, cross-tempered child when we have any computer problems and have been known to shout that I don't care, never want to use it again anyway (like ... dur! am I really going back to pen & paper??), hate all computers, want to throw it out of the window, and on occasions I have actually burst into tears. Hmm. Very adult!