My laptop had been giving me trouble at the office. It worked fine when I was at home, but when I was at church it was slow to open documents, refused to connect to the internet, and stuck its tongue out at me when I tried to print. Apparently I wasn’t the only one with problems; the handful of Mac users in the office were having similar troubles of their own. It seemed our Macs were at war with the church networking, so Dale, the facility manager, called in a professional to try to figure out the problem. I am convinced that this so called “professional” was in cahoots with the network, because the next day our computers were even worse. Chris, the youth director and a fellow Mac user, and I hollered down the hallway to each other.
“Will your computer connect to the internet?”
“No! Will yours?”
“I can’t even print!”
“Mine just threw a spitball at me!”
“This is so annoying!”
When Dale heard our fevered exclamations he called in professional number two. The next day a spike-haired boy walked into the office. I don’t know his name so, for reasons that will soon become obvious, I’ll call him Mr. Know-it-all.
“So what seems to be the trouble?” Mr. Know-it-all asked while hovering over my desk.
I explained the sluggish speed, faulty connections, and rude manners.
“Hmmm, I see.” He pointed at my screen. “Why don’t you go to the alt-control-tab-command-center-base-file.”
I stared blankly at my computer, searching for what sounded like a military code off of Hogan’s Heroes. After a long pause I said,
“Um, I don’t think my computer has that.”
That’s when I experienced “the shove.” “The shove” is when the the person trying to show you what to do with your computer asks if they can sit in your seat because they think you’re too stupid to do what they say. I’ve experienced this rudery many a time, and the sad thing is that the people who give me “the shove” are usually correct in their thinking.
Mr. Know-it-all was not an exception to the normality, so when he asked if he could sit down I humbly moved over. The first thing Mr. Know-it-all did was close out my open screens, revealing my Princess Leia background that I’m sure only furthered his impressions of me. Then with a few clicks of the mouse Mr. Know-it-all found my alt-control-tab-command-center-base-file and had my internet up and running.
“Okay, now why don’t we try printing a document that usually gives you trouble.”
I knew just the one: a colorful brochure full of high resolution pictures. Mr. Know-it-all opened the document and started laughing.
“Do you know how big this is? It’s over two thousand kigomnibytes! I mean, this is the size of one hundred nv17s! Any computer would have trouble printing this out.”
I felt like I had a sticker on my forehead reading “Hello! My name is Clueless.”
“But it’s not just this document!” I protested. “I know this one’s big, but it has trouble printing smaller documents, too. You know, black and white ones with text only?”
Mr. Know-it-all’s chuckling faded and he opened a different document. The printer spit it out; no problem. Mr. Know-it-all was finished with my computer, so he gave me back my seat and started speaking his Know-it-all language with Dale, who, fortunately, understands it a lot better than I do. The two of them moved on down the hall to Chris’ computer, where Mr. Know-it-all performed his technical magic once more.
I have to admit, I am grateful for Mr. Know-it-all’s work, because my laptop has definitely been functioning smoother since he came. In fact, all the Macs have improved since his visit. So even though they make me feel a bit silly at times, I am glad there are people in this world who know everything I don’t, especially when it comes to computers.