I’ve wandered across a few different topics in the last couple of weeks and I think it’s time to go back to one that I’ve talked about before. That’s right, kids! It’s the return of . . .
Suddenly and without any warning, Father announced that he was getting rid of his DSL internet service and Direct TV and switching to cable for both. It’s sudden because well, nobody knew he was even thinking about it because it was something that pretty much every member of the family suggested he do pretty much since . . . the beginning of time, but we didn’t know what we were talking about and it was nothing but a waste of money and they just rip you off, so we were summarily dismissed.
Yesterday he apparently just dreamed the idea up like it hadn’t been invented yet and he’d reached the level of pure fucking genius. (For the love of God, someone PLEASE help me invent an actual sarcasm font! Something needs to be dripping from the letters.) Ask him to tell you about it. I’m begging you to please ask him to tell you about it. So he’ll stop talking to ME about it! You’d think he just completed a successful hostile takeover of Time Warner.
I don’t even want to know how many months of research it took him to make this decision. I’m sure consumer websites were searched, prices and packages were compared from here all the way to motherfucking Thailand, and several phone representatives for the cable company have now signed up for therapy or have given up their careers to become a nun. One way or another, people were made to suffer. We won’t even talk about the poor guy that went to the house to hook it up today.
Actually, yeah we will.
Let me just say if you are any kind of service technician that travels to peoples homes to perform your work and you service the Western North Carolina area, get in touch with me before you take any service calls in West Jefferson. You must be warned. You will need to be heavily sedated. I will call your boss and even encourage that you show up severely intoxicated. I may also provide additional medication upon your arrival. Please be prepared for the following to happen:
- You will not be left alone during your entire stay. While I’m sure that isn’t unusual for that to happen, this will be creepier and more awkward than you are accustomed to. Think “close talker” from Seinfeld, but less polite.
- You will be made to feel as though you were trained very recently for your job, as recently even, as in the truck on your way over there. Via poorly spelled text messages.
- If you smell beer and he makes any mention of politics, get your tools and get the hell out of there. Send another technician out tomorrow. It’s ok, we’re used to it. Failure to heed this warning will leave you in the fetal position in our bushes, crying and babbling incoherently.
- Know going in that he knows everything about everything, including your job. At some point he probably invented it as will be demonstrated in one of the stories he will tell you about his history of fabulousness.
- What he wants accomplished is impossible according to all laws of physics and logic. Do the best you can. Don’t get sucked in to the vertigo in his brain. Follow your instincts.
- I will try to be there and I will try to get him away from you so you can work in peace. I will fail. Sorry, I tried.
- If you can’t keep up with the conversation because you don’t know what you’re talking about, dont change the subject. You won’t know what you’re talking about on that subject either. Your efforts are futile.
- I respect the fact that you have been doing your job for X number of years. He does not. You will still be wrong and he will tell you why.
- It will occur to you to say “Sir, you have no idea what you’re talking about.” but you are polite and will restrain yourself. Please don’t restrain yourself. And let me know before you do so I can take a video of it and YouTube that motherfucker.
- If you have managed to complete the job without killing him or yourself, make your escape. Sign paperwork, collect the check (have fun with that), do what you gotta do, but get the hell out of there. He will thank you for coming out and getting things taken care of. Usually with his back to you as he is walking away.
- He will begin to tell me the all of the reasons you were a fucking idiot before your vehicle has left our field of vision.
I warn you because I care. You’re welcome. At least you’re leaving. I get to hang around for the next part because he “wants my help”.
Time for tragic molehill to mountain episode.
He’s no longer on DSL and therefore no longer has his email address. He needs to make a new email account and he wants to know what service I think he should use. Of course, being the loving son I am, I’m happy to help and the first thing I think is . . .
He needs something easy, because he’s an idiot, and he is going to turn it into such a disaster that the world will soon turn back to the US Postal Service as the fastest and most reliable way of transferring information. I tried to give him the easiest solution possible, to make it less painful for me, of course.
“You want to use Gmail. Go to gmail.com, sign up for an account and go into settings and set it up the way you want.”
Then I left. Before the questions came, to be followed by my answers, which would have been wrong.
The fact that he just doesn’t “get” these simple things isn’t really the issue. He over-analyzes, and this combined with his really absurd level of paranoia, creates a really ugly monster. Add to that, no matter what I tell him to use, it’s not going to do exactly what it is he wants it to do OR it will have extra features that he “doesn’t need because that shit is just stupid” so he will dismiss the whole idea. I suggested Gmail because it has the two main things he would bite on; it is FREE and he can have Thunderbird as his mail client without having to pay an additional fee like you have to do with one of those other yahoos.
You’d think we could be done at this point.
Enter the goddamn engineer. It took him the better part of the afternoon to set up an email account. Yes, I know, you or I can do it in probably less than 90 seconds. We don’t hold super-secret-corporate-espionage-keys-to-saving-the-world shit on our computer, however, he apparently does and he is a target for underground terrorists all over the world that want to steal or destroy his super-secret-corporate-espionage-keys-to-saving-the-world shit and they must be stopped by filtering his mail through Thunderbird which is then put through something called Mail Washer and then there are the spam filters for the spam filters and let’s not forget the the little tiny Mafia Guido with a tommy-gun that must be installed inside the hard drive as the final defense.
Basically he has installed 9 programs, created 7 passwords and alerted the authorities . . . to open an email account.
But wait, you want to know where he got stuck? If you’re taking a drink, you may want to put it down or it’s coming out your nose. If you gotta pee, go. *looks at Teri*
For a solid 30 minutes, he got stuck on the Captcha. He couldn’t break this code:
No matter what he typed in, nothing worked. The refresh button to give him new words to try? Never saw it which is understandable because that bright blue ass button with the refresh symbol is clearly nothing more than aliens trying to communicate his whereabouts. He kept going back and reloading the page to get a new image to type, and still nothing. I wasn’t there and I didn’t see this happen, so how do I know? He, in the midst of his rant about why Gmail sucks, admitted this to me.
He told me he finally just gave up and skipped on ahead without doing it. I kept my mouth shut. Because you and I know that is impossible and our mental bullshit flags are waving like we’re trying to spin the Earth backwards.
I know what happened. No, I was not there and I didn’t see it and he bullshit me about what did happen, but I know what happened . . . and so do you.
It took him 30 minutes to see the BRIGHT RED LETTERS that told him “you must click the box below to accept our terms and conditions”. I would put tremendous amounts of money on bets saying that is exactly what happened. I wish I had been there. I can see him mentally arguing with it.
Dad: “I typed your strange, alien words. Give me my email account. And make me a sandwich.” (because remember, there must be logistically impossible demands)
Gmail: “you must click the box below to accept our terms and conditions”
Dad: “Again, I type your code and you deny me my rightful email account!”
Gmail: “Sir . . . up here, sir . . . red letters and stuff. It means this is important.”
Dad: “What idiot came up with this shit?! Damn you, Gmail! Damn you, Eric, for putting me through this!” (because Gmail and Captcha are now both pieces of shit and I suggested he use it, therefore I invented it)
Gmail: “For Chrissake’s Dude, I give up! Click the goddamn box!”
Dad: “Where the hell is my sandwich!?!”
It may not have gone exactly like that, but I’m willing to bet it was pretty close. In any event, it finally got done. Probably. Over the course of the next few days he’ll discover a few more filters and safeties and other assorted programs and add-ons and crap he doesn’t need to tie to the account. You can be assured that if you ever get one of his annoying as fuck, anti-Obama, political emails that demand you pass this government changing message to everyone you know (because he hates spam and apparently loves irony), that it will be free of viruses.
He’s still pissed about the sandwich.
Facebook post of the day: