Every family has their resident, unpaid technology whisperers – the one, uniquely calming soul who speaks fluent gadget, effortlessly tweaks new mobile phone settings and performs that most essential of modern miracles, making the internet work.
In my family, I am that unfortunate soul.
The major problem with that, of course, is that I’m entirely self-taught and nowhere near being a network engineer, so the major stuff which goes wrong is absolutely beyond my ken. Power-cycle a router? Can do. Install software and do updates? No problem. Reinstating an internet connection which is shown as being connected but fervently resisting any attempt to allow any device in the house to connect to the internet? Utterly bewildering.
After the best part of two hours on the phone with my ISP’s technical support team (and three hours of shutting down, starting up, plugging in ethernet cables and grimacing before that), we finally got the damn thing working again by jiggling a pin in a small, hidden port to reset the device entirely. It feels insulting, somehow.
I’ve had better Sunday afternoons, let me assure you. But everything appears to be working now and Mrs Rolling Eyeballs has been able to blog again and work so I feel as though my wasted hours of first world problems, switching on and off again, obtaining ethernet cables and obsessive tea drinking were all worth the dubious pleasure of chatting with outsourced call centre staff who couldn’t understand my not especially difficult to understand Northern British accent, wouldn’t accept that my PC’s settings were not located where they expected them to be and the sudden, inexplicable collapse of my laptop battery.
It sounds like a horrendous cliché, but it’s true – you really don’t miss the things you take for granted until they’re snatched away by the dread faeries of soul-crushing tech fail…