It turns out one can be furious and grim, while simultaneously being jubilant. Yes, of course it has to do with a computer and a “help” line.
It all began when I realized that our Wi-Fi was no longer password protected and hadn’t been for some years.
Just before breaking out in hives, I called our Internet provider and asked how to fix this. It seems we did not possess the provider’s very own modem/router (I’m still not sure which) and so they could not help us.
The company who did make our modem/router had no advice either. Here begins the grim.
I finally realized that for a few more bucks a month, our provider would give us their “box” and with it, password protection.
So I blithely gathered it from the store, along with the counterperson’s well-meant curse. She assured me it was “really easy to set up and the CD would walk me through it” but gave me the “help” phone number if I needed it.
I can’t even list all the things about this installation that were neither easy nor obvious.
I am not a relic. I have been using computers since 1974 … but I have never set up a wireless network. So there you are. After repeated fails, no tutorial and no Wi-Fi, I gritted my teeth and forged ahead, leaning on the adage of 100 monkeys typing will eventually produce a novel.
This monkey just kept banging away, clicking on every button that I was offered and some I wasn’t, and Googling madly, until some secrets were revealed. I then filled in the same blanks with 12 variations and, by darn, one finally worked.
I am jubilant and relieved.
The fury and grimness remain, however, because I do not remember precisely how I got to that point and could not do it again.
And I have a headache. And I spent three full hours on hold with said provider’s “help” line, first getting India who had no idea what I was talking about, and then waiting for some supervisor. I finally hung up, needing to get on with my day.
Do I have any advice? Make friends with a 16-year-old. This stuff is not going to get easier.
Jean Gillette is a freelance writer cleaning up bits of her repeatedly exploding brain and hoping they will still be usable after rinsing. Contact her at email@example.com.