Poor-Weather Friendships, a.k.a Free Tech Support  

While I've never claimed to have an excess of robust friendships, something that has emerged as a common theme amongst half my purported "friends" is that they only reach out to me when faced with a computer problem of some sort. When this kind of thing first started happening, I was admittedly flattered. I've always been a step or two ahead of the game when it comes to personal computing, but considered it as nothing more than indulging a general interest in being awesome at things that mattered, like Mario Kart or tomahawk throwing. So at first it felt pretty good; a tangible affirmation for all that time spent learning Visual Basic or building PC's for the hell of it.

Granted, getting one of these calls is not always an unwelcome occurrence. I've reached an accord with many people, such as my car guy and tree guy. We serve an unveiled purpose in one another's lives, filling those gaps in what the other considers to be rudimentary knowledge. A perfectly symbiotic, bullshit-free relationship. What hoses me are those who only pop up to seemingly mock my ability at assessing something for what it truly is. It always starts the same way: "Hi Jay, how've you been? Oh good! I'm fine too. Yeah, it's been a while, hasn't it? Hey, I was calling to see if you could help me out with this little computer problem I've been having..."

Please note that all fake friendships will be recorded for quality of life purposes.

After almost 10 years of this, I have come to the following painfully obvious conclusions:
  • Anyone who does this is not really my friend
  • Some people should not be allowed near computers -- ever
  • It takes a special kind of fool to get infected with spyware monthly
  • Most people will deny surfing porn with their dying breath
  • I can see why Geek Squad is such a successful business model
  • I am partially to blame for answering calls from these people in the first place
  • The appropriate response is not to help, but instead fuck with those who do this to me
Keeping in line with the last of those conclusions, I've created a simple management plan for effectively dealing with this situation. I listen attentively for a few minutes, occasionally throwing out phrases such as "registry error" and "corrupt drive sector" just to freak them out a little. I then tell them to expect a follow up email from me in the next few minutes, outlining a solution. An email that reads:

Dear True Friend,

I was quite distraught when you recently phoned/emailed/texted me with your computer problem. Please be aware that this is of the utmost priority to me, and in no way an insulting waste of my time. While most people are content with friendships built around such social activities as drinking and playing video games, I much prefer ours, which rests on a solid foundation of me fixing your shit. Unfortunately, this is likely to be our final interaction under that dynamic, as I've found a website capable of acting as your thankless, uncompensated tech support better than I ever could:

They really do provide an amazing service; simply type in your question, click "Search," and you are magically connected to a veritable compendium of mankind's experience in resolving issues created by inept individuals like yourself. In the off chance you have broken new ground in the area of poor computing decisions and Google is of no help, I suggest posting your question for the old guys running the forums over at www.lemonparty.org.


Leave me alone.

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14 Reasons to Live

  • Anonymous  
    April 14, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    I love this blog so very much.

  • James  
    April 14, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    Hey, Jay. Haven't commented in a while but I just can't seem to get these damned comment forms to work! Does that ever happen to you? Any suggestions???

  • James  
    April 14, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    Hey, Jay. Haven't commented in a while but I just can't seem to get these damned comment forms to work! Does that ever happen to you? Any suggestions???

  • James  
    April 14, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    Hey, Jay. Haven't commented in a while but I just can't seem to get these damned comment forms to work! Does that ever happen to you? Any suggestions???

  • Ed  
    April 14, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    Jay, you're like a tsunami. You rarely appear amd often without warning, but when you do, you always make a huge splash. Sure, you take a few lives in the process, but they were weak and deserved it anyway.

    Good stuff dude.

  • Scribe  
    April 14, 2011 at 11:28 PM

    I get this with my mad editing skillz. If I had a quarter for everyone who asked me to edit their shit and then not pay, I'd have a lifetime supply of moolah for the toll roads.

  • Anonymous  
    April 16, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    Jay, I know he hasn't commented in a while, but I really think James could use your help.

  • Christie  
    April 20, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    I was worried you were going to pull this shit on me, too, so I married you. I give you sex and homemade food, you fix all the crap I do wrong with our computers. WIn-win. Love you!

  • The Barreness  
    April 20, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    So I just got my new Mac and it won't connet to my wireless router thing. Why?

    That, incidentally, isn't a question for you, but rather the actual veratim question I put to Google earlier today.

    You'e very right. I should NEVER be allowed near a computer.

    Then again, I readily admit to surfing porn.

    So...swings and roundabouts, really.

    - B x

  • Expat From Hell  
    April 20, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    Hi, GP: Here via Steam Me Up, Kid. Glad I visited - you are very gifted and provocative with these posts. Making me give more consideration to my own "poor-weather friends" I will be back again, for sure. EFH

  • veach glines  
    April 22, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    Ever the click-a-linker (me), I've now got that image in there.

    No worries, I'll just pop over to my bookmarked porn site and try to drown it under a couple hours of smoother, younger, and less hairy specimens.

  • Amanda  
    April 27, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    I love this. Doesn't it just feel great to tell certain people to fuck off?!

  • Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point  
    May 17, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    I need one of those e-mails but for my parents.

  • Toe  
    July 21, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    It's a good thing you don't work where I work. I'm not in IT but I have to deal with my toolbar thingy is on the side of my screen and I don't know how to get it back to the bottom questions all day. I've copied your email and will be editing it to use for my co-workers. Thanks!

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