Enough of all the serious stuff. It’s time for a break and a quick look at the lighter side of life. This time it’s not children but parents: specifically, parents and computers. I’ve even had to create a new tag, “parents”, specifically for this post.
There are some things that you need to know about my Mum – she is very politically aware (I must have inherited it from her) and gets extremely aerated about the news. There was a time when I would get daily phone calls from her: “Anne, you must write a letter to the Jerusalem Post for me”. Eventually my father and I taught her to write her own letters, and we found we’d created a monster. So did the JPost. But that’s a story for another time…
UPDATE: We need to add the Wall Street Journal to Mum’s targets for letter writing. Dear WSJ, please take this as an official warning: you are about to be bombarded by “Outraged, Petach Tikva”.
We now reach the happy news that my father has bought my mother an iPad for her birthday. My son, Dovi of my blog-banner fame, is something of an expert in operating iPhones, Macs and iPads (shameless plugging of son’s abilities here), so he popped round yesterday afternoon to give a “short” lesson (which turned into 3 hours) in how to operate the new iPad. He created a new email address for my Mum, listed her favourites, inserted photos of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren (not to mention a couple of grand-cats too), and she was set to go.
Despite a small glitch with the charger of the iPad (sorted out by the shop after a visit from my annoyed Dad) all seemed to be working well. Mum has bombarded the family with emails announcing her entry to the 21st century, and I suppose we really ought to give due notice to the JPost that the “monster” has gone digital.
This evening Mum phoned with a problem with her email. She couldn’t find her inbox, or couldn’t find the emails which had landed in her inbox.
Our conversation went something like this:
Mum: “My email isn’t working properly”.
Me: “What’s happened?”
Mum: “I don’t know if my email was sent, and I can’t remember where to find my email program”.
Me: “Where are you standing at the moment?” (meaning – where is your cursor? What program are you in?)
Mum: “I’m in the kitchen…”
Stunned silence, followed by howls of laughter from my father and me. My Mum did have the good grace to join in the laughter after she got the “joke”.
This graphic will probably be of use to most older computer users – and many younger ones too:
The story reminds me of a similar technical misunderstanding, although this time my Mum was on the right side of the techy stuff. She works as a volunteer in the gift shop of our local children’s hospital. One day, on arriving at the shop, she saw one of the other volunteers on the phone with the help desk since the electronic till was giving them trouble.
Help Desk: “What is the problem?”
Volunteer: “The till isn’t reacting”.
Help Desk: “Try moving the mouse up the screen”.
Volunteer: Picks up mouse, physically lifts the mouse in the air and places it on top of the screen.
Mum: Comes to the rescue, takes over from the volunteer, fixes problem with till.
Join in the fun. Tell us your funny computer stories, whether they involve the older generation or the youngsters.