My parents are not the type who like where technology is going. They don’t really trust the internet (Viber – “Get off the phone, this is costing me a fortune”) and fear touch screen technology (IPhones – “I don’t want one, I like to be able to feel the buttons”).
Sometimes they ring me with questions. Although I’ve taught school kids in the past, I have no patience when it comes to their inability to use the technology around them. It’s as if they are refusing to learn something new, out of spite.
My obvious frustration then leads to an almost ape like flash of anger from one of us, and the conversation usually ends with someone slamming down the phone on the person who is, by relative standards, the calmest.
This is a transcription of one of these calls. This is true, and relatively routine.
The phone rings. I pick it up.
me – Hey.
DA – Hi. Listen, you know that your Ma’s computer is fucked and is getting repaired.
me – Ok?
DA – She wants to check her email on my computer. You know, the laptop.
me – Ok. What’s the problem?
DA – Well how does she do it?
me – Doesn’t she have a gmail account?
DA – Yeah, that’s it. But it was on her computer. How does she get it on my computer.
me – Hang on… are you serious?
DA – What?
me – Am I telling you how to get to gmail?
DA – She just wants to get her emails… how do…
me – Go TO GMAIL!!!
DA – In Google?……
me – …Yes In Google. Type gmail into Google.
DA – Ok… I’ve done this already…
me – And?…
DA – It brings me to some Google page.
me – Did you click on the first link? The first link!!…First!!!!
DA – I did that. I’m there, it just is asking for details for a google account. But she has a gmail account…
me – It’s the same. The Same!
DA – Ok. Grand.
me – So just get her to sign in with her username and password and that’s it.
DA – Username and password…
(aside to Ma, username and password. Murmers, then he returns)
DA – She doesn’t know her password
me – What?!??
DA – She can’t remember what it is
me – I did this 2 years ago. We had this exact same discussion! I got her to write it down. I told her this was important!!!
DA – I know, I know… It was written on the table, but I threw the table out a few weeks ago.
me – The table!!?? Let me speak to her.
MA – Yes.
me – How do you not know this? It will be something simple. We’ve gone through this before.
MA – I know we did… What do you think it is?
me – I don’t know what it fucking is. It’s your password. It can only be one of several words that you would use.
MA – I think its ********. Gearoid, try ******……No, that didn’t work.
me – Ok, imagine 2 years ago. I am sitting beside you and I say ‘pick a password. One that you will remember’. What do you pick?
MA – I don’t remember.
me – Jesus…..!
MA – I’ll think. I’ll put you back on to him.
DA – We’ll keep trying.
me – I just don’t get this. We did this 2 years ago. I couldn’t have made it clearer.
DA – It was written on the table…
me – The table that you threw out?!? It should be somewhere safe! Jesus this is so frustrating…
DA – (Anger rising in an instant to screaming like a maniac) It’s not frustrating for you!! It’s frustrating for us!! STOP GETTING FRUSTATED! STOP!! WE’LL SORT IT OUT. DON’T FUCKING WORRY YOUR FUCKING SELF ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!
Da hangs up. Hard.