Typical Computer Buying Experience
Husband: Wife!! Children!! Get in the car. We're gonna buy a computer.
Wife: But Husband, we don't know anything about computers. Shouldn't we at least buy a magazine or something?? Maybe learn something before we spend our money??
Cut to the "Mass Market Computer Store"
Entry Level Clerk: Hello, how can I help you?
Husband: We want a computer. (Picks one at random) Tell me about this one??
Entry Level Clerk: That's a really, really, REALLY good one.
Husband: How many RAMS does it have??
Entry Level Clerk: Well,...ummm...(reading from box) It has 128 MEGS OF RAM!!!
Husband: That's good, right?
Entry Level Clerk: Of course. Think about it. It's TWICE as good as 64 megs.
Husband: Wow - Good point. Does it have the Internet in it??
Entry Level Clerk: Oh yes. The whole Internet is right inside there.
Husband: Boy, you really know your stuff. I'll take it.
Our hero, the clerk: (Muttering under his breath) Whew!!! Dodged another one.
Wife: What about tech support? (hubby growls) Not that we'll need it (Nice recovery).
Mr. Entry Level: Oh, Tech Support is included. If you ever have any trouble, just call them and they will solve all of your problems. Tech Support will help you recover from any disaster, even the ones you cause. Tech support means never having to worry about learning how to use this machine. If people are mean to you, Tech Support will kill them*. Tech support is every persons dream come true.
*Note - I'm exaggerating. We only hurt them very badly.
The Computer comes home
So, the computer makes it home, and father gets right to it. I will now switch gears, and present the rest of the story in chronological order:
2:00pm Father tears open the box, and promptly crumples up the paper that says "Read me first". He throws it away. He finds the owners manual. It gets put in the bottom drawer, never to see daylight again.
2:12pm He reaches into the garbage pail, realizing that paper tells him where to put "all those wires".
2:27pm Wonders why a "stupid warehouse person" included a phone cord in the box.
2:47pm After three re-wires, the computer comes to life.
3:37pm After pressing "delete" at startup 12 times (the screen said to), he gets to windows 98 with only minimal damage to his configurations.
3:39pm Clicks "American Online" icon - is greeted with "no dialtone".
3:40pm Calls tech Support
3:42pm Hangs up after holding for "over 15 minutes".
3:43pm Redials - Holds for "well over 30 minutes". Hangs up just before I answer.
3:48pm Redials - back to the end of the line. Puts it on speakerphone.
3:52pm I answer. Father screams at me, saying he's been on hold for "over an hour". I look for a hard surface to bang my head against. I'll probably be needing it.
4:03pm After listening to the tirade, and how he paid "two thousand dollars" (MSRP $1,200) for this machine, I get him to tell me what his problem is. I ask him to click on start. He replies "oh, the computer has to be on?"
4:05pm Computer finishes booting back up.
4:06pm I ask him if the modem is plugged in. He says it is - there's stuff on the screen.
4:10pm He finally understands that the modem is INSIDE the computer. Insists it's plugged in.
4:10pm I ask him to "right click" on the my computer icon
4:11pm Asks me "how the hell am I supposed to WRITE the word "click" on YOUR computer." The wall of the cubicle will have to do.
4:22pm Finally in device manager. All settings seem ok. I ask him to double check the phone cord he insisted was plugged in. "What phone cord", he says. I mute and sob.
4:29pm Insists it didn't come with a phone cord or owners manual. And for "twenty five hundred dollars" (MSRP $1,200) it damn well should have.
4:38pm Finds the phone cord. Two feet short for his setup. Insists he cannot move the desk.
4:40pm Screams that for "three thousand dollars" (MSRP $1,200), it should come with a longer cord.
4:41pm Insists I "send someone out" to hook this "phone thing up"
4:49pm Moves the desk two feet. Surprisingly, the house doesn't tilt.
4:55pm He dials on "American Online" before I tell him to, thankfully cutting us off.
5:05pm Calls back. Why should he have to put his credit card # in. After all he's already paid "Thirty five hundred dollars" (MSRP $1,200).
5:15pm After explaining free enterprise to him, he asks me to recommend a book on computers. I tell him the owners manual is rather informative. I also convince him that there really is a book entitled "Windows for complete and utter morons".