Tim works as a technician for Geeks 4 Hire, a local computer business that fixes client’s computers at their homes. The business just started a new “computer training” service where they go to customer’s homes and train them on how to use their computers.
Dorothy is Tim’s first student. The 85-year-old woman refers to her computer as “The big white calculator box thingy that my son gave to me.” Um, I think you can see where this is going. Tim is sitting at the computer with Dorothy right now. Let’s take a look…
“This big button here is the power button. It turns the computer on, Mrs. Swigg.”
“Please, call me Dorothy. Did I ever tell you how much you remind me of my late husband Harry? Harry was a good man. He was a conductor on the railroad. Spent many long hours hauling coal and was never home much. He didn’t care for any of this newfangled technology. He did all the math stuff in his head.”
“That’s nice, Mrs. Swigg…I mean Dorothy. Now here is the other power button that turns on your monitor. Once both of these are on, you will see your computer boot up.”
“Boots? Who has boots? It’s been a long time since I wore my go-go boots and went out dancing. Harry loved to dance, and so did I. I used to shake and bake all over the dance floor. Hehehe! Those were good times!”
“Um, that’s cool. Now that the computer has started up, you will see the desktop. ”
“You mean what the TV screen is sitting on?”
“Actually, this is a computer monitor and not a television, and I didn’t mean a literal desktop. I meant your computer’s desktop. See all these little pictures here? These are called icons. If you click on them with the mouse, then they open programs.”
“MOUSE! WHERE? I hate mice! Kill it!”
“No! Not a rodent. This little device that my hand is on is called a mouse. It’s a piece of hardware that allows you to tell the computer what to do by moving it around and clicking on the buttons. There are two parts to a computer. There is the hardware and there is the software.”
“Are those like Tupperware? I used to have Tupperware parties all the time with my lady friends, God rest their souls. I’m not really sure if the plastic containers were hard or soft. I guess the lids were soft and the containers themselves were hard, so I think I get what you are trying to say here, Tom.”
“It’s Tim, ma’am. And computer hardware and software is nothing like Tupperware dishes. Let’s move on to something else. Let me teach you about the different types of disks a computer uses. There is your hard disk and your floppy disk…”
“Harry had a hard disk once. He had to get surgery done on his back to fix it. He tried the chiropractor, but that only temporarily reduced the pain. Never heard of a floppy disk before, but I’m guessing that it is soft, unlike a hard disk. I wonder if the chiropractor does better at fixing those?”
“Huh? I mean, let me try to explain something else to you. You may have heard the term “RAM” being brought up when people talk about the different parts of a computer.”
“Rams? First there is a mouse running around and now a ram? What happened? Did the zoo walls fall down and every type of living creature bust out? If there is a ram in my yard, then I want him to skedaddle. Papa had a sheep farm, but sheep are much less temperamental than rams.”
“Ok, I give up! I will refund your money for the lessons and only charge you the transportation fee. It’s obvious that you aren’t interested in what I have to teach.”
“You’re right, Todd. Learning about the big white calculator box thingy that my son gave to me doesn’t interest me all that much. YOU on the other hand interest me very much. Did I mention that you remind me of my late husband Harry? Whaddya say I go find those go-go boots and we hit the dance floor over at the Elks Lodge, handsome?”
“Um, I gotta go. Nice meeting you Mrs. Swigg. Bye!”
“I always seem to scare them off. Oh well. A girl’s gotta keep trying. Operator? Can you give me the number for Computer Doctors?”
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