Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Technic-Al assistance.....



Hullo there ma wee blog,

I got back last night about 9.15 having been out at a recruitment evening for the Childrens Hearings system. I was asked to go along to represent Panel Members to meet a group of some 25 potential new members, to sit with them for just under half an hour and take questions and explain what a hearing feels like and what skills you develop doing the role etc.

Those of you who have read this blog at any length will have come across mentions of the 'Childrens Panel' before - its a tribunal that sits to support children and young people who are in trouble in some way, either offending or being offended against, or who are facing difficulties through lack of care and protection from parents or carers etc. We can put in place legally binding measures for the care, protection, control or treatment of children via 'supervision requirements' or in certain circumstances by issue of legal warrants. It works under Scottish Legislation and the European Convention of Human Rights.

Unique to Scotland, its now being adopted by some Scandinavian countries and by Spain and Portugal. Where cases are heard by this tribunal the child is not subject to the normal legal system of courts etc. We are tasked to be independent and to make decisions in the best interests of the child at all times. There is a significant amount of training both before you are allowed to sit if selected, and ongoing throughout your post which is intended to be for a 3 year minimum commitment.

Anyway, that's not the story..........


I got back home at 9.15 to find my lovely G, who had not been home from work when I left to go out, in the kitchen, on the phone. In front of her was her laptop, connected by yellow cable to our wireless router, and my laptop connected to the internet help site of our friendly internet service provider. G was using her mobile phone while it was plugged into a charger on an extension cable - our main house phone doesn't work when we are connected to the internet and despite several attempts to sort this, both our ISP and telephone provider deny that its anything to do with their kit - don't worry we are just about to change away from our totally useless ISP.

I came up behind her and gave her a hug. I knew that her laptop had suddenly lost internet connection the other day when she attempted to connect, but she hadn't been in the mood to try and fix it at the time, especially when she could just use mine for a while. But she had come home intending, determined even, to get the problem resolved last night. Finding she couldn't connect again and being more PC literate than I she had phoned the helpline and was busily engaged in conversation with them as she twiddled with cable and pressed the advised buttons etc.

She turned and rolled her eyes at me and covering the mouthpiece told me that she had been on the phone to them for almost an hour. I could see that she was nearly at the end of her tether, but knowing her as I do didn't interfere. I rubbed her shoulders in consolation while she continued to listen to the phone and then made a cup of tea which I put down next to her with what I hoped was an 'I understand and sympathise' kind of look before stealing off quietly to the lounge. As I left she had MY laptop connected by cable to the router and was going through what clearly was the same process used unsuccessfully on her non working computer to try and problem solve the issue.

I've got to say my heart sank.

15 minutes later she came into the lounge and I could tell straight away from the dejected air that things had not gone exactly 'ticketty-boo' shall we say. and sure enough when I asked how it had turned out she said she was completely frustrated and despite an hour and some on the phone, the technical support guy had been unable to resolve the problem.

'He says my laptop is broken and needs to go back to the place I bought it from. I just can't believe it, its ridiculous, it can't be broken.'

then the bombshell.....

'And yours is the same'

Ah.....



I tried to console her and suggested she leave it and we could have a look tomorrow to see if we could fix things. I wanted her to try and stop to calm down before bed or she just simply wouldn't be able to sleep. I could spend all day tomorrow trying to get the problem fixed if need be after all. After a cuddle of a couple of minutes or so she got up and went out. I assumed that she had gone upstairs to change as she was still in her work clothes having been late home due to a delayed train.

When she hadn't come back after about 10 minutes I went to see if she had been so annoyed or upset that she had just given up and gone to bed. Of course she was back in the kitchen trying anything and everything she could think of to try herself to get the problems resolved. Frustrated and angered by the lack of the helpdesk staff ability to provide even a reasonable interpretation of what was wrong, she was almost at the point of tears. For any husband a very dangerous situation to get into, but sometimes its just as dangerous to be damned for what you don't do as much as for what you do, do. Its a situation that can put you in the doodoo very quickly if you catch my drift.

Under the circumstances I took a quiet but deep breath and stepped tentatively into the ring.

I, in no way, consider myself technical or PC literate. When we buy any kind of IT kit, laptops, home pc's or cinema surround systems, its the lovely G who sets it all up. Her Dad was a real techie wizard and worked on telephones and other such complicated stuff all his life so she is genetically programmed that way as far as I'm concerned, thankfully.

While she looked at hers I said she should let me have a look at the other one and I pulled up the connection screen.

YOU ARE NOT CONNECTED.

I clicked 'connect' and another screen came up asking me for the WAP key. 'I know this!' I thought and got the key code from the bottom of the router. I punched it in and pressed 'close', entered the location as 'home' and - with mental fingers crossed - hit 'connect'

YOU ARE NOW CONNECTED.

Just to be sure, I rebooted the laptop and connected to my home page.

YES!

Total time about 2 minutes.

'Ok hun, that's this one ok. Lets have a look at yours.'

She looked disbelievingly at my laptop screen which was showing my homepage and from there her eyes met mine. A look that was mostly relief but also seemed part pure irritation passed across her face. I swallowed nervously but, now all male bravado, stepped forward to hers.

'How did you manage to do that?'

'Mine had lost the WAP code. Lets see if this is the same.'

With her help I pulled up the screen and repeated the process again on hers. It was online again in about the same 2 minutes. She looked at her online screen and back at me. I got another look that was much more relief but there was still just a bit, a smidgin, a soupcon, of irritation there.

{ I should have been home an hour earlier, huh... }

Before she could ask I said, 'I dunno how they never sussed that out. Its about the only thing I know to check for to be honest.'

She picked up her phone and looked at her screen.

'At 50p a minute, I have just spent £35 on that useless b@%£$"* on the other end of the phone!'

Now, for my lovely G, swearing is a major, MAJOR danger sign. She just disnae do it. Not like me, peasant that I am, well versed in a large, practiced and varied vocabulary of swear words.

Somehow though I managed to divert her attention back to her working machine and she became engrossed in checking her email.

Phew!

And so past last night. Tensions subsided and it ended in relative tranquility.

This morning I thought that I would avail myself of the opperchancity of contacting our said wonderful ISP helpdesk to express my amazement and concern at their performance and singular lack of technical ability to problem solve in their area of expertise, and also to explain how very mildly disappointed I am to have spent 35 of our hard earned baw-bees giving them the opportunity to display not only their incompetence to my lovely G, but also an incredible ability to blame every available piece of equipment that did not actually belong to their company in the process.

Unfortunately the lovely, and very distant, Indian gentleman who took the call from my lovely G last night and supported her to the full extent of his ability had also mysteriously failed to log the call and of course 'No, no sir, its not possible to trace who you spoke to.'

Quelle surprise!

So please excuse me but I have an important call to make.

To introduce myself to another ISP provider.

see you later..........

Listening to Madonna 'Sorry'

2 comments:

lom said...

I hate the help line, I can never understand what they are saying, we have given up with them and now phone hubbys son.

Morning's Minion said...

Been there a few times--and then end up paying our very competant and patient tech man to sort the original problem and undo the difficulties inflicted by the polite and helpful souls from India. {Why India, anyway?}
Interesting to read a bit of how the Children's Protection advocacy works there. Our daughter, working in one of the local schools, sees so much harm already done before a child is kindergarten age---abuse, neglect, to the point that kids are nearly unteachable between genetic impairment and outrages inflicted in the home.

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