As someone who revels in technology I wonder if I’ll ever get to the stage of not understanding it. I currently class myself as being quite savvy even when compared to some of the younger generation but definitely compared to the older generation and my mum in particular (this is just one of several posts I’ll probably make about her abilities with all things electronic).
I now know how frustrating it must be for some of the ‘helpline’ staff who have to aid consumers who are stuck with technology issues having been party first hand to trying to talk my mother through an issue she recently had.
She rang me because her Sky TV wasn’t showing a picture, just had the sound on; but as she told me “it had been working a couple of hours earlier with no problems”. She was desperate to watch the live cricket (which as per a previous post I made you may realise is something I believe to be an oxymoron)
I asked had she moved the TV unit when dusting as it may just be that the SCART lead may have come slightly dislodged – that’s when the real problems started…”what’s a SCART lead?” Now imagine trying to describe a SCART lead over the phone…”.
I tried suggesting everything…unplugging the system from the wall socket, un-doing then re-attaching the satellite feed leads etc etc. All of these required me to describe in full details what the object looked like and how to do it. I even had to download the instructions for the TV and satellite so I knew what her remote controls looked like to enable me to direct her towards the buttons I needed her to press. No matter what sequences we tried nothing seemed to fix the issue.
I was online going through every fault finding guide step I could find then relaying this action to my mum. After an hour and a quarter we were no closer to the solution – I was losing my will to live and my mum was complaining about missing the cricket.
I was so confused now myself with what had been done or not done I took a breath and said “right mum, let’s go through this once more from the beginning…what is happening, or not happening ?”
“I can hear sound but no picture” she said but then added “there’s just a message on the screen saying replace the handset batteries then press back up”
“Has this just come up ?” I asked through gritted teeth. “No”, she replied, “but I didn’t mention it earlier as I’d already done that”
Calmly despite my inward frustration I asked her to open the remote and check the batteries…are they in the right way round?…yes there is a right and a wrong way to put in batteries….
Ok do you want to press back up now…
“It’s working” she said “I can see and hear everything perfectly – hang on a second looks like Strauss has just been given L.B.W.”
And with that she put the phone down !