Betrayed by Technology

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So last week, I had the experience that all writers and most other people fear most: My computer crashed hard and refused to wake up. Just turned it on like always and nothing. Correction: There was an unhelpful screen that told me my computer needed to be repaired.

Did it think I’d just sit down, start typing, and not notice it wasn’t on? That I’d just whistle like an idiot and go, “Wonder where the picture is … dum-de-dum-dee-dum.”

Rest assured, I did not. And rest assured, I said a number of things much more harsh than, “dum-de-dum-dee-dum.”

I felt betrayed.

All my life, people have been telling me that technology makes life easier.

But they were all lies. Tricks. Cons. Vases of pretty flowers that smell really bad. The cute girl that smiles at you and walks up to the guy standing next to you.

YA Author Tom Hoover Must Deal with Tech SupportAnd that’s when I realized, all technology mocks us. Like when your obnoxious high school friends pull up in front of you, car loaded with coolers, and say, “Come on. Get in.” Only to pull away when you reach for the door handle. Driving away laughing.

For six seasons, The Walking Dead has been preparing me for a world without cell phones and TV and can openers and single-cup coffee machines. And I didn’t listen. The hordes of undead distracted me. And last Thursday, I paid the ultimate price.

I had to deal with tech support.

Truly a walk through the valley of shadows.

Okay, maybe I’m just naïve, but if I bought my computer from your company, along with a service plan, am I remiss in thinking that somewhere on your website—which is NOT optimized for cell phones, BTW—you might have a technical support phone number? And no, a response to my email within the next 48 hours is not the same thing.

And what if I’m a person who keeps email on their computer, as God intended, as opposed to hearing one more alert noise so that it sounds like I have a very sick marching band in my pocket? If I can’t access the computer, I can’t read your email.

Lucky for me, other angry people have plumbed the depths of hell to locate the tech support number. I Google it and call in. They seem surprised to hear from me, cursing under their breath that they must hide the number deeper next time.

They ask why I’m calling—many things come to mind; I don’t say any of them—I tell them. “I turned on my computer this morning and a screen came on that says it needs to be repaired.”

They ask a ton of questions, openly doubting every answer, then they put me on hold. When they return, they let me know that they have discussed my issue amongst themselves and have reached a verdict.

“We think your computer needs to be repaired,” he says, in a voice that DOES NOT belong to Dave from St. Louis.

This is why we don’t have concealed carry in my state.

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