I bet you all came over here to get your fix of swear words from Norma the Incorrigible. Knowing that I was over here experiencing a computer crisis, you just knew I'd be fired up, didn't you?
Well, let me tell you how the last couple of days went for me. I spent yesterday banging my head against the wall going to "Symantec Self-Help University."
SSHU is a piece-of-crap place, I'll tell you that. No brick walks, no ivy. Just crap.
You remember your first day at whatever school or university it might have been? Or your first day on the job at a new place? Sent down halls you have no idea where you're going? Made to feel foolish at every turn? Feel like people are staring at you? Everything looks BIG, really BIG, and confusing, REALLY CONFUSING?
Like my first day on the job at the BBC. My new colleagues sent me on an afternoon tea run. I later learned it was an initiation of sorts, and I passed with approximately a B-plus. All except for one thing. One of my new colleagues asked for "white tea." Ok, says Norma. White tea it is. Except I had no frigging idea in the WORLD what white tea was. I searched the Tea Bar -- another strange phenomenon to me at that time. We would have called it the coffee shop, or the hole-in-the-wall, but of course, we're not English. The Tea Bar.
Nowadays of course we have tea shops and tea parlors and a Starbucks on every corner. But this was 1994. We in America had Lipton and Salada, sitting getting dusty on the shelves of the piggly-wiggly (well, ok, we don't have piggly-wiggly's in Vermont, but it sounds real literary, dunnit? Truth be known, I don't even know what a piggly-wiggly is, but there's one in every Southern novel, I'd guess) neither of which I, nor most of America, drank. The boxes just sat there on the supermarket shelves getting dusty.
So I hemmed and hawed and stumbled around, not wanting to take TOO long so as to draw attention to myself, and wanting to not stand out like the sore American thumb I was. And I fiddled around and got what I thought I could get and fumbled around with the new money and made my red-faced-and-flustered way back to the News and Current Affairs Department with a tray of various and sundry items for ten-odd people -- without getting lost, even! But I had to tell my assistant producer -- my assistant producer; that's my BOSS -- that I couldn't find any white tea. Can you just FEEL what I must have felt?
Ah, yes. The dumb blonde American.
"White tea" is "tea with milk." Arggggggggh! The humiliation!
Sidebar: Although, just to make things interesting, since that time green tea became all the rage over here, and now they've introduced, yes, you know it -- WHITE tea -- in the premium tea shops and the health food stores. But I digress.
Back to my lovely time with Symantec. After I exhausted the self-help route, I decided I was going to have to bite the bullet and use the fee-based help service, because this is SERIOUS business, here. I saw that their hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. So I went uneasily to bed, and didn't sleep worth a crap. I couldn't stand it any longer, and pulled my sorry self out of bed at 6:30, saying, "at least I can beat the rush and get them on the line before the west coast wakes up."
*I get on the line and go through touch-tone calisthenics for about 15 minutes. No exaggeration. Press 1 if you are calling Symantec. Press 3 if you have a computer. Press 15 if you are having a problem with our software. Press 7 if you have our software. Press 9 if you have just farted. Press 1 if you forgot why you were calling.*
After this time is when they told me they are open 6 a.m. PACIFIC STANDARD TIME. This is a good time to insert the term "fucksake," wouldn't you agree? (quick geography quiz: In which time zone is Vermont?)
Extra credit: What time is it in INDIA when it is 6 a.m. PACIFIC STANDARD TIME? Since, as it happens, my phone call went to India, I think this is a very appropriate question. What the FUCK difference does it make what time it is in the United States when my helper is in India. I ask you. Please. Anyone?
Now comes the part when the profanity takes a definite up-tic.
I, of course, had a 9 a.m. deposition, which is what time it is in Vermont when it is 6 a.m. PST. This will help you in your answer to the first quiz question. I sat on pins and needles during the deposition.
I finally got home. Repeat from * to * above. Now it's: Have you requested a priority ID number from our website. This will greatly reduce your waiting time and expedite your call. FFFFFFFUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKKK!
Go online in search of how to get a priority ID number. Faced with a form that looks like I'm applying for a position with the CIA. Fill out all the important information about me that they already have on file. This is so clearly a time-waster, traffic-funneler device that it is almost laughable. Why is the form, like every other form online where everybody already knows everything about me including what kind of toothpaste I use and when I had my last period, not already filled out? Why? Because they obviously are trying to discourage you from bothering them with your trifling little problems with their software and, barring that, they are trying to separate the wheat from the chaff, the men from the boys as it were, and funneling the traffic jam from Route 93 to 95.
But they have no idea who they're dealing with here. Norma the Perseverant. Repeat from * to * once again. This time, punch in your 8-digit Priority ID #.
Listen to Muzak.
For ONE HOUR, TEN MINUTES. I had a crick in my neck and a pain in my ear. I do not have a speakerphone at home. In case you're wondering, I went pee twice during my wait. Thank goodness I have a portable phone. This is what my PRIORITY ID number did for me. ONE HOUR, TEN MINUTES. AFTER all that other B.S.
But the story doesn't end there. You didn't really think it did, did you?
First, let me say I am a trained professional listener. And I don't mean I'm a psychotherapist or a counselor. I mean I LISTEN TO AND REGURGITATE WORDS for a living. I get down the spoken word, verbatim. As tested many times, at 240 words per minute, with spurts even faster, with an accuracy of greater than 95%. 98% was a requirement to be on the air.
And I could not understand at least 50 percent of what the tech person was saying to me. This, after such a long wait. There were long pauses when I tried to decipher what he said. I can't even relate the whole thing -- it is too painful for me. I was very, very patient. I said to myself, "This man is speaking English far, far better than I can speak any other language, and far be it from me to be critical of him. Regardless of how I feel that he has taken a job away from an American, he is a man who is trying to put food on his family's table and improve his life, too." I also sincerely did not want to hang up and have to repeat this long process. I had to make this work. But after a while, he got impatient with me, the way that a techie gets with a non-techie, but also because of my inability to understand him. Clearly, I must be an idiot. After a pause during which I mentally counted to ten, I said, "I'm very sorry, but I am having a very hard time understanding your words."
What followed was even more painful. He began spelling things for me, one letter at a time: "K as in kidden; E as in elliefond; Y as in yellow." Of course, this didn't help one hell of a lot, since I couldn't understand what he was saying for the words. Eventually, we reached a point of almost-no-return. He kept asking me if I could see something on my screen, and I kept saying, "No, it's not there," and he clearly did not believe me, because whatever it was was SUPPOSED to be there. Hmm. Me wonders: could it be that whatever it is that was SUPPOSED to be there and ISN'T is the reason my software is NOT RUNNING?!
Eventually we had a bit of a mind meld, wherein I told him the NAME of the Trojan Horse virus that I was told had infected my computer. He wanted to know how I knew this. Um, duh, my ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE told me. YOUR software. Told me. "What did it tell you?" "It told me it was called Trojan Horse Kill AV."
"That is not a virus."
Yikes. (<---- that is the sanitized version. I'm tired of all the profanity over here.)
He finally said he was going to write me an email, which he did, which linked me to a place to have my entire system scanned with the online virus scan. I ask you, wouldn't it have been a helluva lot easier to have done this about two hours earlier? Wouldn't it be great if they had that as a "click here" option right at their site?
Epilogue, sort of: The scan said I have no viruses. He said I have no viruses. He said that KillAV is an advertising software that masquerades itself as a message from Symantec that you have a virus. At least I think that's what he said. And I still don't fully believe him. I told him about the website and the help advice ON THE SYMANTEC website about this Trojan Horse. He stopped listening to me. He clearly thought I was a loony. He kept repeating, "I'll send you an email, and after that you need to uninstall your Symantec software and reinstall it, because" -- and this part I just love more than I have loved anything, ever -- I love this more than chocolate tofu cheesecake, that's how much I love it -- "it's not working."
Epi-epilogue: There is no longer an "uninstall" option in my Symantec software. Clearly somebody is fucking with me. What's next? Repeat from * to *
Then buy an Apple.
And here's where Rogue is at:
I tried it on. It's looking pretty foxy. But.....the horror....I don't think I like the pocket! I thought I was going to LOVE the pocket. But I don't like the pocket. I don't think my daughter is going to like the pocket. This is a problem. It can't just be cut off. It will mean starting over completely. (and in the photo, the pocket looks askew, but that is just something weird that the camera is doing. It's not really in real life. But I still don't think I like the pocket.)
I'm pretending we didn't have this little sharing session, ok? I'm going to continue on in hopes that when the rest of the bits and bobs are on the sweater, like the lovely cabley v-neck and the lovely cabley hood and the lovely cabley sleeves, that I won't notice the.....pocket.