Subourbon Mom

Laptops for T-Rex

thMy kids should be so proud of me. In my new-ish job, I’ve learned lots of things, including how to design a marketing trade show banner, conference call, video chat, and edit a website. I also recently learned that there is such a thing as office Karma.

As our company has prospered and our technology needs have grown, our computers have gotten progressively smaller – so small in fact, that I commented to my boss (because I clearly have no filter) that he looks like a court stenographer when he’s sitting there, hunched over his laptop. He has to squeeze his arms together so his hands can fit onto the tiny keyboard.

My observation was politely ignored.

Naturally, I was due for some Karma after that comment. In fact, I’m probably due for heaps and heaps of steaming, putrescent office karma thanks to my verbal diarrhea and 12-year-old sense of humor (apparently not everyone thinks poop jokes are funny ALL of the time).

So my old computer finally started to die on me, first by thinking for really long periods of time about how to find a website (for the record it was actually work-related, and had nothing to do with the “Listen Linda” YouTube video). My boss was kind enough to approve the new Surface Pro laptop for me, too.

Don’t get me wrong – the Surface Pro is really cool, and has a lot going for it, especially after I lugged my old laptop around a tech conference for 4 days. This thing is like carrying a tiny, literary magazine around – it’s small but self-important.  And I’m well aware of how cool it is that my work was deemed worthy enough to get one – so thank you, Workplace. But of course I can’t just let it go at that.

The Surface Pro, which is slightly larger than the iPhone 6 Plus (a.k.a. the “ear pad”), is incredibly portable and weighs as much as a People Magazine.

And it was clearly made by and for pubescent boys. Here’s why:

  • You can make the font/text bigger on the screen, but only in a distorted way, and certainly not big enough to compensate for my CVS 2.0 reading glasses. No one over the age of 40 can see what they’re doing.
  • It will fit in my purse (not that I would EVER be so careless as to do that, Office/Security Manager) – not a great place since my purse houses pharmaceuticals, lotions and liquid soap. But it’s tempting.
  • The keyboard is tiny – you have to place it on a table with your hands so close together to type that you look like a T-Rex, or a raccoon washing its food. For men with broad shoulders it must be awkward. For women, it squishes the girls like you wouldn’t believe – and my girls are, shall we say…petite. My heart goes out to my more endowed co-workers. In fact, here’s my million dollar idea – the Surface Pro could double as a mammogram. It would be a daily check– how awesome is that? What a way to save on healthcare costs!

That said, I know in light of everything in the news this week these are clearly first-world problems. Every now and then I have to remind myself that I now live in a world where computers fit in your purse, and we have isolated cancer genes – I was still using a typewriter when I went to college, and nobody talked about cancer – EVER. Hopefully, smarter folks than me will use these magic devices for good, and overcome some of the obstacles we have in this world that keep us from being the excellent species we have the potential to be.

Bless our hearts.


Mac Attack
October 21, 2012, 9:04 pm
Filed under: Middle Age, Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , , ,

I am technology-repellant.

In fact, there are probably some groups like the CIA or FBI who, I am sure, would pay me a lot of money if I would walk into a room and wreak havoc on the computers, phones and televisions there, just as much as I do on the ones in my house.

I am the DEET of the technology world.

Hubby, in a moment of extreme sweetness and concern for me, decided with Daughter #1’s help, that not only do I need a new computer (which I desperately do…mine occasionally screeches like a coffee grinder), but that I need a Mac.

First, let’s be clear: I am a PC person.

And my brain is full. I simply cannot add any new information without deleting stuff that is vital, such as the location of my keys and the wine bottle opener. Learning a new system is out of the question.

So a couple of weeks ago, in walk Hubby and Daughter #1 with a brand new Mac for her, and one for me, too. They were so excited I couldn’t reiterate right then my firm desire to stay in the world of PC. To their consternation, as Daughter #1 sat at the kitchen table happily exploring her Mac, doing the awkward two-finger scroll thing, I sat on the couch and slowly let the resentment boil up.

“Who did they think they were, anyway?” I muttered to myself. “As if they know what I need in a computer! Maybe they could just pick out my clothes and tie my shoes, too…” This went on for some time, I think mostly inside my head. If not, they wisely ignored it. And yes, I did realize that I sounded like a spoiled little brat. But the tirade rolled on, as fast and furious as the election ads during The Voice.

The next night, with their encouragement I tried to make it work. First I had to transfer files from the PC. I did it!

But then I couldn’t open anything. Nothing worked. I fumed. By ten o’clock I had stomped off to bed, ratcheting up the sleep number so there was no way Hubby could climb up next to me.

The next day I tried to make the requisite appointment at the Apple store for some help. When I called, a chirpy, automated male voice announced that he understood complete sentences! He actually said this with real-ish enthusiasm. Then he cheerily informed me I couldn’t make the appointment I wanted except by going on-line. So I did.

It didn’t work.

Blood rushed to my face, and filth came out of my mouth that I’m pretty sure would have embarrassed Emimem. So I reached for the phone, ready to call back and yell, “F%$#* you! Did you understand that?” But, I resisted. I still needed to get in the damn store, and I’m pretty sure they tape those phone calls.

So I called Hubby instead. After listening patiently to ten minutes of foulness and hatred of inanimate objects misdirected toward him, Hubby was eventually able to get an appointment for me (don’t ask me how). That afternoon, in a strange role reversal much like the movie Freaky Friday, I became the petulant teen and Daughter #1 had to talk Mama down from the ledge.

“If you will stop being so pissed off, I’ll tutor you tonight,” she said, with the patience of Jobe. Later, she added, “Stay in the kitchen. I don’t want you to see what I’m doing. It’ll only make you ask questions and get all mad again.” Wow. She’ll go far in life, I’m telling you.

Even my tech-savvy teenager couldn’t figure it out. So, I soon sat at the Apple Store with another teenager/tutor named Zach, prepared to be humiliated. And really, Computer Gods, did he have to be cute in a Zach Ephron kind of way? I’m not a full-blown cougar, but it was hard not to notice…

Instead, he mumbled a lot of “that’s weird,” and “why won’t it do that?” Eventually, Zach managed to get most of it sorted out, then sprinted off his beanbag (seriously, that’s what we were sitting on) to escape the pathetically grateful Mrs. Robinson next to him.

So please, accept this blog for the miracle that it is—done on my new Mac, with only a small amount of cussing and one bourbon and ginger.

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