Can’t cloud compute because I’m old

I’ve been told to stop interacting with clients. But I haven’t been told to stop blogging!

My last fucking old man walks into the store.

He needs help with his email client because he’s old and nobody ever bothered to sit him down and explain to him what a cloud server does.

I start explaining vaguely about how I had to understand how to setup an email client, I’ve never done it having always since 1996 had a web email client. Again can’t understand why old people…

Old man interrupts.

“But I travel a lot! That’s why I need my emails!”

That one really does just stand alone.

Good night!

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Old man with older manners can’t handle his double standard.

Old man walks in, I’m in back, he starts talking about unlocking his wife’s phone to my coworker.

Having worked for a few Telcos, I felt I was best suited to give accurate instructions on how to call your Telco to unlock a phone, so I come around to the front. The whole time old man’s been talking, he’s been eating a muffin out of a bag.

He listens to me, which is good for him because he was thoroughly confused about the term “unlock” with cell phones. Turns out his wife’s phone is bricked and needs hardware support. We give recommendations.

He smiles a crinkly old man smile at me directly and apologizes for eating in front of me.

“You didn’t apologize for eating in front of my male coworker.”

“What?” Old man might have bad hearing. I repeat myself more slowly and loudly.

“What?” Old man probably not used to looking at his own behaviour.

I repeat again, this time my coworker starts to be the diplomat.

Finally, old man comes close to a superficial understanding. He looks a bit angry.

“Well I gotta look at someone and my eyes can’t look at two things at once!”

“Yeah so you look at me.”

Mah delicate sensibilities! Why, eating while talking to a properly delicate young woman! (This isn’t Japan)

Cubase Dumbass

Typical old man walks into the shop. I watch from the tech area through a one-way mirror. He rambles about Cubase not working properly. Cubase is a music editing program I dabbled with back in 2004. Apparently it’s still going strong?

He comes in multiple times, all about his Cubase not working. Some visits he picks up different cables. All the while rambling and is clearly not understanding what he’s doing but thinking he understands.

The literal worst kind of dumbass.

I no longer interact with the humans who bring in their computers anymore. I immerse myself in my cocoon of soothing computer fans, motherboard beeps, and of course music. It was my first love, after all.

I sort of snapped. Cubase dumbass was talking at my coworker again, so I looked up some tech specs then interjected:

“If you’re running Windows 7 you need to run a minimum of Cubase version 4. You are trying to get version 2 to work. This is the root of your problem.”

Old stupid Cubase dumbass starts to rant about not being able to afford to purchase…

My mind auto-filters dumbass talk that my hacking skills have given me lifelong access to… Ways of overcoming these minor inconveniences. Sucks to be him, I guess. I honestly don’t remember how his answer ended. Not important.

He came in again a few days ago. Same complaints.

I fucking lose my shit. So in retail land that looks like a stern lecture.

“Do you realize you are talking to a musician who studied half a music degree, became an electrician, then a computer tech, and is an audiophile who used Cubase back in 2004. If there is anyone on this planet suited to helping you crowbar this program onto your computer it’s me!”

Cubase dumbass basically watches my mouth move until I’m done, then before I can take my next breath he’s turned and continued his last sentence with my coworker. He could have just coincidentally had an absent seizure and it would have looked the same.

Here comes the worst part: my male coworker continues their conversation as if nothing had happened. I turned on him as soon as Cubase dumbass left.

“Your continued lack of defending me has been noticed.”

“What are you talking about?”

Excruciatingly, I try to explain how my tech advice if given to old men is almost always ignored. Like the latest example.

“But he’s not taking my advice either.” He counters.

“But he’s acknowledging your presence. He’s engaging you in dialogue. He’s asking you questions. He just looked long enough at me until I was done talking. Do you see the difference?”

He shrugs. “I guess you’re more sensitive to these things than me.”

Is this your daughter?

Old man in the shop. He sits and spends way too long considering all the specs he is getting on a new gaming laptop.

I walk out of the tech area and stand next to my male coworker who is doing the old man’s order.

Old man looks up at me with a crinkly old smile.

“Is this your daughter?”

My coworker tells him no and we share another Crazy Customer look between us.

Who’d have thought the porn collection man who harassed me over the phone would do so in person…

That regular with the porn addiction and the physically dirty laptop brought his main desktop in today. It’s sitting next to me, an older yet very sturdy practical case, a solid investment. Whatever creepiness he exudes as a human, he has good taste in computer hardware.

This computer looks forlorn to be alive. It’s sorry that it’s main purpose is to serve porn. It’s heard, through the internet of course, that other computers have more socially acceptable lives, like they get to be twinked out pro gaming machines or cryptominers, or servers. It wonders, behind a crusty food smear… as if a human had used the side next to the button to wipe dirty fingers on before pressing that button… why it has any judgment about it’s actions and the kinds of information it stores. Why am I not content to simply compute?

“It looks like the techs around here are finally lookin’ good!”

That’s the human who owns that computer. His comment brings me back to my surroundings, my work. A hard drive replacement on a laptop.

He had come around, behind the cash computer desk, into the back tech area. He had followed my coworker back, who had to take a call.

I had told my coworker earlier I was speaking up against sexual harassment from customers.

“That’s really not an appropriate comment in the work place.” I say flatly.

“Yeah let’s keep it professional.” My male coworker’s comment is quick on my heels.

The angriest computer tech.

Sooner or later in every job one weighs the pros and cons of continuing to work at said job. This ain’t my first rodeo when it comes to heavily masculine jobs.

Sure the customers are noobs, but that’s why they’ve come into the shop. I’ve liked helping the ones that were willing to learn.

Sure the soulless transnational corporations like Apple, HP, Asus, Dell, (Acer – you’re still kinda cool) are shamelessly manipulating the masses to consume needlessly and nanoplastics and heavy metals and child labour assembly factories, but I firmly believe computers are beautiful tools that we are only beginning to live with. They will and are changing the world.

I will always love fixing broken computers but fixing cis white old man problems and HR mismanagement are not on my CV.

I look forward to working on other benches in other shops, because a woman needs to feel safe at work for it to be worth it.

This might be my last blog post.

I hope you are well.

I wish I was a computer. Computers don’t cry. Just write zeros over me.