Going postal

I spend a good deal of time answering technical questions and troubleshooting computer problems for my clients, most of whom are in the advertising and graphic art community.

Lately, I’ve been dealing with a number of people who are attempting to perform complex tasks–for example, use $5,000 page imposition software–without having even the most basic of computer skills. I charge far too much money to be spending time with my clients trying to teach them to use the mouse.

It’s frustrating. To give you an idea of HOW frustrating, if I were a postal worker rather than a computer tech, my day would probably look something like this:

Hello. Can I help you? You’d like to mail that letter to your brother? Okay, not a problem. Let me see the letter…

Ah, your brother’s name is Jeb. Okay, there’s a problem–you don’t have an address on this letter.

An address. Yes, sir, we need an address. You know, where your brother lives.

No, sir, don’t describe his house to me! That won’t really help very much. We need to know where the house is.

Yes, sir. Where it is. You know, like what city it’s in. What’s that, sir? City. What city it’s in. City…it’s like a town, only bigger.

Ah, he lives in the country! I’m not surprised. What’s that, sir? Yes, I do live in the city myself. Yes, I suppose that does make me a city slicker.

But we still need to know where your brother Jeb lives. Tell you what. Let’s start with what state he’s in.

State. You know, what state he lives in. Um, you know, the country is divided into states, see, and…

Yes, sir. Country. Like, the United States of America. Yes, that’s it! America. America is divided into states, and…yes, that’s it, sir. Yes, you are a “Murican.” Yes, I’m sure your brother is a “Murican,” too.

Now, then. We need to narrow down what state your brother lives in, and…what’s that, sir? Ah, I see, you have an American flag on your pen, how nice. I’m sorry? You have an American flag on your truck, too? I’m not surprised. I bet you have a gun rack in it as well, don’t you?

Ah, you do have a gun rack in your truck? Well, fancy that. But we still haven’t–where are you going? No, sir, I don’t need to see your gun. And you can’t bring a gun into a post office anyway.

Beg your pardon? Charlton Heston? No, sir, I don’t know what Charlton Heston would say about that. But I’m sure he and I would both agree that you really, really don’t want to give me a gun right now.

Focus, please. The letter, remember?

We need to find out what state your brother lives in. State, like Texas, or…Texas. Yes, Texas. It’s a state. Your brother lives in Texas? Good! We’re making progress. Now we need…what’s that? How did I know? Lucky guess.

Okay, I’ll tell you what, sir. It’s time for me to leave, but my friend Bob is just coming on duty, so….Hey, Bob! You want to help this gentleman send this letter?

Problem is, I own the company, so there is no Bob for me to give these clients to…

On the nature of happiness

I had a dream last night that I was arguing on the telephone with ectropy.

Why her? I have no idea. I don’t know her, and don’t have any association with her other than LiveJournal. But there it is.

In any event, we were arguing about the nature of happiness. She was trying to get a gumball out of a gumball machine, and there was one purple gumball in the machine–all the way at the top. Her argument was that she wouldn’t be happy unless she got the purple gumball, but since it would clearly require her to buy all the gumballs in the machine, it wasn’t worth pursuing.

I argued that the happiness isn’t in the gumball, it’s in yourself, and that the secret is to be happy no matter what gumball you get.

I have no idea what any of this means. Dreams are stupid, anyway. 🙂