Friday, March 20, 2009

Twenty Minutes and Counting...

My husband and I bought a 4-in-1 copier, scanner, printer, fax machine for our office the other day. We had been discussing this purchase for a while and decided to do it since our old current copier has been dying a slow death and our fax machine was on its last ink cartridge. We strolled around Staples casually as if we knew what we were looking for when Shawn, the salesman, approached. He was very helpful as he helped us determine which machine would best meet our needs. He answered all of our questions clearly. One final and important question that I asked him was how difficult was it to set up since it would be a wireless connection.

"Oh, ma'am, it is so simple. Why my mother, who is quite a bit older than you, hooked her machine up in less than twenty minutes. And I can tell from the questions you are asking that you are much more techno savvy than my mother." Being a total sucker for sweet talk I decided to purchase this 4-in-1 super easy to install machine.

My husband carried the heavy machine into the office and helped me position it on the desk. I told him that I was confident I could have this machine up and running in nineteen minutes. It took me thirteen minutes to remove all of the packaging material. I then sat down to examine the four instruction manuals. Groan.

Things moved rather quickly in the beginning. I installed ink cartridges and paper trays. I was feeling good. I called out to my husband that I'd have this sucker printing fresh new copies in under one hour. Shawn was one of the few honest salesman I'd had the pleasure of meeting in a while.

I was down to the final part of the set-up ~ connecting the new sleek machine to our wireless connection. No problem. I just had to type our secret password WEP on the touch pad. I typed. The new sleek machine told me that it was the wrong secret password WEP. I typed it harder seven more times as I tried to impress on the touch pad that this was the correct secret password which would unlock whatever was locked. The sleek new machine told me I was incorrect - try again. I had now been working for an hour and a half to hook up the sleek new machine.

My husband asked me how the new machine was working. I told him that he should know, after thirty years of marriage, that I don't like to be bothered when I am performing critical technical work. I also casually asked him if he had changed our secret password for the WEP. "Nope, you set the secret password when you decided our office should be wireless." I was afraid that's what he would say.

I tried a variety of possible passwords with no success. Why didn't I write the password down so that I could have put the paper in a safe place? Of course I would have forgotten where the safe place was but that's another story. I could feel frustration settling into my shoulders. The mother of Shawn, the sweet talking salesman, must have remembered her password or... maybe Shawn's mother doesn't even own a 4-in-1 sleek machine.

And then a lightbulb went off in my gray matter! I would call Ken, our very wealthy computer support person and ask him how to reset our wireless router! Sometimes I amaze myself. I explained the situation to Ken and he asked me the question I was dreading. "Don't you write your passwords somewhere safe for when your memory fails you?" No. No, I Don't. Just tell me how to reset the stupid router. Please.

He explained about pushing the reset button on the back of the router...blah,blah, blah...I had heard enough. All I had to do was push the reset button ~ that's all I needed to hear. Thank you very much. I rushed to the router and pushed the reset button. I rushed back to the sleek machine. The clock was running. I had now been working for close to three hours. Wish I had Shawn's cell phone number so I could ask him where he learned how to tell time.

I touched the sleek machine's super sensitive touch pad and followed the direction on screen. It is telling me to reenter the unknown secret password. What the heck? Oh, man. Why hadn't I listened to Ken, the computer specialist. There obviously was more to this then pushing the reset button. Why hadn't I listened to his blah, blah, blahs. I quietly called him and told him that I couldn't remember what to do after pushing reset. Oh. Just find the router software and reinstall it - I could then reset the password. Thanks, Ken. Now all I had to do was find the router software. I stopped myself from ripping the clock off the wall. This was the longest twenty minutes of my life.

I looked everywhere for that software and it was no where to be found. Now I was mad. I grabbed the phonebook and searched for Staples' phone number. I was ready to give Shawn a piece of my mind. My intuitive husband, who had stayed out of my way for the last four hours, told me he had an idea and would I mind if he helped me. I hated to admit defeat but I said, "Yes, please help me." I had been defeated by the sleek 4-in-1 machine. I had been defeated by Shawn's elderly mother.

My husband called the maker of our router. The technician calmly and quickly walked him through the steps for resetting the router and super secret password. In a few short minutes my husband had the router sending out wireless waves to our 4-in-1. I typed in the new secret password and held my breath. All of a sudden lights started flashing, blinking and a sample copy printed out. We were connected in no time at all !

26 comments:

Natalie said...

What a crack up! Good on you Deb!

I see your husband is a very wise man. Mine would have run for the hills, OR not let me touch it in the first place.
Hope your new flashing friend is lots of fun.xx

Mike Golch said...

I have a whole notebook filled with my passwords.this way I can just look up the word.Now where in the heck did I put that book????

Jeni said...

Something about this post reminded me of a great poem -I think by Robert Browning if I'm not mistaken. The ode to a lice on a woman in church, if you know the one I'm referring to -can't think of the proper name right now. But it about seeing ourselves as other see us. And in this post, boy I sure could see myself -right from the total belief in Shawn, to calling upteen people, whoever, wherever I could find 'em. But having no significant other handy to resolve the issues, I'd be desperate to locate someone who could resolve this and do it really really fast. Yeah, that impatience level would be high in me.

Oh and I too have one of those four-in-one-printer/scanner/copier/fax machines. I did get it hooked up by myself but I don't have a wireless connection -just high-speed through our tv cable. I don't however, have the fax part hooked up as yet.I think I need another phone line to do that or somesuch. I'm lousy at reading/understanding technical stuff. Glad you got yours working though! I still haven't got the scanner thing down pat but I'm working on it, slowly, very slowly.

Willow said...

My Professor would have sent me away and installed everything himself. And put the password in the file on the computer. But I don't think I can get at the password. I really hope he doesn't die anytime soon.

RiverPoet said...

So...did you write down your password in a super secret location? :-)

Great story. I'm pretty sure we've ALL been there!!!

Peace - D

Gaston Studio said...

Good laugh this morning! I assume your husband got the dang thing running and you're happy with it?
Since I have to unplug my printer to use my scanner, I envy you the new machine!

Have a great day.

Daryl said...

Oh I hate saying this but I love this post .. if it had been me, well there would be a lot F'ing and the use of THE TONE of voice ... I am so proud of how calm you were .. and SO glad you got to work...

Akelamalu said...

Oh don't talk to me about passwords please! :(

I do have them written down but the programmes I use them for never seem to recognise them and I have to reset them all the time! I know computers are just a machine that do what you tell them to (supposedly) but I'm convinced they have a mind of their own sometimes. They are just waiting until the time is right to take over the world! :0

Beth said...

You had me at the idea of reading the manuals. Is that what they are for?

From now on, run when someone says it is easy. Especially if an elderly lady is involved in the descriptives.

Marg said...

Great Story...But this is the total truth. I know exactly what you are talking about....My HP printer is dying and hubby wants one of those....So I talked to my techy son and he's paying me to by a Blackberry instead of a plain cell phone....
I don't want anything complicated.
KISS. Remember those initials?
I can just see you stressed through this and what makes me worse mad is when salesmen tell you that their mother could install this.
Is this a slam? I call it harassment in the work place....
Oh Yea...It'a tough life with this stuff. I loved your post.

Kahshe Cottager said...

Oh my ... my husband could relate to your experience! He is now under strict orders to never EVER push buttons or pull plugs on anything computer related. It takes me ages to find and fix all the things he has managed to mess up over the years!

Maggie May said...

You know me an absolute technophobe and that post caused me a great deal of stress just reading of your difficulties!
Glad you got it all sorted or rather your husband did!

I put all my passwords into Yojimbo and encrypt them!

French Fancy said...

What a great read Deb. Good on your husband for staying out of the way until he just ventured, just threw out a casual remark offering his help.

I leave all stuff like this to my OH. I know it's sexist but he's so quick and I make everything so laboured.

Sandi McBride said...

And couldn't you just beat the crap out of that darling Shawn? Want me to help? Wait a minute, I'll get my stick...
Sandi

david mcmahon said...

All the news that fit to print, Deb!!

TSannie said...

That was a good read! Been there, experienced that frustration...didn't like it one bit!

SandyCarlson said...

OK, so it's possible. I am inspired now to do the same. I have been living the old fashioned way, carrying documents around on a thumb drive or emailing them to myself! No more....

Sandi McBride said...

Congrats on making the Post of the Day nomination~! This one rated!
Sandi

pink dogwood said...

I hate to laugh at this when you went through so many troubles and frustrations, but this is hilarious :)

Cheffie-Mom said...

Hi, I'm over from Authorblog. Great post! Congrats on your award!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

You had me laughing out loud at this one. How typical is that. Don't we all do things like this, esp losing passwords. Salesmen are crafty creatures. Perhaps his mother's 4in1 doesn't really exist, like you suspected!

CJ xx

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, I have been there so many times!This post is wonderful! You are a master storyteller! Congrats on your mention in POTD!

Sink said...

Good golly, I think I might have been tempted to go out and buy a new reuter so that I wouldn't have to ask for help...stubborn irish woman, that I am.
Thanks for making me laugh!

Sylvia K said...

Found you through David's blog and I'm glad -- me and passwords, I have them written down in a book and if I ever lose or misplace it I'm in deep stuff! Hope you have a great time with your new 4 in 1 toy! Isn't it a great Age we live in??? Congratulations on the Award!

Now and Then said...

I know the feeling…for sure!!!.
Congrats on POTD.

Mary Elizabeth

Louise said...

I bow to you! I would hand it to my husband and go away for a couple of days!

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