I have been so busy setting up my new computer I haven't had much time to use it! Events have conspired to shorten my time at home lately and much of it has been spent trying to transfer photos, music, and documents from my old computer to this one. There's a marvelous little tool called a migration assistant tucked in my applications folder but apparently we didn't understand each other. I wanted all my music, all my documents and all my photos to migrate. The MA didn't get that so I've had to resort to various subterfuges (my favorite is Dropbox) to makes sure nothing got left behind. It's been a tedious, weekend-long project.
The newer version of Microsoft Office I purchased required a pin number to activate and of course, it didn't. It was a valid pin, said the first person I called at Microsoft. Perhaps, she suggested, I should call the retailer and get them to activate my card. Turns out they already had. My second, rather impatient call to Microsoft was answered by a woman in India, where it was three o'clock in the morning. She met my slightly frantic tone politely, assuring me that she could help. Then she did something that amazed me - she asked permission to tap into my computer so she could see what I was doing and wham! just like that this person, thirty years my junior and from the other side of the world, was moving the selection arrow around on my computer. I still don't understand how a radio works; this kind of technology is far beyond my comprehension. With a few clicks accompanied by a concise explanation of what she was doing, she activated my download and set about installing the latest updates.
While the little vertical barbershop pole wound its way along the bar, we chatted. We called each other by our first names, Mohini and Pauline. She asked about the weather here and told me how hot is was there. We talked about advances in technology and how she had to constantly train to keep up with it all so that she could be of help to callers. We discussed the difficulties of language barriers, and of always being patient with people while they sorted through their frustrations online. She was the personification of patience and helpfulness and before we knew it, the program was up and running.
Mohini's graciousness, her infectious laughter, her enthusiasm for her job, came across the phone line and changed the way I thought of people on the other end of helplines. We who have technical problems are impatient to have them solved. We've paid money for a product and we want it to work perfectly. But little in life is trouble free. Thank goodness for the Mohinis of the world who, with expertise and grace under pressure, teach us more than how to use our computers. They teach us that kindness and patience are far more valuable than the machines they are helping us to understand.