A few days ago my nephew and his cousin come over to get their laptops fixed by “Uncle Vinny” since he is a computer person. Since I spend all day online my family assumes that I fix computers for a living. Yes I am good at seeing what is broken after they tell me what they were doing and I am usually successful in fixing their computers.
This week my nephew Joey's computer wasn't playing nice after a windows update and Norton's decided they didn't want to play nice together. That happens from time to time. We did a roll back and all was well until the windows update happened again and we went right back to square one. We have a new computer shop around the corner from my house, we took the laptop in. I gave up on it.
His cousin Micheal's laptop was in worse condition. He tells us it hasn't worked since he spilled beer or soda on the keyboard. Debbie popped the battery and it started right up only to last a day or so. It was old so that laptop is being replaced, no harm done.
My brother Joe ‘s computers go haywire all the time and I am pressed into service to fix. Last month it was spyware that reinstalled itself on boot up. It was a pain in the butt to get rid of it but after a few Spybot runs and some other tools it was OK for a while until more spyware appeared. That computer has since been replaced and they didn't ask me to fix it after the first time. I probably could have saved him some money but it is what it is. Next computer purchase he will be getting a mac.
The best story is my aunt. She is new to computers and last year while we were riding in the car she ask me if I could fix her computer. I ask what is wrong and she tells me that internet explorer won't go online and it gives her an error message. She then tells me it has been about two weeks but no one has called her about it 🙂 Yes she was expecting Bill Gates to call her.
How do you handle family members when they have computer problems and expect you to be the expert?
Eric Schwarzer says
Pretend you’re as clueless as they are. Or charge money.