The Tech Support Generation

A few years back someone coined the phrase to describe my generation (The Boomers). They called us “The Sandwich Generation”. That’s because we are sandwiched between taking care of our children, and our aging parents at the same time. It makes sense.

I’m not sure whom these people are who make up terms like that, and have them accepted and distributed around the world. They are part of the proverbial “THEY”, as in …”You know what THEY say”.

The wisdom of “THEY” is undisputed. It is quite a prestigious group to belong to. As I enter the final phase of my life, I have realized that I am running out of time to secure a lasting legacy that the world will remember me by. Therefore, this blog is an application to join “THEY”, and secure my place in world history for eternity.

The inspiration came to me last week. My 88 year old mother called me (AGAIN!!!) and told me her phone wasn’t working (AGAIN!!!). I told her (AGAIN!!!) that it is indeed working just fine; she pushed the wrong button (AGAIN!!!) and changed the settings. This is a weekly, sometimes daily occurrence.

And it’s not just the cell phone; it’s also the TV. In an informal survey of my friends, I have discovered that seniors tend to fiddle with the buttons on the remote control until they randomly find the Input button, and change the source. The TV input goes from HDMI 1, to HDMI 2 and the screen goes blue. And (AGAIN!!!), I get that call that the TV isn’t working.

I took the computer away years ago. The volume of calls was unmanageable. And, she still has an old fashion (relative term here) flip phone. A smart phone in my mom’s hands would be a Tech Support nightmare.

At the same time, my daughter called me and complained that her computer was running slow. I looked at it and discovered that she hadn’t cleared the history on her Internet browser, and that it was loaded with Cookies. We looked at all of her open programs, closed everything out, cleared the cache, and off she went, able to surf the net in lightening speed.

Meet The “Tech Support Generation”

Between my mom and my children (and even my wife who is not quite tech literate, and I’m being kind here), I am the family Tech Support. All new hardware and software purchase proposals of any kind must receive my signature in advance in order to make sure they buy the right kind of device and/or program necessary to meet their needs. When left alone, they tend to buy the wrong stuff. I get the calls at all hours of the day when something isn’t operating as expected.

This job is especially frustrating when dealing with my mom. Please don’t accuse me of being Ageist, or prejudice. I love my mother, and take her calls night and day. I have received that call at 11pm numerous times; with the same “can you come over now and fix my TV?” call. And being the conscientious son I am, I put on my pants (as I am usually in my underwear by then), and off I go. I know she won’t sleep until she knows the TV is “working” again. I have tried, with no success, to talk her through the fix on the phone.

When I handle Tech Support over the phone, and tell her to find the TV/Video button, I get the same response. “It’s not here, I swear to God”. I tell her that I know, and am not accusing her of lying.  There is no need to swear to God.

In the case of my children, they are digital natives and haven’t learned all of the ways a person can screw up or use their electronics. Tech Support calls for them are rarely the same problem twice. I consider this less Tech Support, and more of a opportunity to teach. These calls are easier on my patience. But, they are Tech Support requests none-the-less.

My Proposal

To whomever the person or committee is who decides what phrases make it into the lexicon, I am submitting the term “Tech Support Generation” for your consideration. My generation certainly does fill that position. It would be a great honor to have this accepted and distributed. I can’t be 100% sure I am the first to use it. But since I have not heard it used, I am making claim to it.

You, whoever and wherever you are, have the ability to fulfill an aging Boomer’s wish, and give me the thrill of a lifetime. Nothing would make me more proud than to become a member of “They”.

Please accept this application. Whenever I fix one of my mom’s electronics, she tells me I will be rewarded in Heaven. For all of the work I have done, I certainly deserve it. But I would like that reward in the Here-And-Now.