Manage-a-Conversation

Posted: September 13, 2010 in Pop Culture
Tags: , , ,

We’ve all been there before.  We’re working at a certain job and a senile, ludicrous old hag comes up and decides that since she’s been alive since the Great Depression she can flap her dentures at you in a hateful way.  We have an inner voice inside of us that wants to snap; to cuss out this blue-haired old lady for her burgeoning senility.  But we suppress it.  I want to know what would happen, to me, if there was a court reporter in my head, a stenographer taking notes of everything going on.  Here’s what I think it would look like:

Old Woman (via the phone): Hello this is _____ (insert elderly sounding name like “Ethel” or “Miriam”) and I’m in room 228.  You need to reset your internet because it’s not working.

Me: Hmmm. . .well let me take a look here and see because it would appear the internet’s working fine down here in the lobby.

Inner Me: Let me close out my fantasy football pre-season report that I’m looking at on the internet and aimlessly hammer on some keys like I’m doing something.

Me: Well it looks like the internet’s working fine down here.

Old Woman: That simply cannot be true.  I have to get the internet working for my job.  Can’t you reboot the wireless?

Me: Ma’am I’m sorry for the inconvenience but I’m not sure how to shut down the wireless.  Maybe if you’d like you can bring down your computer and I can take a look at it?

Old Lady: No!  I know how to use my own computer.  This is a terrible inconvenience for me.  Isn’t there something you can do?

Me: Well the internet is working down here just fine.  If you’d like you can come down and I’ll look for you.

Inner Me: You know how to use your computer like you know how to drive your Buick Regal, lady.  Terribly.

Old Lady: I can’t let you touch my computer.  It’s a government issued computer.

Inner Me: Government?  The last government you probably worked for was headed up by Julius Ceasar.  If you’re the kind of person the government’s hiring, I’m impressed that the economy is only this bad.  I can’t believe we’re not in complete anarchy right now.

Me: Well, then I’m not sure what to tell you.  I could get you a list of coffee houses with wireless connections in the area?

Old Lady: I can’t do that.  This is a government computer and I can’t use Wi-Fi in certain locations.  This is really, really, awful and you’re not helping.

Me: Ma’am, I’m doing my best.  I just called my manager (which I actually did) and he assured me that the internet is up and running just fine and we’ve had no other complaints.

Inner Me: What’s so confidential that you’re working on?  What’re you some 200-year-old version of James Bond?  A geriatric Jason Bourne?

Old Lady: You don’t understand, if I don’t finish this tonight then I will get fired.  If I have to move rooms, or leave to use the internet somewhere else I won’t stay here.

Me: I understand, ma’am and that’s up to you entirely.

Inner Me: Please hang up, please hang up, please hang up!

Old Lady: I’m coming down to the lobby to speak with you directly.

Me: That’s totally fine.  I’ll see you in a moment.

Inner me: I’d rather get a handjob from Edward Scissorhands.

**There’s a brief, blissful moment when I think she won’t come.  Then all of a sudden I hear someone shouting into a phone; literally screaming into it about how angry she is about a “shoddy internet” connection.  Hurricane Oldandangry has just hit Omaha.  The old lady bangs around, moping with her computer while I desperately try to find something that makes me look like I’m actually busy.**

Old Lady: The internet’s still not working.  This is making me really upset.  What can you do about it?

Me: Well my hands are tied.  I’m sure you know your computer better than I do–

Inner Me (interrupting): Pry your arthritic fingers off that mofo and just. . .let. . .me. . .look.

Me (cont.): But have you tried re-starting it?

Old Lady: I know what I’m doing.  Don’t you have one of those chords back there?  To plug in to get the internet?

Inner Me: Actually I’m thinking about hanging myself with one of those in just a moment.

Me: Let me see what I can find.

**I dig around and pull out a random electrical-looking cable that will satisfy her cataract-blurred vision.  Plug it in and allow her to futz around on her laptop that looks straight out of 1998.**

Old Lady: Well this isn’t working either.

**She flips her wireless off for a moment thinking that will help the situation.  Disgustedly she flips it back on.**

Inner Me: Holy shit. . .Houston, we have an extremely slow, extremely aggravating, calcium-deprived liftoff.

Me: Oh, did switching the wireless off and then back on work?

Old Lady: (shocked) Why yes!  I can’t believe I’ve figured it out.  It’s working. . .for now.  But your internet was terrible earlier.  I. . .uh. . .we’ll see if it keeps working.

Me: Well I’m glad you figured it out.  Sorry for the trouble.

Inner Me: If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go behind the desk and start snorting ginko biloba to improve my memory so that I remember how much it sucks when you’re old, pissed, and unwilling to accept help.

The moral is this: when are we going to ignore the old cliche that “with age comes wisdom?”  Clearly it’s more like, “with a base-level of intelligence, a willingness to not be set in your out-dated ways, and a belief that you can always learn from the bevy of experiences that you’ve dealt with in your life comes wisdom?”  Is that probably too long?  Yes.  But so is a life spent wallowing in ignorance.

I have nothing against the elderly.  I respect what they have done; the toil they have gone through so that I can sit my fat ass down on the cushioned seat that is the 21st century.  I just wish that people weren’t too proud to ask for help when it was needed.

I only hope that our generation realizes that fact when we’re struggling with our holographic image devices or our flying cars when we’re in our ’80s.  Personally, I don’t care if I have to smoke Ginko out of a crack-pipe, I’m going to do my damndest to remember how much it sucks to be the young guy, wishing that the elderly would just let me help them with things that they’re inexperienced dealing with.

FIN

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