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Where is a 12-year-old When You Really Need One?

I have often bemoaned the absence of a twelve-year-old in my immediate family to help out with the dozens of daily problems that crop up in my home and office which definitely require the technical expertise of a twelve-year-old.

Early last month my cable box died (during the eighth inning of a one-run ball game!) The box wasn’t that old, and hadn’t given the slightest hint that it was ailing. Of course, it was a Sunday evening so I couldn’t get an appointment for a technician to come and fix the problem until the following day. This was definitely NOT how I had intended to close out the week-end!

So the next morning, an amiable cable guy arrived on my doorstep, and identified the problem immediately, while making fast friends with my cat, who usually makes a point of shunning all visitors - especially male visitors. The cable guy removed the deceased cable box, informing me that the company was recalling all cable boxes anyway, since so many people have “smart” appliances these days. He also reassured me that my ROKU-equipped television would not need any more adjustments, and all I had to do was select my favorite stations.

But after he had departed, it became apparent that I was never going to be able to negotiate the unfamiliar mazes (plural) that now presented themselves, and daring me to conquer any of them.

So I ate a lonely dinner at my dining table (the alternative being on a TV tray in front of a blank screen), and went to bed with a good book. (Let’s be honest; there are worse ways to end the day.)

The next day I made a concerted effort to “program” my ROKU, even spending several hours online - and finding no help at all (at least in any language I could recognize). I am not such a troglodyte that I don’t acknowledge that ROKU is a clear competitor to my cable provider, but since this was actually the fault of my cable company (after all, it was their cable box that I paid a monthly fee to use), I thought they might offer at least some succor.

So I called the cable company again to schedule another techie to come show me how to navigate my own TV. But of course, they were all booked up, so I had to wait yet another 24 hours!

After another technology- and news-free day, another Cable Guy arrived to make friends with my previously human-averse male cat, and set up a new cable box, (in direct contradiction of the previous technician’s assertion that the company was abandoning them!) The “old” box had occupied an entire wide shelf in my TV/bookcase/console. But this new one is the size and shape of a dainty beverage coaster! He then handed me a new clicker, plus a card with a helpful diagram identifying what an “arrow” was, and where the “on” button was - but nary a hint as to how to operate the bloody thing! It was obvious I was on my own.

And here I sit, weeks later, still trying to identify and mark my favorite channels as “Favorite”, despite the fact that there seems to be no such list.

HELP! I am in technology hell, and it is only getting worse.



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