Revenge of the nerds

The tech guys from Vancouver were in recently.

Something about "network upgrades" and "migrating onto the corporate servers" and some other Klingon talk no one understands but they like to spout in fancy polysyllabic tongue twisters to make themselves feel good and sound important.

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To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the 10 most terrifying words in the English language are: "I'm from the IT department and I'm here to help."

We didn't get off to a good start when one of the nerds scurried into my office to ask about blahblahblahblah. He didn't like it when I replied that if he'd stop speaking tech nerd 2.0, I might have an idea what he wanted.

And it went downhill from there.

Each day, everything got worse and by Friday morning, I couldn't even log onto my computer, never mind access the network, read emails, update the website, chat on the phone (run through the Interweb), edit the stories of reporters or anything else I'm supposed to do.

If weather forecaster is the only job in the world where you get paid to be wrong more than half the time, tech support is the only job in the world where upgrades are downgrades, you get to talk down to your customers without consequence and where you get to create problems (like network enhancements and server migrations) in order to fix them at a later time of your choosing.

Unfortunately, I've taken it out on the equipment in the past.

"You're missing your screen cover?" the tech guy asked me as he was "working" on my computer.

"Oh, that's just what happened the last time I had the endless spinning wheel of death while trying to get work done on deadline, which is all the time in my world," I replied.

Instead of answering, because computer geeks don't follow standard conversation protocols because it is beneath them, he abruptly looked down at the keyboard and started typing urgently (none of them can touch type).

Then he sat back to watch the spinning wheel. He took a breath and opened his mouth, I suspect to ask about the handsome dent on the top of my monitor, but then thought better of it.

My staff were also struggling, trying to do their jobs with both hands tied behind their backs. The only consolation I was able to provide was to pass out more of the chocolate chip cookies photographer James Doyle brought in and make sports conversation.

"You can login now," tech guy said, walking away.

So I did.

And my computer was as good as new.

And by good as new, I mean that the computer has forgotten all of my settings, network connections, preferred applications and everything else about its identity.

Meanwhile, the Image Archive server, where we keep all of our photographs dating back to 2000, disappeared and they were trying to find it. We were in a panic but they seemed so calm. That's probably because their flight back to Vancouver was leaving in four hours.

I offered them a ride up to the airport (so I could drop them off in Salmon Valley) but they cheerfully pointed to the full-size pickup rental sitting in the parking lot.

I asked them if they had a licence to operate heavy machinery.

They didn't laugh.

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