Techno-Strain

One of my favorite and least favorite parts of my job is that I am the IT Guru around here. It’s not my actually job–that is reserved for marketing, and sales–but I am the first line of defense against all things electronic and malfunctioned. In the last four years, I have slowly learned more and more about computers, culminating recently in my new found ability to transfer an old hard drive with an IDE cable to a new computer with SATA cables. That was a big day.

Monday, the Financials computer (Read: Muy Importante Computer) died. The power supply went with a puff of smoke and wiff of ozone. It was not something I could fix, nor did I have time to learn, so we called our IT guy and he went to work on it. While he was here, he suggested battery backups for all of the computers. I connected those today, and in the process, for whatever reason (possibly the 6 years of age it has accrued) one of the USB ports on my dad’s computer died. It’s not really a big deal. I just have to get a USB hub, and all will be well with the world, but it put him in a tizzy.

Then about 30 minutes ago, he comes into my office and tells me the hard drive on the Financial computer was making weird buzzing, whirring noises and to call the IT guy. He also insists that it was the battery backup that must have caused the problem (and by proxy, me). Not really believing this to be an IT Guy level issue (or that the battery back up caused it), I asked to hear the noise. I walk in to find our CPA reinstalling the financial program. I ask if it has only been making the sound since they started installing and my father confirms it has. So I lean down and give the computer a listen. The sound is quite clearly coming from the CD-Rom Drive and not the hard drive. It appears to be working, so I decide it’s not much of a problem. When the CPA tries to reinstall the the program after there is an error in the install, the computer doesn’t recognize the CD-Rom drive. I become suspicious that it might be dust on the CD-Rom lens, and find my trusty Can O’ Air. I blow out the drive, and we try again. Not only is the CD recognized, but the whirring sounds are gone.

IT Guru to the rescue!

My father was ready to plop down $75 an hour for a tech to come out for a 10 minute problem. Back in the day, he was very tech savvy. He could do most anything. But these days, he has let his ability completely slip and he is becoming one of those computer illiterate types who make Best Buy’s Geek Squad so profitable. It worries me. I want to leave, I want a new job, but what happens if I do? Who will do these little things? I know that they will be ok, and they will adapt either through my father relearning these things, relying more heavily on paid tech support, or by hiring someone with my abilities, but when he calls me into his office to figure out the simplest of problems, I feel like leaving would amount to abandoning, and the guilt becomes almost palpable.

Yet another reason to never work with family.

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