Tech Support - PLEASE?

If there's one role in my life that's working out, it's my job in tech support. Finally my lifelong nerdiness has paid off – for my parents, that is. While I was never enough of a geek to cash in, I am enough of one to be responsible for solving all computer problems in my immediate family.

When you're in tech support, you actually don many roles. When it's time to update some software, I'm called on as an instructor. When it's time to consider updating computer systems, I'm a serving in more of a financial advisor role. And, when files disappear mysteriously, I'm called on for divine intervention, and sometimes, grief counseling.

All of which reminded me of an observation made by a friend of mine, Lizette. Life, she noted, needs tech support. We really need someone we can call when life's hard drives crash, when the mental software locks up, when everything begins to mysteriously end up in the recycle bin.

While I'm fulfilling the role as tech support on the computer end of things, I am still looking for a bit of tech support in my own life role as mom.

There are many times as a parent when I could really use some significant tech support. Frankly you can call your family for advice only so often before they just grow silent on the phone, waiting for you to figure it out. Like you'd be calling if you had a clue.

That would never happen with Parental Tech Support.

I can see it now. You'd ring up the special number given to you as you exited the birthing room, the number you'd have since tattooed to your palm. You'd be on hold for an hour and forty minutes, listening to periodic assurances that you are important. Then you'd make your selection from a long menu of choices, many of which have changed to keep you from zipping through. You'd never hit 0 for customer service, because that would be cheating. Plus it wouldn't work anyway.

You'd almost be lulled to sleep with the soft rock music and repeated admonishments to not hang up or else you'd lose your place in line, when you break through. You'd suddenly be talking to a real, live person. They'd be reading from a script on their computer screen in New Dehli, or Florida, or San Marcos, or some other exotic call center locale, giving you hours and hours of advice. They'd send you up the chain of expertise until it seemed like you were talking to Dr. Spock himself, and you'd get more advice, all of which would, in the end, be completely useless.

Still, you'd feel so much better. You'd feel like you had help, like you weren't in this alone. You'd come away knowing you and your tech support person had tried absolutely everything to get your child to eat something other than frosting, or read something that didn't involve ball gowns. So hours later, when you ended up reading Sleeping Beauty for the 27th time or watching as all the tops were eaten off the donuts, you'd understand.

This is a hardware problem.