It really pisses me off when you ask me to fix your computer.
It pisses me off, because I love you.
When you give me the “can you fix my computer” call, the call means something different to me than it means to you.
To me, it means I will have to stay up all night, buy and try and swap replacement parts, image and restore your hard drive, remove all the malware, and make your computer work the way you imagine it once did, all while ignoring my other family members, my paying work and life commitments.
At my standard rates I would typically charge around $4,000 to fix your seven year old virus-ridden Dell. Your seven year old virus-ridden Dell isn’t worth $100 on Ebay. Should I tell you that? Will you think I am lying or making the $4,000 number up? I am not. You will think I am insulting you if I tell you I make $4,000 for similar work. You are too poor to pay me anywhere near that much though.
Of course I could always send you to Geek Squad. They would of course stupidly and automatically reformat your hard drive and reinstall the OS. If I do that, you will lose all your bank records and baby pictures permanently, to vastly less competent technicians than myself. They would take your money and destroy your data, and they would not even fix the true source of the problem. And you would be very, very, very sad.
And I would know in my heart I could have helped you, but didn’t.
No. I won’t do that to you.
I will take pity on you because you are clearly panicking and unable to eat, sleep or breathe until I save you and your data.
For you, and you alone, I will do a first-rate professional forensic data recovery and reinstallation. I’ll image the drive, work around all the bad sectors, copy it onto a virtual machine, extract your baby pictures and Quicken data, install a new non-shitty hard drive, reinstall all the apps and operating system and your recovered data (sans viruses and spyware), replace the dying fan, update the BIOS, and I will furthermore provide you with an external drive and teach you how to back up your system regularly with it.
Disappointingly, you will fuck up your computer again in a few years, when you refuse to take my advice and do regular backups on the backup drive that I bought for you, specifically for that purpose.
And when your piece of shit computer fails again, you will call me. Panicking. Again.
And the agonizing cycle will repeat.
Being the computer expert in the family is like being the doctor in the family, except you’re the surgeon and everyone expects you to operate on them constantly, suddenly, perfectly, AND pay for the operating room and sedatives and hospital recovery, AND you still consistently refuse to follow my medical advice.
I do all this, for free, because you are so thankful afterwards.
I do all this, for free, because I love you.
I just wish you weren’t so fucking stupid about computers sometimes.by