Balancing Act


In recent years the word “balance” has acquired great importance in my life.  You’re never going to have a straight-line, steady, every-day-the-same kind of life, but you can have a balanced life.  After a bad day, you intentionally set out to balance it with a happier day.  A good laugh is important; it matters.  (Obviously, I am not the author of the following dialogues.)

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Tech support: What kind of computer do you have?
Female customer: A white one . . ..
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Customer: Hi, this is Celine. I can’t get my diskette out.
Tech support: Have you tried pushing the button?
Customer: Yes, sure, it’s really stuck.
Tech support: That doesn’t sound good; I’ll make a note.
Customer: No, wait a minute… I hadn’t inserted it yet . . . it’s still on my desk.  Sorry . . ..

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Tech support: Click on the “My Computer” icon on to the left of the screen.
Customer: Your left or my left?
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Tech support: Good day. How may I help you?
Male customer: Hello, I can’t print.
Tech support: Would you click on “start” for me and—
Customer: Listen, pal, don’t start getting technical on me! I’m not Bill Gates.
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Customer: Hi, good afternoon, this is Martha.  I can’t print. Every time I try, it says, “Can’t find printer.”  I’ve even lifted the printer and placed it in front of the monitor, but the computer still says he can’t find it . . ..
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Customer: I have problems printing in red . . .
Tech support: Do you have a color printer?
Customer: Aaaah, thank you.
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Tech support: What’s on your monitor now, ma’am?
Customer: A teddy bear my boyfriend bought for me at the 7-11.
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Customer: My keyboard is not working anymore.
Tech support: Are you sure it’s plugged into the computer?
Customer: No. I can’t get behind the computer.
Tech support: Pick up your keyboard and walk 10 paces back.
Customer: Okay.
Tech support: Did the keyboard come with you?
Customer: Yes.
Tech support: That means the keyboard is not plugged in. Is there another keyboard?
Customer: Yes, there’s another one here.  Ah . . . that one does work.
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Tech support: Your password is the small letter “a” as in apple, a capital letter V as in Victor, the number 7 . . ..
Customer: Is that 7 in capital letters?
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Customer: I can’t get on the Internet.
Tech support: Are you sure you used the right password?
Customer: Yes, I’m sure. I saw my colleague do it.

Tech support: Can you tell me what the password was?
Customer: Five stars.
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Tech support: What anti-virus program do you use?
Customer: Netscape.
Tech support: That’s not an anti-virus program.
Customer: Oh, sorry—Internet Explorer.
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Customer: I have a huge problem. A friend has placed a screen saver on my computer, but every time I move the mouse, it disappears.
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Tech support: How may I help you?
Customer: I’m writing my first e-mail.
Tech support: Okay, and what seems to be the problem?
Customer: Well, I have the letter ‘a’ in the address, but how do I get the circle around it?
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A woman customer called the Canon help desk with a problem with her printer.
Tech support: Are you running it under Windows?
Customer: No, my desk is next to the door, but that is a good point. The man sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window, and his printer is working fine.
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Tech support: Okay Bob, let’s press the Control and Escape keys at the same time.  That brings up a task list in the middle of the screen. Now type the letter P to bring up the Program Manager.
Customer: I don’t have a P.
Tech support: On your keyboard, Bob.
Customer: What do you mean?
Tech support: P on your keyboard, Bob.
Customer: I’M NOT GOING TO DO THAT!

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
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