Snap! The sound of my single solitary solo still firing neuron. It is wrapped in gauze, sprayed with healing aloe, surrounded by a barbed wire fence with sentries on twenty-four watch. I could say in a cliche'd way, that you are on my last nerve, but the truth is I will not let you or any other interloper near it.
Because I am a survivor of a four week ride in a bucket of bolts,
a junker, a rattletrap wreck which will now and forever more be remembered as...
The Albino Turd
I struggled to come up with words to describe this hard fought journey, but frayed nerves led me to sleepless nights, gnawed fingernails, and rather unnatural keening noises. The neurons in my addled brain and damaged psyche led me to some distant rarely accessed chat room in the bottom drawer of a file cabinet in the basement storage unit in the flashbulb memory department under the heading “useless but retrievable data”.
Thus. One single thought. One memory flash.
The Albino Turd. The pinpointedly accurate nickname of a four wheel wreck of a car, a friend in college drove, pushed, repaired and dragged over four years to cross the finish line at graduation.Of nondescript color and a foul smelling interior no dinky pine tree deodorizer hanging from the rear view mirror could dispel, the Albino Turd was unreliable, often in need of repair, overlooked by thieves and reviled by passersby. It did, however, like the turtle in the race with the hare, cough and sputter and crawl to win the race.
As I have been told, over and over again, key words and meta tags are essential in driving a website forward. True.
So here are my key words for this blog right up front and in bold lettering.
When one is on life support and in need of repair, technical support is the lifeline we all reach for. Well that, and perhaps a stiff drink or two or three. Although, doctors and healers tend to frown on dirty martinis free flowing through the IV in an emergency.
Technical support is NOT a seventeen page menu of options and numbers which lead you to another menu of options until the battery on your phone runs dry.
Technical support is NOT possible if there is a language barrier. Support is a two way conversation. It requires patient listening and the conscious desire to be of help to the person who is yearning for it. Help me please. Something is broken and I cannot fix it on my own. Yes I have read the manual, followed the directions, waited on hold for ten, fifteen, twenty minutes. But there is still a spinning whirling dervish in front of my face and...please hold for the next available...another neuron bites the dust as the connection is dropped.
Technical Support is NOT practical when the technician speaks in thirty second geek bytes, then sighs when you ask for a repeat.
And Technical Support is NOT a please help me email, or text or call that is never answered, returned or acknowledged. When invited to a conversation it is kinder to RSVP you are not coming ever ever ever, than to just not SHOW UP, ever ever ever.
Once upon a time, in a blog long ago, I told you that my father, clad in his one and only ripped-at-the-knee suit pants, gathered me close, after my mother sewed on a patch and said...everything in this world, my love, can be mended. Everything.
So I come to you now, to tell you what True Technical Support Is.
In the past four weeks, I have spent forty-seven hours (yes, I kept track) with True Technical Support. Shawn, Isobel, Eric and Daniel. Stephan and Patrick. One on one, step by step, patient, uninterrupted conversation. Giving me time to slow down, and time to catch up. Teaching me, guiding me through the steps back to wellness. They supported me. Me.
How do I know?
Because in the midst of hours of trial and error and try try try, oh man I want to cry, they said these actual words...
Don’t worry. I won’t leave you till we get this fixed.
There is an answer. We just haven’t found it yet. So let’s keep looking.
I know it’s 10PM and you must be tired and I should stop because TECHNICALLY we close down at 10PM, but what do you say we give it one more half hour.
We have to wipe it all clean and start over one application at a time. Are you ready to take a chance of losing it all, with the hope that if we take that risk we can build it back up better than ever?
So I took the risk. And lost everything. And went to bed in tears. Knowing in my heart that no one was really going to call me back. I patted my Albino Turd of a computer, pulled the plug and cried myself to sleep.
But the next day, I called back, and there they were...waiting for my call and ready to try again.
Then finally a face to face, one on one, fine tuning event lasting two hours and ending with a round of Genius High Fives and grins all around. The color returned to the screen and to my face, and the stench of doom and gloom, replaced with the sweet smell of success.
Tender Loving Care
Morale Building Support is good for business.
A Rescue Remedy. An Over the Counter encounter with dinged up, slightly dented, bumped and bruised, hanging by a thread, on the edge of the ledge, moment of care. A reminder that there is a neuron worth saving, a kind word worth saying and a thank you note in writing.
So, my friends, out there in the garden, I have missed being with you, but am so grateful for the opportunity to make new ones.
I asked last post, for a date with Han Solo, and ended up with Yoda, the Ewok Village, and the entire Star Wars Technical Team.
But I must be totally transparent, as the turning point, the moment I regained enough nerve endings to see clearly, even without my reading glasses, came in a galaxy quite near by.
In the midst of the throes of what I considered to be very personal anguish, a life threatening event, I ran head first into real life, real anguish and someone needing more than technical support. A young mother of three, her sweet head, hairless and uncovered, staring into the mirror of the Beauty Salon, her best friend, the owner, lovingly penciling in tiny sketches where her eyebrows should have been, and a touch of color to her chemo faded cheeks. Single mother of three. Breast cancer. Double mastectomy. Allergic reaction to chemo. Lost her job and her benefits last week.
Who does she call for technical support?
But there it was, all around her. The photographer leaned in to catch her in the most flattering light, and the stylists gathered round to put the finishing touches on a Facebook Page on her behalf. A contest to help with donations.
Extra Tender Loving Care.
It’s October. Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Everything can be mended, he said.
We won’t leave you till we get this fixed.