Thursday, July 30, 2015

Why do I know more than tech support?

Well, not in all cases.  Probably more often tech support knows far more than I do about a given problem.

In too many cases, I get advice that is way off-base or misleading.

We are going to “cut the cord” soon and go completely wireless.  Among other things, we have to change how we use our wireless printer.  Rather than go through our modem/router, we will have to use a cable and switch the cable between computers.

I looked and looked at the manual for where the connections were.  I found mention of using USB or Ethernet cables, but I could find no diagram showing where the connections were.

I sent email to tech support of the manufacturer and received a reply in less than 12 hours.

As usual, the flowery answer didn’t really answer the question.  On first blush!  The answer contained a diagram of the back of the printer.  The diagram labeled the connections.  Way in the middle of the side farthest from me were a USB port and a LAN port.

The USB port takes a connector different from the flat connector most of us are used to.

What’s a LAN port?  I should know the answer but don’t.  Look it up: Local Area Network!  The cable for a LAN is an Ethernet cable!  Smack me upside the head!  I knew that!  But, the directions never use the two terms together.  What are poor non-techies to do with such a gap.

Before I got the answer from tech support, I tried printing with the modem’s phone line disconnected.  It worked!  Ah ha!  The modem is the router, not the Apple Time Machine.  So, we have to keep the modem when we “cut the cord”.  However, if the modem conks out, then I know how to use the Ethernet cable.

What amazes me is that nobody would hire me in my 60s for this problem solving ability.  Now in my 70s, I too often know more than tech support!

What amazes me even more is the people who complain about government inefficiency never consider the rampant inefficiency in too many corporations.