Listen my children, pick your career wisely. Nobody ever thinks about how many of your friends and family will expect “free service” for whatever skills you may have.
“You don’t want to be the only doctor in a family,” one MD told me. “You end up standing over the death bed for everybody and their brother.”
At one point in my life, I went into the “family business” and became a teacher. Nobody asked me for any favors. When I told horrible student stories they rolled their eyes. Or worse, someone had a better story about when she taught a mass murdering, gay, cannibal how to outline a story.
Crappy pay, and my inability to write legibly, got me “into computers.” None of my students could read my golden nuggets of wisdom that I spent hours scrawling on their piece of shit papers.
I had to learn how to network their machines, share files and edit electronically so they could clearly understand when I wrote pearls like:
“Your first sentence sucks canal water.”
“My dog can pick better active verbs than you.”
Or “Now that you’ve got your period, you are old enough to use them at the end of sentences.” (I always deleted that one before sending back to the kid — but I was thinking it goddamn it, I was thinking it. I really wanted to send it to several junior high football players).
After a few months of connecting these machines, I ended up being the family “IT guy.”
Luckily there’s a couple of nerdy engineer types connected to the Savages, so I never had to deal with the Savage computers.
But my damn family is full of computer phobic idiots.
The Bear and the Boy were largely useless for 22 years. Every Blue Screen of Death became my weekend or weeks long project — whether the computer was mine, or her’s or his, or owned by one of our employers.
Anybody who ever fucked with Windows 3.2, or 2000 or XP knows why some men kill their families and then themselves.
“You are scary in front of that machine,” the Bear said. “Did you ever notice that the Boy and I go hide in the other part of the house?”
“No, no, honey – I never noticed,” I said.
But I thought: You better fucking hide after asking me: “how long is this gonna take?”
For all the shit I give the douchebag millennials, I must admit they picked up technology the way my generation learned how to dial or pizza delivery. Eventually, the Boy weaned himself from my computer skills, and now he has IT duty for smart phones. Karma, mother fuckers, karma.
The same can’t be said of the greatest generation. Dad loves his email, checking his 4 websites and typing out snail-mail letters to his friends in Word.
But every hard drive error, suspected virus or software update is my problem. All 4 of my goddamn siblings suck at this shit, or “live” too far away, or just let me “know” when there’s a problem. Fuckers.
Now I have to know everything about my computer, and his. Doesn’t matter what he buys or downloads, I’m the fucking expert. And if I can’t fix it, I’m the useless idiot son who is just wasting everyone’s time.
Every family could use a plumber, an electrician or someone with some useful skills. Wires and pipes haven’t changed much in a 100 years. But tech sucks. The new shit is always breaking the old shit and when it doesn’t work, you are in deep shit.
And that, kids, is why, you don’t want to be the “Family IT Guy.”