I grew up as a fundamentalist, Baptist girl in the South. That tells volumes about me, actually. It is why I absolutely will not do yard work on Sundays, for fear the neighbors will raise their eyebrows at my blatant dismissal of the “Sabbath.”It is why I wear a baseball cap and shades when I head to the store and “cooking sherry” happens to be on my shopping list. And it is why I always cross my legs when I’m wearing a dress – – even if I’m standing up. (Yes, I always look like a have to pee, but that’s the price you pay to be a modest Baptist belle.)
There are certain things that are so ingrained in me that time, maturity, and even a change of religious denomination seem to have little sway over. One of the most deep-rooted dixie-chick mantras is that you never ask for help. Ever. Good southern gals will get that jar lid open if they have to scald it, beat it with spoons, put butter on it, or say 12 ‘Hail-Mary’s’ over it (or in a Baptist’s case, 12 ‘Jimmy Carter’s’). But we will get it open. By ourselves.
This character trait becomes a teensy-weensy more troublesome, however, when you are a techie. Poor R-T has had to spend many a lonely night whilst his steadfast Topsy burned the midnight oil trying to troubleshoot a particular computer snafu. Beds have gone unmade, laundry unwashed, and children unfed when a digital camera dilemma has me befuddled. Whether it is a new program that won’t install correctly, an error message that doesn’t make sense, or a cell phone contact list that has mysteriously disappeared, I simply cannot rest until I have it figured out. And R-T and the kids know better than to even mention contacting technical support. Small animals nearby have mutated from the radioactive rage that has been emitted after such previous suggestions.
So far, however, this cute little quirk of mine has done no real lasting damage to anyone but myself…until this last week. You see, the bookstore I work for part-time had decided to upgrade the computer software that tracks the store inventory and runs the registers. When the CD and 10,000 page manual for the new program arrived in the mail, I didn’t even blink. “You think you can handle this?” my boss asked worriedly. I scoffed. “It’s just an upgrade,” I replied, eyes rolling. “How difficult can it be?”
(Your smiling right now, aren’t you? All of you! You know where this story is leading, and you are taking pleasure in my imminent come-uppance! Well then, good southern Baptist upbringing that I had, I won’t say what I am thinking right now…….wait a minute. I’m all grown up now. I’m a liberal-minded, evolved, feminist Episcopalian woman now. So I’m going to tell you to stuff it up your hard drive!!)
Anyway…yes. I single-handedly, all by myself, independently took down an entire for-profit business for two profit-free days. Without help. Impressive, huh? And I was only about three more days from fixing it, too, when my boss rudely suggested (waving my paycheck over the shredder) that I call technical support.
So, under coercion, I yielded. Some nerd named Rahid came on board, hijacked my store’s computer system via some evil, big-brother style intervention called “remote access,” and had us up and running in about 30 minutes. Sure, we were back in business, and my boss could pay the light bill, but look what was ultimately lost. A tech support virgin lost her innocence that day. And southern women everywhere held their head just a little lower from that point on.