omg, I am familiar with this experience. actually, though, I have a degree in Computer User Support, wherein we learned to make sure that the user handles the mouse and follows our very clear step-by-step instructions, and if it comes to the point where it’s necessary to take over, we must always ask permission to use the mouse. (I really like this, even though it makes things go much more slowly, it is so empowering for the user. sidenote: I also help tutor classes for women who have never used computers before, and it is the most amazing thing to see the difference between how they feel about computers from the beginning of the class to the end 3 or 4 hours later.)
however. whenever my family needs technical help, they pretty much try to explain the symptoms they’ve noticed, and then leave me to it. I prefer this method. :) xoxoxo
Sis #3: Should I open the doohickey? Me: … Sis #3: As you know, I like to use very technical terms. So do I just remove this thingamabob? Me: Yes. Wait, what are you talking about? (later)
Her: Is it Apple Talk? Does that do it? Me: No. Her: What about HP IP Printing? Me: What are you doing? Her: Being difficult. I should just follow directions and stop clicking on things, huh? Me: Yes.
(while digging around in a drawer, looking for the printer USB cord)
Her: You know how there’s this extension cord that you can plug into your extension cord thing? Me: … Her: You know that cord? Me: To make your power cord longer? Her: Yes. Me: Yes. Her: That’s what I just found. Me: That’s not what we’re looking for… Her: I know. I was just telling you. Me: Uh…
(few min and random tangents later)
Her: Let me just check the back of the printer, it looks like there’s something plugged in… I’m a moron. It’s right here. Me:*headdesk* Her: Ok, look, it’s coming up now. But, Rae-rae, will it recognize… What is this page? What am I doing here? Me: I have no idea.
(much later, and at least one disconnect later she gets sidetracked)
Her: I don’t know how my s-o-n figured out the App Store, he can’t read and yet he totally found and bought the iFart application. And right next to it is the iBeer application. How do I remove this crap? Me: Just hold your finger down on the app until they all start jiggling and then just hit the little circle with the X on it to remove an app. Her: Now how do I stop the jiggling? Me: Just hit the Home button… the round button at the bottom of your phone. Her: You are so cool. (much, much later, my nephew is sick of waiting to go to the toy store)
Her: Just a minute, J, we’re almost done. My Nephew: I hate computers. Me: Me too.