January 17, 2014 in Features

The Slice: Household gadget guru knows more than you do

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Does every household have someone who emerges as the go-to tech expert?

OK, I suspect some Spokane-area homes are full of them. And others, maybe, are without anyone truly adept at dealing with computer issues or cable TV complications.

At my house, though, the answer is clear.

Six months or a year ago, a service technician came to our place on a Saturday. Can’t even remember why. Something to do with the computers, phones or televisions.

At some point early on, he had a question but first asked, “Who’s the IT specialist?”

I gestured toward my wife.

It has always been that way. She understands stuff. And she doesn’t rattle when seemingly inexplicable problems crop up.

It’s amazing. Annoying glitches or maddening mystery crashes that would have me swearing and loudly expressing a desire to return to the halcyon days of typewriters or stone tablets, she takes in stride. She keeps calm and works the problem.

In honor of my late father, a World War II combat veteran, I refer to this as “staying on the bomb run.”

Not everyone can do it.

On other occasions, I quote a 1980s radio show and proudly note that she has “a master’s degree … in science!”

(It’s a master’s degree in library science, but that counts in my book.)

Of course, there’s a problem with this. When Family Member A repeatedly demonstrates tech savvy, Family Member B sometimes stops trying to learn anything new and gets in the habit of deferring any and all modern-gadget problems to Family Member A.

Though understandable, this puts a bit of a burden on Family Member A. And Family Member A might even be moved to bring up an ancient Bill Cosby routine in which a dad feigns incompetence so consistently that he eventually reaches a point of never being asked to do anything.

As if.

So which Family Member are you — A, B or none of the above?

Today’s Slice question: I realize it is not a meritocracy. But how many Spokane-area residents are profiled on personal Wikipedia pages?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. What did the photographer do to get your family to smile when you were posing for a portrait?


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