Monday, 25 February 2013

In which I can't tell the difference between tech support and flirting

Sometimes a situation needs no reading. Sometimes you know full well that the remark from your particularly passive-aggressive colleague about what you’re having for lunch should just have been phrased, “Well that clearly explains the size of your bottom”; or that the plumber is trying to pull a fast one because he’s on the phone to a young woman when everyone knows, plumber included, that £50 per hour is NOT a reasonable rate to change a loo siphon.

But sometimes a situation is slightly more opaque and you're not quite sure what just happened...

I was in the pub last week, nursing a G&T and waiting for Domestic Slut and La Chanteuse for a long-overdue, post-cat acquisition (DS), post-wedding (LC) catch up. I’d elegantly plonked myself down at a table next to the radiator, wrapped up in a leather jacket against the biting South London, February winds.

Whipping my iPad out of my bag (it was either that, or the copy of Horse & Rider I had at the bottom of my bag, and I tend to find that any equine periodical tends to elicit very peculiar looks anywhere inside the M25), I settled in with my drink to catch up on some reading.

At the next table was a man in his mid-thirties, tapping away at a laptop. Every so often, as I took a sip of my drink, I could see him looking over in my direction. I thought nothing of it, and carried on with an excellent and highly recommended Wired piece on Gunther von Hagens until a gentle cough caused me to look round.

“Um, er, excuse me,” he’d stopped typing and was looking at me from over his laptop. I lowered my iPad and looked up. “Are you any good with computers?”

I laughed. “God, no, not in the slightest. Sorry.” And went back to my plastinated cadavers.

“Oh, um… I was hoping you’d be able to help me… I don’t know quite what’s going on.”

“I really don’t think I’m going to be much use, I promise you.” Again, I tried to turn back to the screen.

“Oh, er, it’s just that… well, I’m typing, and then I go backwards, and it types over the text that’s already there.”

“Oh! Oh gosh,” I said, slightly baffled that there would be any sort of computing difficulty I’d ever be able to lend a useful hand with. “You’ve just hit the overwrite button. Try hitting the ‘insert’ key – that should fix it.”

He tapped a button on the keyboard. “Ah! That’s done it. A stroke of brilliance. You’re clearly…” He looked down at the table. “Oh, sorry, would you mind if I just…? Hi, yep, what is it? I’m just…

I turned away as he took the phonecall, to see my companions bluster in from the cold night outside.

I never found out what I clearly was; whether he was clearly in need of a little more computer literacy; or whether he was just so clearly terrible at the chatting up-thing that it was difficult to tell it from a genuine cry for tech support.

6 comments:

Bess O said...

When i doubt, assume you're being chatted up and rest easy in the knowledge that you've still got it?

Blonde said...

Bess: You're right. It's really the only sensible option.

nuttycow said...

You were, without a doubt, being chatted up. Surely there are no men in their 30s who don't know about the insert key of death? I learnt that lesson a long time ago (about the time when most of an essay was deleted through exuberant typing).

You can preen.

Blonde said...

NC: Well this was my theory. But then I thought, maybe, it would be SUCH an appalling way to chat someone up that maybe he actually doesn't know? Hmm.

Mike said...

I would consider the possibility that it was a combination package...that he was truly a lost dog in tall grass about the technology and when he looked around for help a attractive young woman seemed like a good person to ask on a couple of levels.

Blonde said...

Mike: Efficient flirting! Now that's one possibility I hadn't considered.

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