Fear of change – a technical moron doth make
My gorgeous husband never reads my work. I don’t take it personally because it’s not like he’s rejects mine in favour of the latest offering from Katie Fforde. He doesn’t read books unless they’re detailed computer manuals with formulas and ‘stuff.’ I don’t write those. He likes technical stuff and I don’t.
No way. No how.
But he supports me in other ways.
For a long while the poor man’s back view graced the cover of Du Rose Legacy, third in The Hana Du Rose Mysteries. He hated it and I left it there longer than I needed to but in my defence, he did look rather hot in his cowboy hat and boots. He didn’t think so. It’s just what he wears when he’s working on the property so me stalking him with my camera was vaguely annoying.
I based the character of Logan Du Rose on my husband and said so in the acknowledgments in the first book. He wished I hadn’t but it’s too late to take it back. Now women all over the world who adore Logan actually love my husband. He finds that awkward and embarrassing because he’s a modest guy, albeit strong, silent, capable with a dodgy background and…yeah, I’ll stop. He’ll only get cross.
He does my accounts, makes my spreadsheets speak to one another, grabs me ink cartridges on the way home and gives free IT support.
“What did you do?”
“I don’t know; it just did it!”
“Give it here.”
And he bought me a new computer and set it up. He left me with it for a day to check everything was moved over correctly from the old one. He left me.
He left me. As in, without him, I needed to check ‘stuff.’
He left me. Me. Me who met him at work aged 21 when I single handedly destroyed our work’s intranet. Me who didn’t realise that not only had I rendered the County Council’s IT network useless, I had also managed to infect the City Council who were somehow joined at the hip. Yep. 3,000 people went home early and my newest recruit got overtime. He still married me, the fool.
My rational mind told me I was a very lucky girl to get a new computer. The brown burn marks on the bottom of the old one was a warning of something imminently wrong inside. And obviously there was…the smell of something slowly frying.
My emotional self admired the closed lid until lunchtime and used my old one. I wanted to get dressed first. I wanted to get showered and dressed first. I wanted to be clean with make up on, as though if I smelled and looked nice it would respect me more and behave. I feared it would be naughty and make me cry. Then Husband would arrive home and it would pretend all was well and he would know I’m still an IT moron and look all sympathetic and say,
“It looks fine now.”
Fine with you standing next to me watching. That kinda fine.
But Husband won’t stand next to me on guard all night. I know because I’ve tried. He walks away for the bathroom or a beer and it starts on me again once he’s out of the room, bombarding me with its technical peculiarities.
Computers frighten me and I don’t like change.
I am a changeaphobe.
Our first home computer was a Del, which we took out a bank loan to buy in 1997. It arrived home in boxes and sat on our dining room table with its innards hanging out like an offal fest. We were dirt poor with four children under four and I eyed it with contempt. We couldn’t eat it, clean with it or mend the holes in the walls with it. But there it sat; like the king on the throne in my dining room – slap bang in the middle of the food action.
It had games, a fascinating pilot thing which made you feel like you were landing a plane at different airports around the world. Kids nowadays would rank it along with Pac Man and Frogger. Our son loved it.
Husband nipped out for some reason and left him playing pilots with me supervising.
Me. Yep. Me.
When Husband returned I met him at the front door. In tears.
“Everything’s gone black. I don’t know what he did but it’s all gone black.”
I was crying. Son was crying. It was dreadful. Technical moron.
Husband was dead calm.
He walked into that dining room like Clint Eastwood in his hairy brown poncho and he eyeballed that expensive hunk of plastic like a boss. And he pressed a button.
“Yeah, don’t do that, son,” he said, looking at blubbering child who weeping mother made cry with her histrionics. “If you just press the power button it parks the hard disk too quickly and it cracks. There’s a shut down procedure. I’ll show it to you.”
See. Five feet ten inches of pure hero.
Three year old son nods.
I knew in that moment, had I failed to grasp it before, that computers and IT were not for me. Never had I been so humiliated by a lump of plastic, metal and glass. I avoided them for a very long time.
I know what I know and my brain is full. There’s no room to shove anything else in.
I loved my new laptop. That’s what I told Husband when he rang at 10am, 12pm and 2pm. I looked at the closed lid and I loved it with all my heart. I loved the colour, the shape, the way the edges are all roundy so I can’t hurt myself or anyone else. I just loved it.
I cried over PhotoShop when I loaded it, after a trot on the treadmill, a shower and a return to my jarmies because the day was practically over anyway. Husband set up everything exactly the same on my desktop, knowing I’d freak out if even an icon looked a few millimetres out of place. He copied over every bit of trivia and piffle I’d collected on the old one in the hope I’d just settle down and use the darn thing and I sobbed over PhotoShop.
I rang him.
“I can’t find all my pretty stuff.”
“Yeah, we need to talk about that.”
“It’s ok. We’ll talk about it when I get home from work.”
“But my pretty stuff. It’s not there.”
“Yeah. You had the cut down version of PhotoShop and I bought you the full version with loads of new features and graphics and Lightroom and…”
“But…my pretty stuff’s all gone. And the fonts I downloaded.”
“We’ll talk about it when we get home. Do you like your new laptop?”
“I love it…sniff…snort…blow…I really love it…I’m so…snort…grateful and…sob…lucky.”
“Awesome. I’ll help you when I get home.”
The super-duper-all-singing-all-dancing version of PhotoShop. So amazing it could give me a back massage whilst it made me a sandwich for lunch. I wanted my pretty stuff and it didn’t have it.
There is a happy ending.
I wiped my nose and fired up my old laptop. I fired up the new one and I got to work. I used the old one to Google ‘How do I?’ questions and followed the instructions on the new one. I individually loaded 52 PhotoShop Actions from my cut down version to the amazing-fantabulous version using a pen drive and a lot of squinting and mouse clicking.
Every last damn one.
My pretties are back. Better than before actually because I loaded them into the right place unlike last time when I panic loaded them. Let’s just shove them in here kinda loading.
Husband came home from work with a boot full of gravel for the back garden, because he has other duties apart from babysitting me. He found me hunched over my desk, flitting from screen to screen like a boss with my laptops whirring and the room fan whirring and my brain whirring.
“Looks like the Starship Enterprise in here, he said.”
I love my new laptop. It’s awesome. It’s bigger, better, faster, has more hard disk for me to store things on. The little graphic showing how much pie I have left to store ‘stuff’ no longer terrifies me or sends me warnings like, ‘There is not enough storage space on your C Drive for all that!‘
It’s marvelous, wonderful, awesome and so is Husband.
I haven’t broken anything yet.
Fear of change is a terrible thing. It’s because I know what I know and there’s no room left in my brain for new things. Change wrong foots me and changes me from competent to terrified with the click of a button. It’s like walking down stairs and finding someone moved one. You fall flat on your face and wonder where it went. Who moved it? Why would they? Then you resort to anger. How stupid to have moved it, hidden it…got rid of it. Who are they? I want to kill them…
I’m all better now.
I’m typing on it. It’s great. And there is actually a teensy bit of room left in my brain. I’m glad about that because I want to play with Lightroom, Creative Cloud, Illustrator, Premiere…
The Coffee Shop Blog is where I get my pretties from. It’s the brain child of Rita the self-professed photo-editing photography geek of CoffeeShop and it’s full of free stuff, ideas, tutorials and help. I must confess it was one of lovely Rita’s tutorials which helped me transfer my PhotoShop Actions from one version to another and without her I would be sobbing, ungrateful and probably divorced! Check out her blog. It’s awesome!
Fear of change – a technical moron doth make. For sure.