I do a bit of computer training; just for fun really. There’s a bunch of elderly people in the village who love to look at a screen, adore the Internet and email each other with links to interesting stuff. I’ve been doing it for about four years now and we seem to get on. I get out and bask in their undisguised admiration. They find out how to get their shopping delivered. They also make a contribution to the local church. We meet there for coffee, world right-putting and curriculum planning from time to time. Everybody’s happy.
One day he says that I should provide computer training for his wife. ‘She needs to know how to get to all the family information if anything happens to me,’ he says and tells me about his backup routines which involve USB drives. I say, ‘Sure, but I can’t really talk about XP or Outlook Express or Word 2000 because they’re all obsolete and I don’t have them installed. He says that that’s okay. I should deal with general principles. This goes on for about a year.
And then a
And then aweek or so ago he sends me an email and mentions his wife again. I say, ‘Okay. Let’s make a date.’ I notice his ISP is the Post Office, his email address is something like firstname.lastname@example.org and his email footer invites me to have a free computer scan for VIRUSES and click on a link to buy a Spambuster program.
Anyway, she comes round one afternoon. She’s a slight attractive lady with a quiet manner. We muck about with Windows for a couple of hours. She’s keen to learn but clearly hasn’t spent a long time with a mouse in her hand. I set her up a Gmail account which, amazingly, happens to be her: email@example.com ! Result, I think. Then things go weird.
The Major sends me an email and asks me what her Gmail address is. I am instantly confused. Hasn’t she told him? Has she forgotten it? Is there something going on? Can I not tell a bloke his wife’s email address? Who cares anyway? I think for a day and then send him her address. I explain my dilemma.
A couple of hours later I get another email from him – using his wife’s Gmail account! He says he doesn’t like it and it’s not half as easy as Outlook Express. He attaches a photo of his wife.
I reply expressing surprise that he’s using her account. I list Gmail’s advantages over OE. He returns my email with my reasons annotated in green and red. He doesn’t agree.
I tell him that I won’t be working with his wife again. He knows best. He’s a teacher. Teach her!
One of the old blokes tells me that if Major is the rank someone retires with it means they were rubbish. Funny thing is that I read the same thing only the other week in Lee Child’s book ‘The Affair.’ He should know, I guess.