I couldn’t have imagined this situation 10 years ago, but now my computer controls my life.
OK, let me rephrase that. My computer is an integral part of my life, and is unquestionably secondary to that of my wife. But they do share some interesting commonalities.
For example, when my computer is purring along smoothly, life is good. When it isn’t, my day is hosed, panic mode instinctively activates and I have to call “the guy.” The only exception, to my knowledge, is that my wife never calls “the guy.”
Not that long ago “the guy” would have been the plumber, electrician, auto mechanic or handyman. Today, “the guy” usually refers to a computer technician, and possibly an electronics related professional.
If my computer is whacked, everything else planned for the day becomes nearly insignificant. Here’s my suggestion: If you don’t have a close personal relationship with someone who can fix your computer screw-ups 24/7, then start asking your friends for a referral, make the call and get him to stop by, because it’s not a matter of if your computer will crap out, but when.
Suggestions for maximizing a relationship with your computer guy:
1) Geeks and nerds are often stereotyped as being gangly, non-athletic and shy. Don’t be fooled, that demure dude with the reticent demeanor can save your day. Another plus for geeks; they tend to show up on the actual day and time they’re scheduled, work until the job is done, or call if they’ll be late or to make alternative arrangements. Either way, they communicate.
2) They’re essential. Face it, we live in a tech-controlled world, and having access to “the guy” when you need him is a stress reliever.
3) Shop around and find a “guy” whom you find to be personable, reliable, conscientious, cost effective and honest. There are plenty of geeks / nerds to choose from, but don’t drag your feet; you and your computer aren’t getting any younger.
4.) They’re technologically savvy and probably have above average overall intelligence. Nonetheless, they can and should talk with you using terminology that’s understandable on your level of competence. If you don’t understand what’s being said, speak up or get another “guy” who can speak your language.
5.) They have uncanny memories. A tech may have experienced and corrected a problem similar to yours only once, but he’ll most likely recall the fix and apply it to your issue—problem solved.
6.) They’re generally cost-effective in comparison to most service-related specialties. If you doubt it, check the hourly rate at an auto repair shop, auto dealership or commercial home repair service; you’ll probably notice a pleasant difference.
7.) Maybe you can barter. For example, you might ask, “Can you give me anything for my old computer in exchange for building me a new one or can you use any of the parts for building me a new one?” Depending upon the age and condition of your existing machine, you may learn that you just saved some money on your new computer.
8.) His friends are mostly geeks. That’s good news; if he doesn’t know the answer or have the part(s) you need, he’ll call one of his tech friends and get what you need. Either way you win. Not much satisfies “the guy” more than gaining another happy customer who plans to tell their friends about his terrific service.
9.) They’re pleasantly professional and respectful of their customers. Odds are they won’t ask to use your bathroom and you won’t see a butt crack if they have to bend over to open your computer case.
Dealing with geeks and nerds is straightforward, and they actually give a rip about you because you’re their livelihood. Trust me; I screw up my computer often enough to appreciate having a comfortable relationship with a computer geek, my “guy,” and even retirees simply wanting to e-mail the grandkids need “the guy.”