Digital Safari with Norman Bates and Gunga Din

It’s been over a month since I’ve put any new material up here. I’ll not bore you with the mundane aspects hindering my posts. School, work, etc. One source of hindrance worth noting though is my computer itself. It started with access to my blog. I’d go to open it up and just get an alternating indication of the site loading then not loading. I really didn’t think much of it at the time. Maybe WordPress was doing scheduled maintenance or something? After a week, I gave up that theory. I was being incrementally locked out of sites and programs at such a slow pace that one could liken it to the whole boiling a frog thing where you put it in room temperature water and gradually raise the temperature. This brings up two questions. 1. Has this been proven? And 2. What kind of person even wants to prove something like this? That whole topic could be a standalone blog entry.

The next thing I knew, the water was boiling and I didn’t react like the frog. I flipped out. My final project for school was due in two days and I no longer had access to any Office program or any word processor. Being technologically challenged, I resorted to tech support and bemoaned the inoperability of Word. I spent the next seven hours on live chat with some friendly gentlemen from India who demonstrated next to nothing in the way of a sense of humor. Please bear in mind that there is no way I can possibly portray in writing the wonderful accent of a native Hindi speaker conversing in English. So, you’ll have to work that out for yourself.

The first to come to my aid was a young man who told me his name was Gunga Din. I promise you that one of us is not exercising the spirit of full disclosure and I am not that one. I am fairly certain this was something like a stage name used to protect call center workers from irate customers. Seeking some harmless entertainment after hours a fruitless work on restoring program function, I had to address the name.

“So you’re a fan of Kipling then?” I asked.

“No, Sir,” Gunga began. “I can assure you that I have no Idea to what you are referring. I prefer John Grisham novels.”

“Really, Gunga? We were getting on so well, you and I.”

“What?” He asked in a tone of feigned innocence.

“Trust, Gunga. Trust. You hope I will trust you to fix my computer. You hope I will trust you to remote into my computer. It’s a two-way streak, Gunga.”

“What?” Maybe it was perplexation rather than an attempt at guile. These accents are disarming.

“How can I stay mad at you, Gunga?”


“Never mind.”

“Just reinstall and restart now and I assure you it will work.”

“Your assurances carry no weight with me any longer,” I told him.

I was right not to trust him. Same problem. I made contact again. This time I was greeted cheerfully by another gentleman from India named Norman. As it turns out, Norman was Gunga’s supervisor and was “Intimately familiar with your problem today, Sir. I tell you.”

“Well, Norman. Gunga was quite helpful but the problem is unresolved.”

“May I have the product activation key so we can get started?”

“We are already getting off on the wrong foot here, Norman.”

“What?” The call center is apparently filled with perplexed people.

“Trust, Norman. I’m talking about trust.”

“I can assure you that I don’t understand your meaning, Sir.” They are also very full of reassuring people. I like that. Who doesn’t?

“It’s fine, Norman,” I assured him in turn. I like to give back to the giving. “The intimately familiar would know that the product was bought on-line. There is no key, Norman.”

“I see,” He said as one might expect from a philosopher or psychoanalyst. “That is not a problem, Sir. I tell you. We shall get you fixed straightaway.”

It wasn’t long before I felt the need to entertain myself again and questions about weather and culture were first received skeptically, then dismissed. I went back to names.

“Norman, I know you guys at the call center can’t tell your real names and you choose the name for the job. Gunga claimed no knowledge of Kipling but then told me he preferred a different author. So, I have to ask. How’s the hotel business?”

“I’m sorry?”

Oh. My. God. Did I just commit unintended insult?

“As in the Bates Motel? It was a Hitchcock reference. I did not mean to imply you were in the hotel business.”

“I do not understand your meaning, Sir. I tell you.”

“That probably for the best, Norman.”

So, long story short. Neither the unfazed Norman not Bates, nor the heroic efforts of Gunga Din could return my word processor to functionality. I ended up doing a restore to factory settings and having my IP address and phone number blocked in India. Forgive my absence, y’all. My digital safari is over.

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