This morning I was on the phone with a Microsoft Dude for about 3 hours. I don’t fault the dude. He is some guy in India being paid a pittance by western standards, cooped up in a call centre all night pretending to live somewhere in North America while fiddling with the computers of irate customers. He is a level 1 tech. He doesn’t actually know much about computers, but he has a Microsoft Manual. That in itself is enough to feel sorry for him.
The reason I was on the phone in the first place was that I’d gotten a warning through my writers’ list-serve that some horrible worm was on the loose and I’d better make sure I had the latest windows update.
Well I don’t. Windows update does not work on my laptop. The dude couldn’t make it work even though by a miracle of internet technology he could manipulate my computer. I sat and watched the cursor move around by magic (or rather by the dude in India). He added files. He deleted files. He commanded. He said, Update. But update it did not. The computer was restarted numerous times. One of those times the screen just stayed black and I had to press the power button to turn it off and on again. That was a scary moment. Although my computer still can’t update, the dude did get me to uninstall all my antivirus and firewall software and re-set the computer to some earlier time when there was all kinds of crap on it I did not want and things I did want had vanished.
However there is a silver lining. I did not have to face my new draft today. I have been in the sometimes terrified and sometimes blissful state of Between Drafts for two months. My last draft was resting while the old wiring in my house was replaced by new wiring. Fortunately, unlike the dude, our electricians did leave us with lights and outlets that work.
I started Draft 7 a couple of days ago. I had nightmares. I wrote about faith. And then today the dude saved me from Chapter Seven. I spent the whole afternoon undoing his bad fixes. Thank you Microsoft Dude. There was no need to wrestle with doubt and anxiety today, which is a much more fearsome worm than Conficker or Gimmiv. But you know, I actually do like writing. In fact I love it. A day writing is a lot better than a day with the Microsoft Dude. Maybe there is a lesson here about worms. Perhaps I should just back up my book and write.
And the next time I’m between drafts, I think I’ll install Linux.