technology guru and other random mom jobs
Have you discovered some new mom job titles over the course of this year? I have! One of my least favorite? IT Director/all things Technology Guru for my house.
The pay stinks. The employees have no patience. Everyone wants the WiFi (or the printer) fixed RIGHT NOW.
I am not an IT expert. We all use technology and I do have a few tricks up my sleeve. I think computers and phones and iPads are great tools for all of us. But, dealing with issues when they come up is one of those necessary evils.
Why do I, as the mom, become the default person to deal with phone calls to fix the internet connectivity? Or why the printer isn’t working, the satellite TV, the phone line, et cetera?
Yes, I am the one who is here at home. I am happy to coordinate the handy man, electrician, plumber, tree trimmer or any other service calls. After all, I am here. At the same time, fixing the internet and other random IT-related jobs is not one I enjoy. Oh well, I do it anyway. And it probably takes me at least twice as long as someone who is an expert – if not longer.
What other random mom jobs do we take on – because we are here? (And even when we aren’t).
- Finder of all things lost.
- How to work the xyz appliance.
- Keeper of the rolodex (who to call for repairs, to anything).
- Nurse/Dr. Mom
- “Logistics Manager”
- Clean-up manager (for kids, dogs and anyone else)
Even working moms do many of these things – most especially now that many of us are working from home.
So…needless to say, I spent a couple hours on the phone with tech support for our internet company last week, and thankfully the very patient man walked me through how to do a hard re-set and completely wipe our WiFi router to set it up again from scratch since they had changed some settings on their end that our router was not picking up.
Whether it has been one of our kids home doing remote school last spring (both of my older kids showed very little patience when they needed to do something NOW), my husband needing help connecting to a new video conference service when he was working at home, or just having the internet go down, somehow it always falls to me to figure out what isn’t working. Oh well. As I keep telling friends, we work with what we have, and thankfully we have a backup iPad with cell access just in case.
Not everyone has great internet at their house, and thankfully ours is fixed and working again. We are all struggling with slower speeds and a drain on the system with everyone using more bandwidth right now. And everyone needs to show some mercy and have patience as we work through it.
My computer is seven years old. My oldest daughter has a brand new laptop. And that is okay with me. My laptop still works perfectly fine, has updated software, and I bought it with a giant hard drive for the specific reason that I didn’t want to replace it for awhile. And I’m hoping that I can keep it going for a couple more years – after all, I’m not a gamer, and I pretty much write blog posts and keep track of family photos.
My perspective about technology is that it is worth it to stick with the brands that you know, and to pay a little more when you do need something new so that it will last until you truly need a new one again.
I have gone with this same philosophy since I worked in the telecom industry, twenty years ago. In the last years of the last century, everyone wanted the latest and greatest technology, as soon as it came out. Did we need to have that? No. And for those people who think having the best and newest is the most important, they find a way to get it and prioritize paying for it within their budget.
I used to use this analogy when talking about optical networking infrastructure versus old school – and that in many places, once local governments or companies have the dollars to invest in new infrastructure, there may be a paradigm shift in technology and they end up getting something new that will last for longer than the in-between steps if they had invested every time there was a new interim technology on the market. In some places in China twenty years ago, there was no internet connectivity in the rural areas at all, and instead of building in-ground infrastructure, many local areas skipped directly to wireless internet towers. The ultimate paradigm shift.
I believe that technology provides us with amazing tools to be able to work from home, and I enjoy running my “office” from anywhere. This allows me to travel with my family (usually – when things are normal) and keep up with everything in my business from wherever I might be.
At the end of the day, computers are a big expense, and as long as the device is still working, I spend more on software to keep up with business needs and I don’t need a new one. Phones are the same way! I do have a late-model cell phone. I bought it with a larger-than-basic memory and hope that I can keep the same phone for several years before I have to replace it again.
Technology can be a necessary evil when you have to figure out how to make it work (and as the default technology guru of my house, I firmly believe this). Having extra handfuls of patience to deal with the technology is key. And, as with all things, sometimes that’s easier said than done.