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Help! I Need Tech Support During These Uncertain Times

In real-time, this is the third day of our self-quarantine. I am going insane.

I am not really afraid of the virus. It is the technology that is giving me fits. We are not only starting to do all of our therapy sessions either on video chat or on the phone, but I am also trying to maintain my exercise and social routines through online opportunities. Earlier, I was just about in tears. Between my being 66 and my being legally blind, nothing - as in NOTHING - was working.

Struggling with technology

Tech people don’t get that we don’t get it. They have lived with it their entire lives and it is as natural as breathing for them. Things that are intuitive to them to me are...not.

Right now, I am sitting here all dressed up with no place to go. I have my workout gear on. There was an online exercise class on Skype at 5. Because of my rocky relationship with technology, I missed it.

Downloading Skype

I fought with trying to put the app on either my desktop computer or my iPad all afternoon. My Gmail account had gone dormant and had to be retrieved. I kept getting error messages.

Finally, apparently through divine intervention, Skype miraculously loaded on my desktop computer. I take no credit for this happening. It was a miracle.

Using the Be My Eyes app

I have since been working on trying to get the Skype app loaded on my iPad. After talking to a Microsoft person for what seemed - to both of us! - hours, she suggested I go to Be My Eyes and use their specialized help button.

Ok. I’m game. If nothing else, it would be a topic for a page.

The specialized help button is the smaller one near the bottom of the Be My Eyes page. When you click on that, you get a list of different specialized help that they have. Microsoft is towards the bottom.

Be My Eyes help button

First of all, I discovered Microsoft cannot remotely access your computer. No ghost in the machine sort of thing. Because the first guy was not able to remote access my machine, I had to call back in on my phone and use that camera to show the next technician, a girl, what was happening.

The girl was very nice. She tried all of the basic things you are supposed to do. Nothing worked. She asked her supervisor and he suggested she pass the buck. I should call Skype to help directly.

On a call with tech support

So I did. I am now 19th in line. An improvement over being number 21 about 20 minutes ago. I am thinking the people ahead of me grew old and died.

Proving I'm not a robot

Even getting to be 21st in line was an accomplishment. I had to get past the test to make sure you are not a robot.

The thing about that is they are generally visual. Count the buses in these teeny, tiny photos or type in the curlicue letters they provide. Visually impaired here! I don’t give a hang about buses or curlicue letters. I could not see them even if I did give a hang.

I have to give Microsoft credit. They do provide an audio confirmation. The only problems were it was garbled...and I am not sure it was even English.

So here I am, 15th in line and coming to the end of this page. Sigh.

Using technology to stay connected

Recently I wrote a page suggesting we who are of a certain age and visually impaired try to embrace technology. I said it is one way we can stay in touch in these isolating and frightening times. Do I still think you should do that? Yep. That is the reason I did not throw a tantrum and trash things earlier in the day...and besides, misery really does love company!

Stay connected and stay safe. We can do this.

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