I was halfway through my third conversation with an Indian guy named Kevin when I started to shut down. He was trying to help me install a program on my computer so that he could see what I was looking at. I don’t know if it’s because sometimes things take time to load up on computers or if Kevin was trained to deal with people who have no computer skills whatsoever, but he was politely silent while he waited for me to speak. It’s like we were playing chess.
I can’t do this.
It just takes time.
Did you put in your password?
(I let out a huge sigh that said, You have just pushed me one step closer to picking up a rope/gun/bottle of pills/gas oven/razor blade).
(I had to pause to gather my wits)
I know that what I am about to say will be incomprehensible to you. I know this because I have, in fact, already said this twice and you’re not taking it in. You’re not grasping it. I realize it makes no sense to a person who works on computers, to someone who has an organized, technical, intelligent grasp of the world, but Kevin, I have to tell you something because I need you to understand what you are dealing with right now; I need you to understand this even though I am ashamed and completely broken and it pains me to tell you: I do not KNOWTHEPASSWORDKEVIN. I HAVE ENTERED THE THREE THAT I ALWAYS USE, EACH TIME IN VARYING COMBINATIONS OF UPPER AND LOWER CASE LETTERS AND IT’S NOT WORKING, IT ACTUALLY TELLS ME THAT I HAVE JUST ENTERED THE WRONG PASSWORD, THAT’S HOW MUCH IT DOESN’T WORK, AND NOW I’M YELLING AT A PERSON ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD WHO DOESN’T UNDERSTAND HOW TO GET UPSET OVER TRIVIAL UNIMPORTANT UNWORLDLY PROBLEMSKEVIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I understand Ma’am.
(We both sat there on the phone. I could hear the 8000 miles between us. I imagined the streets outside his office. I imagined them filled, filled, filled with hundreds of people, many of them beggars, lots of them missing limbs, none who could give two shits and a rat’s ass about some moron in America who can’t receive email on her i-cloud. Kevin cleared his throat quietly. I did the same.)
Do you see the box that says Username?
Yes I do.
Beneath that, there is a box that says password.
The blue box?
Yes, I see it.
Put your password in there.
Ok now you’re fucking with me Kevin.
(Now this time I sat quietly for a long pause. I listened to my breathing and pretended to meditate until I calmed down)
Are you near a window Kevin?
Can you see out of it from where you are sitting?
Do you see far, far, far in the distance that tiny mushroom shaped cloud?
Yes, I see it.
That’s my head exploding. That’s my head. That just happened.
What?....Oh…Oh ma’am. You’re kidding.
Yes. Sadly, I am.
You’re funny. (He was really laughing)
No really. (His laugh was high pitched. It burst out like high-pitched hoots)
Hoo that was funny. (He kept laughing. It went Hoooooo, then Heeeeee, then Hiiiiiiiyiiihiiiii. I could hear him slapping his leg)
Jesus, calm down Kevin.
Oh that was a good one. Okay Okay. (he sniffed and coughed) Ok Ma’am?
Just click on the blue box. The one that says password? And then in the box, you will enter your password. (He started giggling at first, just a little, then a little more and then in seconds he was back to the hoots. Hooooooooo, Heeeeeeeeeeeeee, hihi hihi ohhhhhhhh….He wouldn’t stop. He was having a good time. I didn’t want to interfere with that. I put the phone down but didn’t hang up. I shut down my computer. He was still hooo-ing away. I put my sweater on, slid my feet into my shoes, stood up, pushed the chair in, grabbed my keys off the hook and walked out the front door into the warm beautiful sun-shiney day.