Speaking Geek

I think in my next life I’d like to be a tech superstar.  How bad ass would it be if you were able to trouble shoot your own technical issues?  I assure you, pretty damn bad ass.  I want to use acronyms that sound all official like CMS and PHP instead of my plebian BFD and WTF.

Yesterday I was having all kinds o’ drama with the digital world.  For some reason, my post from the morning didn’t publish…ever.  I figured this out when Mom called to tell me how disgusting and decidedly not funny she found my most recent diatribe.  Also, she wanted to know who that Simba character was and why Thom and I were so amused with ourselves.

After I walked her through the Circle of Life, I tackled my publishing problem.  Damn thing is, I’d been feeling all puffy and proud because I’d finally triumphed over my “Most Popular Post” widget earlier that day.  Sure, it took me something like six hours, but you take the victories where you find em, right?  Of course, in my next life as a tech superstar, I’ll just bang that out in ninety seconds flat.

So long story longer, I eventually gave up on getting the Ithaca rant to post and just rewrote the damn thing entirely.  And…SUCCESS!  But for some reason, I couldn’t get the duplicate post to delete.  Plus all things Twitter and Facebook seemed to explode simultaneously.  I tell you, when Mercury is in retrograde, I should really learn to just hide under a rock.

Having exhausted my reserve of mental clarity for the day, I decided to bag it and redouble my efforts in the morning.  Imagine my surprise when I logged on this morning to find…NOTHING.  Website go BOOM.  All posts lost.


I fired up Bubba, typed the address in Webster, and called Rocco to confirm it wasn’t my own personal melt down or some mean Cablevision deception.  All signs pointed to BugginGoBoom.

So I dialed up my hosting provider, Media Temple, and settled in to wait for my very own customer rep.  I have to say, I’ve never heard Heavy Metal used as hold music before…and I used to work at a Heavy Metal marketing company, people.  I’m still undecided if I’d rather bang my head while holding to Metal or slam it against the desk while holding to Rod Stewart.

Regardless, I was relieved by the Metal, because I needed the distraction.  I get really nervous about talking to technical people.  I don’t speak techie…at all.  I end up using terms like whoziwhatzit and thingamadoodle.  I’m pretty sure there’s no way for me to sound even remotely intelligent in those situations.

My conversation went something like this:

“Media Temple, how can I help you?”

“Hi!  How are you?!  Website go boom.”

“I’m fine, thanks for asking.  Can you be more specific?”

“Hey, is your name David?”

“Um, no.”

“Did you ever work at a different tech company?”

“Many years ago, yes.”

“Are you based in NYC?”

“No, LA.”

“Huh, I guess I don’t know you.  You sound awfully familiar.”


“Sure.  So.  Back to the site.  I broke it.”

“Can you be more specific?”

“Let me first premise everything by saying I don’t have any idea what I’m doing.  Oh, and my name is Elly.”

“James.  Nice to meet you.  What’s your domain name?”

We spent the next several minutes recovering passwords and verifying identities, etc.

“Great, so I can’t help but notice your site is having issues.”

“Yeah, I noticed that, too.  P.S. that’s why I’m calling.  Now, I suppose it could be a WordPress thing but I sure wouldn’t know how to tackle that.  I didn’t change anything, or download anything, or upload anything, or reformat anything, or install anything…well, that I know of.  Did I mention I’m new at this?”

Fortunately James was absolutely adorable and managed to not mock me openly.  Then again, I could have been on speaker phone and entertaining an entire room full of judgmental cubicle dwellers.  I guess I’ll never know.

While I blathered on for 15 minutes about all the stuff I’d done in the past twenty-four hours, James quietly plugged away at his computer.

“Try it now.”

A chorus of Hallelujahs rang out over the ‘boken.

“You’re magic!  Seriously, I might have to make out with you now.  How did you make it go?”

“I just repaired the database.  It’s really easy to do.  Would you like me to walk you through it?”

Turns out it took a mere four clicks of the mouse to undo my massive fail.  Now, while I wrote all these details down, I think it’s safe to bet I won’t be able to find these instructions the next time everything hemorrhages.  Ideally, everything would now run smoothly and there would just not be a next time.

“Tell me honestly, James.  Did I break it?  Did I modulate the flux capacitor and degenerate the resulting matrix?”

“Wow.  I honestly couldn’t tell you.  It might have been on your end.  It might have been on our end.  If it happens again, just try this fix first.”

Now of course, the stupid widget I worked on all damn day yesterday is now busted again.  Regardless, I’m still all about James and the Media Temple peeps today.  I’m all about figuring out what the hell phpMyAdmin is and why I care.  Someday I’d really like to be able to speak geek fluently.  Then again, I might need to put a smidge more effort into getting that English thing down, too.