Apparently I am not an idiot.
One of my jobs requires logging in to a computer in another city, using a virtual private network. When it works, which is usually, it is a simple system.
A few weeks back though I couldn’t connect. I contacted tech support, described the problem and implemented the solution they emailed to me.
That didn’t work. So I contacted them again.
I should point out here that I don’t see myself as being overly savvy when it comes to computers. I have both hardware and software limitations. I can take a machine apart and reassemble it, confident it will still work. I can troubleshoot basic software, especially the programs I use regularly. I’m not an expert (in my opinion) but I am far from being a novice.
Tech support people seem to consider everyone an idiot. I have noticed this in my dealings with them, no matter what company they worked for.
So we went a second round, and a third. I uninstalled and reinstalled software a dozen times. I changed settings and passwords. I still couldn’t connect.
I could tell that the various tech people I was dealing with were sure it was my fault. I had to send screen shots of my settings to prove I had entered the information correctly. My word wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t connect, it must be my fault somehow.
Yesterday the head of the tech department arranged to take over my computer remotely. For two hours I watched him perform his magic. I had to stick around for it because he was installing and uninstalling software with period reboots of the computer. He needed me to re-enter passwords (there are some things I don’t share).
For two hours he repeated all the things I had already done previously to make the connection work. I could almost see his frustration on the screen as he repeated the install/uninstall process several times. It should have worked, but it didn’t.
He gave up after two hours. He’ll get back to me after consulting someone with more knowledge than he has.
I’m mildly frustrated that the problem isn’t fixed. But I will admit it felt so good to see the “expert” fail. It would have been really embarrassing if he had been able to fix the problem easily. Now I can hold my head up high. Turns out I’m not an idiot.