Thursday, November 11, 2010

Me? An expert? Why would you think that?


Somehow I am back to being thought of as the expert of everyone anyone needs help with. People call me over to get help with homework in all subject areas, to see if I know how to fix something, or just in random knowledge. I don’t know how I got this reputation, but I am trying my best to be what people want.
This means after school (or sometimes even during school) I find myself in different situations. Helping people with calculus (never took it…), setting up electronics, teaching people to use computers , and fixing computers.
I don’t know why people think I have this magical ability to do all of those things, and more, but they seem to really trust me. So I don’t want to let them down, and I always agree to go over to their house and perform the various tasks. Sometimes I am a hero, other times I at least get to enjoy a delicious cup of Samoan coco while humoring them with my attempts.
Last week being an expert sent me to Apia, a trip I was not looking forward to doing. I set up our new school computer, and photocopy machine, but when I attempted to connect them together, I experienced problems. Setting up a printer to a computer should be easy, especially when you have the cd. But, there was some sort of error, and I was unable to complete my task. For two weeks I called the company that sold it to our school, and they never called me back. My school decided that the only solution was for me to go to Apia to talk to them in person.
After a seven-ish hour commute, I arrived at the business and told them my problem. After telling them all of their easy solutions did not work, I was instructed to try something else, even though the computer was on another island. I told them to hold on, and I would call the school and have someone try, but technology is expensive, and if someone who is not palagi uses it, it will break (according to them).
So I had to wait until Monday to try it out. And it did not work (of course). This time it only took two phone calls to get in touch with the tech support from the company. Everything they suggested was failing. Their only solution was for me to come to Apia and bring the computer. I was not about to hop on the boat and do that long commute with a big desktop computer. (A few busses and a ferry with that big old thing, not fun! ) (Thankfully my school was in agreement on it waiting for someone travelling to Apia to bring it in.)
Everyone is scared to touch the computer for fear of it breaking, even though I try to reassure everyone that there is nothing really wrong with the machine. So again, the technology sits there….
I guess in closing I just think it’s weird that everyone seems to trust the thought of me being an expert, when I clearly know I am not. (I’m sure Billy is laughing right now thinking of me solving all the math and computer problems from my area of the island…)

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