Coping with technology outside of your comfort zone

Well, outside of MY comfort zone.  Actually, I am quite a bit of a techie.  When I started out in HR (Personnel) in the bank years ago, the IT people wanted me to take the IT test and then wanted me to transfer there.  I said no.  Wonder where I would have been if I had said yes – but it doesn’t matter because I love where I am now.

So back to the techie issues.  Yes. I can set up and manage many things – like laptops, tablets, printers, and routers.  And cable TV connections.  And the new phone connections.  And troubleshoot my sister’s IPad from Paris.

But try doing that in a foreign language.  Not so easy.

The apartment comes with cable tv, phone with free calls to landlines in the US, and wifi.  The wifi has been progressively deteriorating.  It started with poor connectivity in the bedroom.  What?  The ether is blocked by a wall?  There’s a connecting door – leaving that ajar didn’t help.  I did determine that holding the phone in a certain spot did result in a quick reconnection.  The kitchen is also a dead spot.  And that extends to the phone.  When I got here, however, the phone was working satisfactorily. The only issue was the phone itself which would not hold a charge for any period of time.  One call and it had to go back on the base for juice.

The TV cable does work but, of course, there is a remote for the Sony TV and a remote for the cable.  And how to make the two work their magic together is always a challenge.  Fortunately, I don’t watch that much TV.  (While trying to figure out how to make closed captioning/subtitles appear – because wouldn’t that be cool! – I did figure out that I can make an English program come through in the original English, not in the dubbed French.  But that doesn’t help me with my language skills…)

The internet has been dropping much more frequently.  I realized last week that the wireless printer problem was because the wifi would drop for a moment and then it had to reconnect.  At least I think that’s the issue.  And then the phone started not working.  This is the new phone that 2015-10-21 20.07.41does hold a charge.  But it is just dead.  From time to time.  Except now the time is extended to all the time.  So I have to use Skype or FaceTime for calls to the States… and yes, the dropping of the wifi makes those problematic.  (see the weird phone connection plugs?)

After escalating complaints (she said the French are used to ‘dropped wifi’ but did admit my issues are more serious), the landlady ordered a new box.  I think it will be just one; right now I have two.  So I will be delighted to see if that helps.  Fingers crossed.

BUT.   After the delight of a potential solution, the reality of how this will be installed is starting to hit me.  It’s being delivered here – which will be interesting in and of itself as there is no “gardien” (super) to accept it and how will I be sure to be here.  I get to box up the old boxes to trade with the UPS guy.

And then I guess I get to unbox the new equipment.

And then?  I will be without an internet to be able to check online for instructions – oh I can use my French Iphone…. But still…

It can’t be all that difficult, can it?  Phone line to phone line…  TV line to TV line…  Some cable into the wall…  Even if it is in French?

I long for the day when it will be connected and wifi, tv and phone all work as they should.

2015-10-21 16.26.26And apropos of nothing… Today this gentleman was just walking down the street playing his trumpet. I looked out at the sound and took a photo.  When he noticed me taking his picture, he held up his little money cup and shook it.  OK, I was entertained so I got a euro and tossed it down to him.  He saluted me!2015-10-21 16.27.08-1



And more apropos of nothing else, I love this red chair in the office across the street…2015-10-21 20.04.17


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