Tales of the BossLady is a series of journal entries I wrote several years ago as a way of blowing off the accumulated steam of working for a ditzy Realtor who believed herself to be very technically inclined. It was a valuable exercise in learning how not to be That Obnoxious Computer Geek Who Everybody Hates.
The computer that I use didn’t have speakers for a long time. I didn’t really need speakers, so I didn’t complain, but eventually they wanted me to perform certain tasks, like retrieving voicemails, that required having speakers. They did have an old set of speakers lying around loose, but those speakers didn’t have a plug (by which I mean, they didn’t have a power cord).
I reminded BossLady that I didn’t have any speakers for my PC, and she commented, “Oh, well, what about those speakers on the floor in the next room?” The subject had come up before, so I replied, “Yeah, but those speakers don’t have a plug, remember?”
Now, I admit, perhaps that was a poor choice of words. Perhaps I should’ve been more specific, saying, “Those speakers don’t have a power cord,” or “Those speakers won’t work because we can’t plug them into the power outlet.” But no, I said, “Those speakers don’t have a plug,” foolishly believing that BossLady knew what “plug” meant. Her response was completely bizarre and nonsensical:
“Ohhhhhh…Well, I think the sound card has a plug.”
In case you’re wondering what that means, let me save you the brain cells: It doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t make any sense. “The sound card has a plug”? I have no idea what was buzzing around against the ceiling in her brain at that moment, and I didn’t ask.
After a moment (wherein I couldn’t suppress an open-mouthed stare), I recovered quickly and clarified my previous statement: “No, I mean, a plug that goes from the speakers into the wall? Y’know, a power cord?” and let it drop. I heard her chirp something about her Almost Master’s Degree as she walked away.
Later, though, I found those very speakers — the non-functioning speakers — jacked into the PC. She was obviously hoping they would magically work as long as they were connected to the computer, even though they had no power source. More importantly, she obviously didn’t believe me when I said they wouldn’t work. She didn’t think I knew what I was talking about.
Ultimately she bought some new speakers and was thoroughly amazed and impressed when I hooked them up myself in about thirty seconds. I think she expected them to have drivers that needed to be installed, or something.
It bears pointing out that this is not some poor, helpless, middle-aged woman who has had technology unceremoniously thrust upon her. This is a woman who has supposedly been to college and had a lengthy career in the IT field. And who thinks that “the sound card has a plug.” The hell?