Power Hungry Grandma
Updated: Jan 14
I try not to get too upset about these things. I just calmly try to fix it. Mom, like many seniors, is a little IT challenged. But I can't get mad, because so am I! Just ask my brother and sister who get my calls all the time. But, this was just too cute and I had to share.
Last week, my mother told me she was having trouble getting online and thought her Wi-Fi was down. I told her to try rebooting her router. Well, what I actually said was “Not your cable box, but the other little box with all the blinky lights on it? Try unplugging that, wait five seconds and plug it back in.”
The next day she said she needed me to come over because she couldn’t move the big heavy dresser to get to the plug. I realized I wasn’t specific enough. “You don’t have to unplug it at the plug; you should be able to pull it out of the back of the little box.
The next day she texted me that she needed pliers and asked if I had any. I wasn’t sure what for but figured it probably had something to do with the router. I now knew this would take a special trip to her apartment.
So later that day, my son and I stopped by to help out (who, by the way, was totally annoyed by this whole interruption in his day, so there was a whole lotta whining going on…by both of us). We managed to get one of the only two visitor spaces for the entire 70-unit complex full of seniors, who have a lot of visitors because they need help.
I have a key to the heavy outside door (really heavy, and it bent my key ring while opening and I later lost my car key, but only for a minute because I remembered a faint thump while at mom’s apartment, and when we went back to find it, I went over to exactly where I heard that thump and it was, naturally, right there where I found it). And total aside? But I haven’t fixed my keys yet and now they’re all over my handbag. This has trouble written all over it. I need a new key ring. Just another thing to do.
Once inside, we walked up a flight of stairs and my son ran down the long, carpeted hallway, past all the other apartment doors adorned with seasonal wreaths and wishes, and sweet notes written on chalkboards outside each door. Scribbles read things like, “Get well Charlie” or “Happy Fall” or “Hi Grandma!” My mom’s says, “Nancy Grady.” Very dry and formal. I imagine she thinks all those cute, little notes are for old people and hers should simply be an identifier. I’m not sure; I haven’t asked her.
When we got there, she was just hanging up with our IT Manager, my sister. I can’t imagine how frustrating that conversation was – I never got a chance to ask my sister how much she went through with mom regarding the Wi-Fi.
She hung up with sis and went over to the router. Score one for mom knowing which box was the router!
Then she pointed to the white cable wire attached to the box and said, “Did you bring the pliers? I cannot get this plug out of here.”
“That’s not the plug; it’s the cable.” I replied.
“Yes, it is. It’s the plug. There’s nothing else plugged into it.”
I looked around on the floor and found the cord laying there. I picked it up and plugged it into the box. Presto! Problem solved.
When plugging it in, I noticed it was plugged into a power strip on the other side of the entertainment center but the line was taught. And it’s most likely that at some point she pulled on the power strip and yanked it right out of the back of the router.
You know what this means, right? Right. I need to rearrange all of her cords. But I didn’t have time to do it then so now that’s in the back of my mind as something I need to go do (add this to needing a new key ring), or at least the next time she calls telling me something has turned off and she doesn’t know why.
But this time? At least I saved a cable man’s trip out to Nancy’s. I wonder how many times the cable man gets called and finds a plug on the floor. I bet a lot.
I left her apartment and texted our IT Manager that it was just the power cord, reminiscent of the last time this happened when she had her coat on to go to Best Buy for a new television. Power cord. I guess fool me twice, I’m the fool.