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Help wanted


Diary of a home bird
Ciara Galvin

THE roomies have started fighting over me. I feel so loved. Well, I would feel so loved if I didn’t know they just wanted admin and tech help. These days, the ‘chats’ with them inevitably turn into me being assigned a job.
‘So, what’s new?’ ‘The TV isn’t working, can you have a look at it’ and so on, and so forth.
The most recent assigned task at the homestead was labour-intensive. Madre had me booked in to tax her car online. She has perfected the NCT booking, but she hasn’t fully got into the driving seat when it comes to navigating the Motor Tax website.
A ‘workplace dispute’ happened as I was setting up the laptop at the kitchen table. Pops required my basic IT skills to print off a document.
“Well she’s here helping me tax my car,” came the defence from Madre.
But the argument over whose task was higher priority came to a abrupt end before it got started: no internet.
I asked if they had realised that the internet wasn’t working, and it turned out that apparently they had. For the previous three days. No TV connection and no phone. And yet, they had remained silent.  
Where to start? Turn the internet connection off and turn it back on again. Still no joy. I’d have to enter dreaded ‘talks’ with the internet and phone provider.
Asking Pops for his eir account number, needed to access the eir answering service drew a colourful reply.
Things Pops hates: The printer, and call answering services. To be fair, I agree with him on this, I too, ‘just want to speak to a human’.
Eventually I got through to a very helpful man from eir, who asked me to check the modem. Situated in the sitting room, I ran out from the kitchen to have a gander, and back into the laptop, nothing. Next it was to check the house phone dial tone, nothing.
(Pops takes a seat on the couch, which prompts a prolonged rattling of coins as they flood from his pockets and hit the ground.)
Next it’s time to check the dial tone again, but my ‘assistants’ are too busy on their knees collecting Pops’s change from under the couch. Forty-five seconds later, reunited with his shrapnel, he sits back down … and once again we hear the familiar rattle of coins hitting the floor and rolled around.
While the helpful customer-care man is talking me through the ways to rectify the connectivity issues, I’m in hysterics laughing, trying to muffle the sound with my hand as Madre smirks over at me with a look of disbelief. You couldn’t write it … I momentarily thought.
Soon, we get the internet up and running, and we were ‘sucking diesel’ as the male roomie would say.
Now, to start the real work. I decided to document all IT work via video, which I will then send to my parents, who can then follow the step-by-step instructions themselves. Well I’m not going to be around forever … I hope … and so too do they.
The first attempt was a disaster. I had to stop the video six or seven times as Madre misplaced some of her all-important car documents. I continued to shoot the video as Pops stood in the driveway trying to find Madre’s insurance expiry date on her windscreen – but only for my siblings’ WhatsApp group benefit. I informed the siblings I was out on an IT call. They were puzzled. After all, why would Pops – an professional IT specialist himself according to an unexplained recently discovered Yelp advert – need IT assistance?

In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a thirty-something year old living with her parents.