Prologue: Sunday was a good day. I don’t mean for you to think that nothing went wrong, or that at several points during the morning I didn’t want to walk away for about 13 weeks. But it was a great day. Due to an international electrical apparatus malfunction, some ‘data’ was missing for service. Partly on purpose, I don’t know much about PowerPoint. (I find it’s best to not know how to use it beyond basic text). And, also on purpose, I own a mac. So, as we roll with this story, the mac and powerpoint are going to be two key players in the saga.
The boss asked me to put together his sermon slides between 1st & 2nd service on sunday. I agreed, and met him in the designated spot in time to help him put the slides together. When I didn’t know how to animate the text, he offered to do it himself. I appreciated the gesture, so I allowed him to do it himself. As you might imagine, the boss isn’t mac-savvy, making things rather tense for a few minutes. But, like most situations at the office, things calmed down just as quickly as they got fired up.
Logue: An employee of the school (a high school kid that gets paid ((by CFM)) to flip light switches) was watching the powerpoint situation between the boss and I. After about 30 seconds of the boss struggling with powerpoint, the boy came over to offer his ‘assistance.’ I smiled and told him that the boss would love his help (which I was pretty sure was about the farthest thing from the truth that I could think of). The boy proceeded to explain to the boss (whose opinion was strangely easily swayed by a dangerously opinionated high school boy) why mac computers really aren’t good computers, and why the people that use them don’t have a good grasp on computers or value. He then pulled a $4000 laptop out of a bookbag (yup, a bookbag) and lean it up against the wall. As if that weren’t enough, he then pulled out a $300 pair of noise-cancelling headphones out of the same bookbag, being held together with duct tape and twist ties (those pointy, plastic & metal band things that come with trash bags). Now, I’m not one to make immediate judgements on people… normally, for me to make a judgement on somebody, they have to either make a really bad move (ie. use really bad logic and absolutely no real knowledge to make fun of my computer) or make blatant and overly-generalized statements about me or my choices (ie. talk crap about all people that buy macs and play martin acoustic guitars). The boy had said enough. Everyone within listening distance knew… The boy was about to die. Obviously not literally… I would not go to jail for a kid like that.
As the boss finished his powerpoint, he left the area, reminding me of the importance of proper choices when buying church equipment and computers. (Thank you, dumb light switch boy). And as the door to the area we were in was closed behind the boss, I took a deep breath, knowing that I shouldn’t have stayed, but also knowing that something had to be said or done. I asked the boy about his understanding of mac computers, and how often he’d used them. I also asked him how much experience he had with people outside of his homeschool group or his immediate family. (I knew he didn’t homeschool, but I wasn’t sure that he left home much). And after a few minutes of stupidity, I set him straight. It felt good.
Normally, I’d just roll my eyes as I walk away from that type of situation. Mostly because experience has taught me that people who make statements like that are not going to listen to other opinions. And partly because what do I care if a teenage switch operator doesn’t like my computer. But the thing is this… that boy made the next (probably) three months very difficult for me as I have to reassure my boss that I made the right decision as to what computer to buy. So I had to give a little back in return. And I feel good about myself still. 🙂
Epilogue: By the way, what I told the kid wasn’t what made me feel better. What made me feel better was that as he was telling the boss how lame mac computers were, I was uninstalling all seven of the stupid multi-player war games from his computer and dis-assembling the monstrosity that he called headphones. That’s really what made me feel good. Also what made it possible for me to not throw the boy out the balcony window.