Step one: Plug It In

My grandmother got a computer, and hooked herself up to the internet.


Of course, she has no idea how to surf the web, but she knows that somehow, somewhere out there, there are men to be met on I offered to help her. First I opened all the boxes that came and set everything up. All the outlets in her house are two prong, and of course the CPU and monitor are three prong, so I sent her to Radio Shack for a powerstrip. She bought individual converters, and told me that the guy she asked didn't have any in the store.

Since when does Radio Shack not have power strips? Clearly, she met a moron (at Radio Shack??? Never!) The plug converters she got instead were two in a package, so I got her computer up and running, but I needed her modem plugged in, too. So, we went back to Radio Shack, and I immediately spotted what I needed, power strips with surge protection, in bountiful stock.

A sales guy came up behind me, thickly accented to the point of being not understandable, and asked, "Can I help you?"
"I know what I need. I need a power strip with surge protection."
"Ok, well, um, we have these...and, um, these..." He stood behind me wringing his hands for a few minutes, making pointless suggestions, and trying to appear helpful in front of his manager. "You seem to know more than me, so, I'll just go over here and you can ask me if you need anything, if that's ok..."
"That would be best." I said, and was glad to have him not breathing down my neck anymore.

She paid for her power strips and while I was there already, I argued with them some more about giving me an early discount on a cell phone (no luck). It wasn't until we got back to her house that we realized she had forgotten her purchase in the store, so we went all the way back to the mall, and back to her house again.

Finally, I plugged everything in, and after some "creative wiring" (her basement looks like a spider web) I managed to hook her up to the internet, and I'm proud of myself. Then, I took her straight to the advanced level by downloading Firefox and getting her a Gmail account.

I have to start at square one, though; she doesn't really know much. Or anything. When I was opening boxes, she asked "What is this? What's that?"

"That's the mouse, Grandma."
"Mouse? Ok. What does that do?"
"You use it to click on things on the screen."

Oh. My. God. And it goes on. Trying to show someone how to use a mouse is like teaching someone how to breathe for the first time. We kind of got through it, but she still needs a lot of help (I never thought I'd say this, but her clicking skills leave a lot to be desired). If anyone has suggestions, throw them my way. I need to make it really simple for her, and I'd appreciate the input.