Holiday Helpline Hell

Eagle-headed Protective Spirit, Assyrian

Today, I helped Harry straighten out computer problems. He was locked out of his email, Netflix and finance accounts. First up was email. After progressing as far as we could online, we called AT&T. Its automated call handling process was quickly circumvented and a real person came on the phone to help us. She was both courteous and competent. With her help, Harry and I were soon able to get his email account open. After ensuring that this account hadn’t been hacked, we progressed to Netflix. Since, we had regained access to this account’s controlling email, this chore was a piece of cake. This lulled me into a false sense of security. Yahoo’s finance page left much to be desired.

Yahoo complained that we were using an out-of-date and unsupported browser and there was an operating system update waiting in the App Store, but since I am not a Mac person, I viewed that upgrade as a bridge too far, especially over DSL. After finding my footing on this web page, I cleared out all of the old portfolios and then reentered his latest numbers. For expedience sake, I only entered whole numbers of shares, even though Harry’s cheat-sheet numbers had four digits to the right of the decimal point. I detected some disquiet on Harry’s part for this practice that was not at all allayed with my joke of planning to pocket the fractional remainders, as round-off error. I was more concerned that the Yahoo page was randomly throwing out NaN (Not-a-Number) figures. This only reinforced my opinion of its trustworthiness versus mine.

After, I had entered Harry’s life savings to the nearest share, as an exercise, call it homework if you like, I had Harry reenter his numbers the way that he likes. Tomorrow, time permitting, I’m planning on giving him a pop quiz. My efforts were justly rewarded, when afterwards, Bubs asked Harry if he had gotten his computer problems fixed. Harry answered, “Why yes, Carl was very helpful.”

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