Some people might find it flattering, but to me it gets tiresome after a while: my parents believe I am superwoman.
If anything is broken, I can fix it. If nothing can be done, call me and I will do it.
I know certain things come with age, but slowly and consistently my parents have come to rely on me to fix and/or solve anything anywhere.
For example, last week there was issue with the little remote that controls the access door to our parking at home. One of the door's (we have 2 access doors) mechanism had to be changed, therefore the remote had to be reprogrammed. Now, take into consideration that my father loves to keep useless, outdated and discontinued things and use them, and we have a problem.
When we first moved in, we were given 2 remotes per apartment. These remotes were very ugly (as are most of the things that come stock), so a few months later, being the gadget tech freak I am, I bought myself a brand new shiny modern remote. Needless to say, my dad kept the old one. I had no problem reprogramming mine, but dad's was a whole other story.
The process to reprogram dad's was as follows: I had to open the remote and align some buttons according to the button alignment on the gate unit. Now, one of my favorite phrases I use at home is "I don't know, I studied law", but since I don't believe in minimum effort, I proceeded to disassemble the motor in order to find the place where the supposed buttons were and proceed with aligning the remote's buttons. I did everything possible, but I just couldn't find the buttons. I even went online to find instructions on where to find them, but I couldn't find any.
Anyways, I programmed my remote and mom's, but I couldn't program dad's. I knew this would come back and bite me in the hinnie. I went upstairs and told dad what had happened, but he just didn't get it. My dad is very easy going, but when something gets inside that mind of his, there's just no way anyone will get out of it. He called my brother, who is not as easy going as I am, and he told him he couldn't do it. We are not, after all, CAME technicians. He kept on asking my brother to do it, and my brother told him he didn't have the time nor the knowledge.
My brother and I told dad to call the authorized technicians or get a new remote, but he said we could do it. He kept on asking me to do it, while I kept on telling him I WAS A FRIGGIN' LAWYER NOT A TECHNICIAN, and that I had done what I could. My solution was to either call the technicians or buy a new remote.
Last week, every single day, the theme of the day was the remote. Dad asked my aunt, my uncle, my brother and me again.... talk about consistent!
Finally, yesterday the technicians went home and reprogrammed the remote, well, dad's remote at least, I had to reprogram mom's and mine.
My parents are technologically challenged. And when I say technologically challenged I really mean it. I have to give them 2 weeks courses to explain how to turn the TV on. And then every couple of days I have to give them refreshing courses. I have even had to learn the precise location of the buttons on the remotes, because they find it stressful to read the signs.
Dad: "Eny, how do I turn on the TV?"
Me: "Okay dad, upper left hand corner, do you see a sign that reads "Power"?"
M: "Press it"
D: "I did. It doesn't work"
M: "Are you sure you pressed the red button at the upper left hand side of the remote that reads "Zenith"? The one that says in tiny letters "power"? Are you pointing it to the TV?"
D: "I don't have my glasses on."
M: "Put them on"
D: "OK, Power, pressed it nothing. We're doomed, it doesn't work".
M: "Is the little red light turning on when you press the button? The one right next to the word "power"?"
D: "Let me see... yes, it is, but the TV isn't working"
M: "okay, since I'm at the office right now, working, I can't go home to press the button for you. Why don't you get off your couch, get near the TV and turn it on manually?"
D: "And how do I do that?"
M: "What, get off the couch, walk to the tv or turn it on?"
D: "Ja ja ja! You're funny!"
M: "Yes daddy, I know. Now, Under the screen there are a series of buttons with letters on top of them. Fourth button, left to right, it says "Power" in big letters. Now, press it."
D: "There is no power button, only ones that say "eject" and "stop""
M: "Dad, you're looking at the VCR. The VCR is underneath the TV. I said the buttons on the TV, just below the screen."
D: "Oh, yes I see them now. Which is the button I have to press again?"
M: "Fourth button, left to right, it says "Power" in big letters."
D: "I pressed it. Nothing. The TV is broken."
M: "Is the TV's plug connected?"
D: "I dunno, how do I check?"
M: "Go behind the tv, there's a little electric strip connected to the socket on the wall."
D: "There's a bunch of things connected there."
M. "Yes, I know. Now, follow the cord that comes out of the TV. Give it a little pull, see if it's connected."
D: "Yes, it is. But the TV still doesn't work."
M: "Okay, you'll have to wait 'till I get home then."
(I can hear my mom shouting in the background "all I want to do is watch a little TV! Why, Lord, why?")
M: "Let's see. Manually turn the TV on (the TV flawlessly turns on), check, It works."
D: "It didn't turn on when I pressed the button."
M: "Now, let me see the remote. (press the power button, the TV turns on)."
D: "But it didn't work when I pressed it!"
M: "I know dad, the TV has got something against you"
This goes on at least once a week, every week the whole year. Now, my father speaks very good english, but he just doesn't seem to get that the "power" button actually means power button, or that the "stop" buttons actually stops things or that the "play" button must be pressed if you want to see anything on the TV screen...
And I will not get started on explaining to them how to work the vcr, the dvd player or the dish receiver.