Monday, September 27, 2010

Revenge of the nerds: This time it's personal

I got a virus on my computer and went to a local electronics chain to see about getting it removed. There I found a bunch of nerds nursing decades-old indignities and exacting revenge by overcharging people for even the most routine of computorial tasks.

“Remove a ‘virus’? Are you sure it’s even a true virus? Perhaps instead it is a Trojan, worm, rootkit or just spyware.” the Chief of the nerds said in a successful attempt to make me feel monumentally ignorant. “Either way, that’ll be $200 bucks to fix it. Make it $250 because I don’t like the look of you. Maybe more depending on my mood.”

“Whaaaaaaaaaaat?” I swooned. “Isn’t that, uh, really high?”

“You should have thought of that before you mistreated people like us in high school,” he sneered, as his fellow nerds chuckled and egged him on. “Who’s laughing now, cool guy?”

“But I’m one of you guys!” I tried to say. “I have contact lenses now, but I’m still one of you! Back in high school you were nerds of the computer persuasion, and I was a nerd of the marching band persuasion. I guarantee we got the same amount of butt-kickings, though. I’m a brother, a friend!”

The nerds grumbled amongst themselves in technological nerd-speak.

“I never bullied you, I promise!” I whined. “Now I’m a social worker and I get even less respect than I did in the marching band! Why don’t you overcharge that former jock over there and give me the fellow-nerd discount?”

They would not lower their prices, so I did what any good man would do and told them I was going to take it home and fix it myself, never mind that I had no idea how to do it and would probably make it worse. Why pay someone to do something when you can probably maybe sort of most likely do it yourself for free? The nerds let me go on my way, laughing amongst themselves about how I would certainly return sheepishly a few days.

And I probably would have gone crawling back in a few days but I found a website run by kinder nerds who are less stingy - or perhaps still seeking acceptance - and it had step-by-step instructions on how to fix my problem. I wanted to go back to the nerds at the store and say something like, “In your face! I did it myself! D.I.Y., we neva die!”

But I don’t want to burn my nerd bridges as you never know when you might need a nerd to save you.


  1. Computer fixy guys make me so nervous. I'd rather just throw my entire computer in the garbage and get a new one.

  2. Heh heh. I think that the nerds are also the ones that create the viruses so they can infect your computer and then overcharge you to fix what they started. Or make you buy anti-virus software. It's all a big conspiracy, you know.

    PS - Did you draw that graphic?

  3. @ Nova - For what they were asking to fix my computer, I could've thrown the old one away and bought a new one.

    @ Miranda - Yes, I drew the graphic.

  4. Ya depending on how much you have on there and how attached you are to the computer I would buy a new computer before dropping a few hundred dollars on a repair. If you can still access your stuff save all the files you need to keep and deactivate any applications you paid for. Then format the hard drive and reinstall windows. There are a few bugs that will stay in your system, but for the normal viruses/bugs you get it will clean them out.

    Had a similar scenario with this mechanic guy last week. He wanted $500 for new brake pads and rotors. You could see the shock when I said "no, I'll shop around first." For $90 in parts I did the whole thing myself. I definitely appreciate paying for convenience, but some stuff is just better to DIY.


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