BUGS, BANKS, and GUNS

by Nancy King

I woke up, itching intensely. My thigh had been bitten by an execrable critter with the temerity to invade my bedding and create a huge and hideous scarlet welt that thumbed its nose at all the anti-itch creams and ointments in my medicine cabinet.

An hour later, still itching and scratching, I went online to look at my bank transactions and got a disagreeable error message; there was a system failure. I was denied admittance. After talking to too many bank employees I finally learned that a recent Mac security upgrade had affected my online bank access. I contacted an Apple technician and was told, “Your three-year warranty’s run out. We don’t offer renewals but you can pay forty-nine dollars for a month’s work of help.”

“That’s totally unreasonable. The Mac security upgrade caused the problem.”

“Nothing I can do about it, it’s company policy. Do you want the renewal?”

I asked to speak to a supervisor who finally agreed to waive the fee and offer much needed help. For over two hours she experimented, asking me to click and unclick, install and uninstall—tactics designed to remedy the situation. Nothing worked. “If you want online access you’ll have to un-install your operating system and re-install it,” she said. Me? The terrified, still itching and scratching, technophobe?

Desperate, I called the bank back and told the web specialist what the Apple technician had said. No way could I remember which techno tricks she had tried. He agreed to contact the bank’s systems people to see what they could do but it would take time. How much? He didn’t know. My itching intensified.

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