Saturday at the library was busier than I expected. There were two people in trying to work the computers who were very interesting. One was an old guy and the other a fat guy in his 40s. The fat guy was the old guy’s “$400/hour advisor from Denver.” They were in the library trying to sign up for those spammy Work From Home websites you see advertised all over Facebook and hydro poles.
The old guy understood how to move the arrow on the screen and click, but that was the extent of his computer literacy. The advisor kept needing me to come over and help them figure out where to type in web addresses. His advice was to get the old man to type them in whatever the first text box on any given web page and then be astounded it didn’t give them results. So I got to go over and type “google.com” so they could search for things. Then I realized they already had web addresses to type in and made the revelation that they could put that directly in the address bar.
Then after a few trips over there, the advisor was asking me about directories. I had to ask him what he meant, because he thought he was very smart. It turned out he was talking about top level domains (the .com or .ca or whatever on the ends of the web addresses). We had to go through the different possibilities there might be. “Are there more than five?” he asked. The questions moved on to “How many countries are there in the world?” when I explained most countries had their own special ones. Eventually he asked “What if I were to pay you $40/hour, since you’re so computer literate to make a new directory for me?” I clarified what he meant by directory again and he was all, “My client here would like to make a new directory of .world, and he wants you to make it for him.”
At this point the advisor went off on a rambling diatribe about how much money the old man made “over $100,000 each year, and if someone has an investment that won’t make him that much he won’t even touch it.” The old man blinked, not stupidly exactly, but like he was attending a performance in a language he didn’t understand. I tried to explain to the advisor that creating a new top level domain is the work of regulatory bodies and such. A person can’t just make their own in a weekend. “It doesn’t matter what it costs; we want you to do it. He’ll give you his card and you’ll call us and we’ll pay you well, much more than you make here.”
When their hour on the internet was done, the old man did give me a piece of paper instructing me to call him in ten days to explore our further business arrangements. I felt bad for the old guy. He’s some clueless Mennonite from Steinbach with an “advisor” who I assume is committing fraud with every moronic breath he takes. I really hope there’s no real money changing hands there.
But the day was redeemed when (ten minutes before closing) a kid came in needing to find two books to compare and contrast for his big grade 12 English paper. He didn’t need them done right away, they just needed to have made an effort to begin before school starts next week. Whoever this English teacher is gave them a great list. It was a huge amount of wide-ranging literature that people should read. The kid had no clue, but he’d marked a couple of possible titles. “The important thing is that the two have to have some connection so I can talk about it,” he said. One of the books he had marked was Catch 22. I told him how much I loved that book and how then we could look for other war books on the list, or we could go a slightly more fun route. Because this great list included a few Tom Robbins books. “Do you like weird funny stuff?” He’s all, “Yeah sure.” So I found for him Skinny Legs and All, and Catch 22 and he’s going to talk about the use of humour in these books. I really hope he likes Skinny Legs. He apologized for not knowing what he was doing and I told him “Dude, this is the best part of this job.” I wished I could have spent an hour or so helping him instead of the scam man, but twas not to be. I also hope nobody gets mad at me for the amount of sex in the book. It was completely on the teacher’s list though.