One Step Forward

In the past week or so I have been fortunate enough to have been kept occupied with at least some work. It’s not work I love getting up for in the morning, but it is still nice to have something to do.

And yet, it’s work that I have always been able to do, that I have done since I could do it, and at one point thought that it was going to be the right choice for me as a career.

Computers. Love ’em or hate ’em, they have a terrible habit of breaking. And even more so now than ever, thanks to the internet, insecure operating systems and web browsers, and generally more and more clueless people using them.

The thing is, now that computers are so easy to use, it means that people with less computing knowledge and getting stuck into the wild, virus laden world of the internet. Generally, people click on links with reckless abandon. And it is the links saying “Your computer is infected! Click here to install Honest Dave’s Spyware Annihilator!”

Naturally, these programs are all fakes and just excuses to put tonnes of tracking software on your computer that serve up ads, hijack search engines and generally fill the computer with nastiness. But people install them anyway. How are they to know that they are rubbish? In fairness, some of these things are very hard to spot, whether you’re a seasoned computer pro or a complete novice. They use pretty vicious tactics to fool you into downloading their malware.

It is because of these that I’ve had something to do lately. Two separate instances, each of which netting me some cash, which have required serious intervention by me to rescue their computers. They have been extremely frustrating, because generally with computers every time you think you’re making progress you suddenly reach the next brick wall which then leads to a further complication, and so on. One step forward, two steps back.

And that is generally the way I feel about computers. For all my life people have always said to me that I should run my own computer fixing business. Even when I was 12, family members used to say to me when I’d go with my dad to fix their computer that the both of us should have our own business. I had grown up thinking that this was a great idea and that I should do ICT for a GCSE, an A-Level and then a degree.

Somewhere along the way that plan went AWOL. I think I decided that I spend so much time on computers already that I didn’t want to do it as a career as well. But this was before computers became essential for virtually every job in existence, making my previous argument redundant. Now there is no escape, I might as well have studied the very thing that I’m very good at, mildly enjoy and could have made me a decent career, whether that’s working for myself or working for any organisation that needs IT support.

So while I work away running spyware scan after virus check, my mind can’t help but wonder if there has been a seriously missed opportunity in my life. Did I pursue the thing I enjoyed but with no obvious career path over the thing that had serious and obvious uses in the modern world?

At this point, as things go from bad to worse in my life, I would say the only answer to that question is yes.

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