Reply to post: Have you ever ended up being roped into doing more tech support than you’d bargained for?

All good, leave it with you...? Chap is roped into tech support role for clueless customer

Rich 11 Silver badge

Have you ever ended up being roped into doing more tech support than you’d bargained for?

I used to earn a bit of cash on the side by fixing the home computers of staff and students at the college where I used to work. Twenty quid for a couple of hours' work one evening a week kept me in beer and kebabs on a Saturday night, and I was happy to leave it at that level so I sometimes had the luxury of turning people down.

One day a tearful student (we'll call her V) came to talk to me, saying her PC had crashed the night before and she had an assignment due and [insert other heartbreaking elements which I can no longer recall]. Since I vaguely knew her because she was an old school friend of my then-girlfriend, I agreed to get the bus over to the adjacent town with her at the end of the day. We walked to her house, I met her family (to their great credit they did feed me) and I started looking at her PC.

After about half an hour I was making good progress and reckoned I'd have the job finished in another 20-30 minutes. I left the re-install running and went downstairs to have a cup of tea, laughing and joking with V's kids (I think they were 10 and 11). V's partner had left for work and she said she needed to nip to the shops, so she asked me if I'd mind keeping an eye on the kids for ten minutes. No problem, I said.

She was gone three hours.

I was fucking furious, but I couldn't let myself show it because of the kids. I helped them with their homework. I played games with them on the PC. This was before the days of mobile phones so there was no way I could contact V (I couldn't even call my girlfriend because we lived in a flat with no phone at the time). The kids said their Nan lived in town but she was getting on a bit, so I couldn't really ask her to come over and look after the kids. They didn't really know the neighbours. I just sat it out.

When V got back I made my exit. I didn't trust myself to say anything, not with the kids in the house. I cornered her the next day at work and she gave me a sob story about running into a friend in need. I got 25 quid out of her and just resolved to stay well clear of her in future. I know my girlfriend gave her a bollocking a week or two later, and we just let it end there.

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