Yesterday I went to buy an internal PCI modem for my computer (since there is no such thing as broadband back at my parents\’ house–my poor desktop doesn\’t want to go three months without the Internet.) At OfficeMax as I was walking toward the hardware section, an employee perked up and asked, \”Do you need any help?\”
Normally in my socially anxious mode, I would have mumbled \”no thanks, i am just looking\” and sulked away. But instead, I felt a bit self-righteous and asked where the internal pci modems were. The guy strolled out in front of me leading me to an aisle of hardware cards. He looked at the rack for a bit and pointed, \”There…and there.\”
I thanked him and he left. I stared at the boxes, trying to find that modem card. Anger rose in my throat. He had pointed to a wireless ethernet pci card. what does he think I am, an illiterate computer user? I walked around the aisle for 5 more minutes, thinking that some employee would come over and ask whether I needed any help. I wanted to fume. Did I not say MODEM? Perhaps, the guy thought I was illiterate and assumed I was talking about LAN cards. Then I started wondering what would happen if an illiterate female computer user did come and ask for a modem…and got directed to a wireless card. Would she blindly purchase it and then for the next few months (if she was even able to install it) try to figure out why it wasn\’t working? I recalled memories of residents who told me their computer wasn\’t connecting to the internet and it turned out they had a phone cord jammed into their ethernet port.
I searched the aisle again and found the modem cards in the corner. It wasn\’t free after rebate, so I walked out of the store.