where wildly different is perfectly normal
I’d like to reinstall my operating system
I’d like to reinstall my operating system

I’d like to reinstall my operating system

“Thank you for calling Inner Workings Tech Support, where we fix it or your money back! My name is Todd, how can I help you on this beautiful afternoon?”

“Hi Todd. My name is Jen and my operating system is acting up. It’s sluggish, hangs for no good reason, crashes after a few hours, and is generally unreliable. I’d like to reinstall it, please.”

“Of course, I can help you with that, but it’s unlikely you’ll need to reinstall your OS. That’s a pretty drastic operation for what you’re describing. I doubt it’s that bad. I’m certain I can resolve your issues without resorting to such extreme measures. Why don’t you tell me what’s going on?”

“Oh, this ain’t my first rodeo, Todd, trust me. But I’ll play along. Yes, I’m running the current OS and stay on top of all updates.”

“Good, that’s always the first step.”

“So here’s the thing…should basic operations take several hours? More if interrupted?”

“That can happen, but it is uncommon.”

“Right. Should the language function falter and occasionally shut down entirely if it’s limited to repetitive reminders of a maternal nature?”

“Uh, we’ve heard rumors of that feature…”

“It’s not a feature, Todd, it’s a bug, and I’d like to squash the little bugger.”


“I’m aware that the lagging and sluggishness can be remedied by continued running of the Life/Balance Program, with the Extra Sleep option selected; it’s been on for months. Told you this isn’t my first rodeo, dude. But what most concerns me today is how programs are suffering from what appears to be a terminal lack of follow-through, if they can start up at all. This is unacceptable, Todd. I specifically requested this OS because of its reputation for stability and efficiency, and it isn’t delivering on either account. No bueno, man.”

“Um. Right. I’ll have to confer with my supervisor.”

“You do that, Todd, it’s not like I’m getting a lot done here. But before you go…yes, I’ve installed and run the Healthy Diet and Lifestyle program as well as the Hydration protocol, the self-care preferences are all on and set to “non-negotiable,” and the several dozen tabs currently open are all required.”

“Hold please.”

<bad Musak version of If I Only Had a Brain>

“Thank you for holding. We suggest…”

“Vacation Override isn’t an option, Todd. Current financial realities and obligations eliminated that option from my OS for the foreseeable future.”

“I see. Please hold.”

<even worse oboe rendition of My Heart Will Go On>

“Thank you for holding…”

“The Run Away Nuclear Option was disabled 22 years ago by the Marriage Overlay and removed permanently 17 years ago by the Progeny Option.”

“<muttering> Hold please!”

<middle school boys choir squawking its way through Let’s Get Physical>

“Ma’am? Thank you for your patience. The entire department has been working on your situation, and we’re at a loss. You’re correct, a complete reinstallation of your OS would solve a lot of your issues, but that comes with the unfortunate side effects of total and irreversible memory loss, impeded productivity due to increased start-up and run times, and mange. We do not recommend that action at this time…or ever. Mange is not pleasant, ma’am.”

“Crap on a gluten-free cracker!”

“We recommend installation of Suck It Up, Buttercup with the adulting option set to extreme; I’ll send you a code to select that option, as it is fraught with its own issues and is only offered up as a last resort. We also suggest the Opposite Day productivity package – it requires slowing down and doing less to accomplish more. Sounds counterproductive, I know, but users who have run it have expressed satisfaction with the results. We believe it would greatly improve the performance of your OS. In addition, the entire crew here believes you would benefit from repeated use of a Wine Club subscription.”

“<Sigh> Is that the best you got?”

“The very best our operating system engineers have to offer. They will continue to work on your issue, and will push updates to your OS as they become available. Currently in the pipeline is the Empty Nest program, but it’ll be at least four years before that is ready for release, maybe more. As always, you can send suggestions to them through the contact form.”

“Thank you for your help here today, Todd. I’ll install Suck It Up, Buttercup and will look for your message with the extreme adulting code. Not what I was hoping to hear from you, but I understand. I’ll also look into a Wine Club subscription, I appreciate the recommendation.”

“Is there anything else I can help you with today, ma’am? Perhaps an upgrade? Add the Personal Assistant option?”

“No, I’m good. I’ll start with your suggestions and will certainly call back if those don’t work. Send my appreciation to your engineers, and if they can ensure the Empty Nest program launches as anticipated in four years, that would be great. Thanks for your help today, Todd.”

“My pleasure. Thank you for calling Inner Workings Tech Support, and please remember to recommend us to your friends!”


  1. Debra Singleton

    This is ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT, Jen!! and hysterical…and oh-so-true! By the way, turning the volume down on the State of the World channel can help enormously. Consider turning it down on other channels too. 😉

  2. Lynn

    Jen, I hear you! Alas, there are no options for us in the near future as my eldest is only 14. The runaway option rears it’s ugly head often. Again, thanks for sharing and helping us laugh at the entire situation. I have a chant – calm, consistent and acceptance….. plus counting to 20!
    Look forward to your next post

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