24-Hour Help Line

by Meredith Patterson

By this point I've been waiting here three hours:
Just some bored keyboard jockey on the line
While technoweenies on the other end
Yap back and forth and drink their Mountain Dew
And try to figure out if it's a driver
Or interrupt or hardware glitch at fault.

I built the damn machine, so it's my fault
For stewing on this box so many hours
That someone sane would want to hire a driver
To take them round the bend. Could be the line
In sound jack or a PCI slot. Do
The pricey vendors also sell an end

To hardware trauma? I can see the end
Just past this next device protection fault;
But these are hardware wonks, not wonks who do
The software thing. "Oh, sure, they keep their hours
Around the clock, but on a different line.
They'd be the ones to know if it's a driver."

And by this point I'd like a three-wood driver
To smash the goddamn card — but then the end
Can't justify itself. There's not a line
On earth that could explain away a fault
Like that, and I'd have wasted three-odd hours
Along with ninety bucks. And I could do

Some more productive thing right now, but do
Not out-guess geek tenacity. One driver.
As long as I can get that fix, the hours
Are worth more than their fifteen per. I'll end
This soon, some way. A stupid hardware fault.
I could just spend a quarter hour in line

And give the damn thing back; some lamer line
About how there was nothing I could do
To make it work — most wouldn't call that fault.
But geeks have pride, and will not let a driver
Or other piece of software bring an end
To what we call fun, damn the sleepless hours.

It's how we are. We'll kludge past any fault
And brag about the hack — because it's ours.
Who cares how ugly? 'Least it works. The end.