shhh... it's a secret

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I'm infected

I feel dirty. I feel violated, and I feel used.

How did this happen? I've always been so careful. When did this happen? If only I could retrace my steps. I can't believe this is happening to me. You hear about this sort of thing happening to other people, but I never thought it would happen to me. I guess most active people will become infected at least once during their lives,* but I never imagined that would include me.

I'm so ashamed and embarrassed. What it I've passed this on to someone else? What's going to happen when other people find out? How will I face them knowing that they know that I have...


It's true. I found out this morning.** I was working on my computer when all these little alerts began popping up, announcing that my computer has been infected, a virus has been detected, blah, blah, blah. Do you want to run your antivirus software now?

Wait. What?

Now, by nature, I'm a Mac girl. I love my Mac, but it's a desktop, and for convenience sake I switched to a (borrowed) Windows laptop while I'm in grad school. I know very little about Windows, but I do know that my laptop doesn't have antivirus software on it. How do I know this? Well, about 9 or 10 months ago Norton antivirus kindly informed me that my subscription had expired. Would I like to renew now? At this point I turned to the man of the house (who will from here on out be referred to as the MOH) and inquired about this notification. Don't worry about it, he says. IT'S NOT IMPORTANT. I DON'T NEED IT. (Which, I have come to learn actually means I don't feel like dealing with it right now).

Back to my present dilemma. I happen to be smart enough to know that something isn't right here, but I'm not smart enough to know what that something is. So, I call the one person I know who is, the former MOH, who happens to work with computers FOR A LIVING.

The phone rings... and rings... and rings. No answer. Okay, it's 12:30, maybe he's in the shower. I'll try back later. Meanwhile, all these little messages keep popping up and dinging and beeping, and I enter panic mode. "Later" ends up being about two minutes. Still no answer. I hang up and and try again. Still no answer. I try again (in my crazed-female state-of-mind I truly believe he didn't hear the phone ringing before, but THIS TIME he will). I probably call about ten times in the span of 15 minutes, all the time becoming more and more hysterical. (I'm livid at this point. If he's ignoring my calls because he's involved in some stupid Call of Duty match...)

Finally, my phone rings just as I was about to dial for the umpteenth time. Sorry, he says, I was outside shoveling snow. I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR STUPID LITTLE SNOW! I HAVE A CRISIS HERE! So I explain the situation, at which point he informs me he can't help me. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN'T HELP ME!?! Maybe you should take it to Best Buy, he says, and see if they can help you. WHAT!? (at this point I am literally in tears and terrified that the last two years of my life, all my blood, sweat and tears is about to disappear into oblivion) I can't help you over the phone, he tells me. Can I call you back? I'm soaking wet and want to finish snow blowing. The snow is so wet, and heavy, and deep... CLICK

Yeah, I hung up on him. I'd like to note that he has a degree in psychology, and he should know that in the state I was in, it was not the time to brush me off because of a little snow (Okay, it just so happens they're getting hit with the biggest snowstorm ever in recorded history, but this is TWO YEARS OF MY LIFE!!).

I calm down, he calls me back and after some not-so-nice poking and prodding on my end, I finally get some useful information out of him, including the fact that as long as I don't mind the constant pop-ups, it's okay to use the computer, which is all I really needed to know in the first place. After suffering through his lectures about clicking on attachments in emails (which I know better than to do) and surfing for hockey porn (I don't even know what this means. He's a hockey player, maybe this is his idea of a joke), he informs me that he can probably fix it. In fact, he just fixed a few computers at work with the same problem (I'm taking really big, deep breaths at this point because I want to be nice. I NEED him to fix this). He informs me that if I take the hard drive out and mail it to him, he can take a look at it (to me, this sounds like he's just asked me to remove one of my lungs and FedEx it to him). Forget it, I tell him, I'll deal with it for now.

In conclusion, while my computer is under the influence of this virus, my presence will be sporadic.

* I totally made this tidbit up for the sake of this story. Sorry.
**This post was actually (hand)written on 2/6/10. My computer seems to be fine right now {knock on wood} which is why I am able to post this today.

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