My last few years of service in the USAF I became the go to guy for computer issues in my fighter squadron. That led me to doing it on my own time as well to make a few extra bucks.
I had two elderly ladies that I helped out. They just happened to live in the same retirement condo, but other than that I don’t think they knew each other.
The first of the two ladies (80ish years old) had bought a computer to be able to use email to keep in contact with extended family. She knew nothing at all about it. NOTHING. She said she can follow directions, and was very careful to follow them exactly. The problem she was having was using her back up floppy. This was about 1995, and her copy of the 3.5” disk wouldn’t be recognized by her computer. She said she followed the directions exactly. When the manual told her copy the 3.5” disk, she did. It said insert it in drive a:, which she did. But when she clicked continue it just made some odd noises and said no disk found. She said it was still in the drive, but she didn’t know how to get it out. I had some very slim tweezers and was able to remove the photocopy of the disk out of the drive. I swear, it was the toughest thing in the world holding in the laughter. I kept choking on it, and she said go ahead and laugh, and then tell me what I did wrong. Instead of laughing I purposely put my foot under the leg of my chair for some immense pain so I wouldn’t laugh at this dear lady. I explained what a disk was and what it meant to copy it. And she said, “well if they said what you just said I would have understood it!” She had a good laugh.
The other lady similar situation for getting a computer. Family contact. This was in the Phoenix Az area, in a retirement town called Sun City. Required 55+ yrs old to live there, and Antoine younger had to have special permission to stay over night.
So, she has her new laptop. It was a top of the line ThinkPad. You remember, the one with the little pencil eraser looking thing sticking up out between G and H I think? So she had just finished setting it up. She did a decent job. She hooked it to an external monitor, a printer. She did a really good job because this was in the early days of USB where you could really screw the pooch if you plugged in the printer before being prompted to, and creating a composite driver connected to nothing that was a struggle to remove, not to mention getting the printer installed after that.
So her issue wasn’t obvious at first. Everything worked, I was impressed. But then she pointed under her desk and said, “but how do I use that?” She was pointing at the mouse. It was plugged in, and the cord ran down behind the laptop and desk to the floor. I asked why it’s on the floor and she seriously said, “I thought it was a foot pedal, line on a sewing machine”.
That made my day.