You work with computers? Say! I've been having this problem with my machine . . .

Sure! My son is a system administrator, he knows all about computers and he will be more than happy to come look at your . . .

Hey! How are you doing? I just stopped by to visit. Did I mention that my computer doesn't work? I have it in the car if you could take a look . . .


Technical Support is what your family and friends think you are when you "work with computers." Often, you can get volunteered for work that you would normally bill ninety dollars an hour for, and social visits become support calls. If it's my father doing it, I'll usually go along because he got me started in the industry, but sometimes I feel like I'm working on my day off.

Even my wife (who works in a HelpDesk) gets hit up to troubleshoot systems when she visits her family to the point that they sometimes won't give her time to visit. They have called late at night when we have to get up early. Grr.

I don't mind trading services with family. My brother-in-law mows my lawn, and I hop when they have a problem. However, I wonder what the others would do if I asked them to perform their job on the weekend.

This can become awkward, and/or irritating unless you know creative ways to say "no" without being rude.


I may complain, but as long as that isn't the only reason they visit or talk to me, I'll keep helping.

See also sucker.