February 13, 2011

Persuading Mike to get Skype

Years and years ago, I persuaded and cajoled and wheedled and begged my friend Brendan to install Skype, so we could chat at work.

Nothing doing; Brendan would have no part of it.  He thought it was intrusive; perhaps he thought his work would suffer; perhaps he feared change.

After about four years of constant nagging, he finally joined the goddamned 21st century.  And he LOVES it.  We don't Skype constantly or anything, but every few days we chat over it.  It's a great way to stay in touch.  My hard work paid off for me, and for my friend.  I can only assume that he realizes the sacrifice I made for him.

Today, I face a far greater challenge:  My techno-phobe friend Mike, armed with his Radio Shack cassette-driven answering machine, and his unhealthy aversion to any technology younger than the last Mike & The Mechanics album.  Can I convince Mike to do the same -- to sign up for Skype?  Am I starting down another long road of persuasion and cajoling and wheedling and begging, just so that Mike can do something that most people figured out years ago, and which he'll most assuredly conclude in retrospect is (a) quite nice, and (b) not really a big deal at all?   Perhaps so.  But I am willing to take that risk.  For Mike.  For our friendship.

This email will chronicle every email I send to Mike until he finally relents and installs Skype.

Email 1:  Direct
Install Skype, dammit.
- Brett
Email 2: Faux Static
I _m havg trou l w*th ths conne*on.  Stat*c 0n the IntErnet, I th*nk.

Dwnl0ad Skype, it's m*ch easr to spk on Skype
- Brt
Email 3: Emergency
You are in grave danger!  Visit this link and do what it says at once, I'll explain later.

They will arrive at your office any moment now, and all will be lost!   Do it before it's too late! 

Quick, there's no time to think!!
- Brett

Email 4: Shame
Technology is changing the world.  If you're going to be a success in your career, you've got to keep up with the latest technologies.  I'm serious!  I don't necessarily like texting, Twitter, Facebook, del.icio.us, etc. but I am comfortable with it all. 

Your brain will get brittle if you can't deal with change.  You owe it to yourself and your future to install Skype now.

 - Brett

Email 5:  Mocking
I got your note about "potential aggravation" of using Skype.  That's a good point. Given that you're in Bermuda, your IM's will be hand-delivered by an international operator, which can be a bit aggravating. Like so:
12:19pm Mike: Operator, please tell Brett that I'm hung over at work, and that FML.
12:21pm Operator:  I have conveyed the message.
12:22pm Operator: Sir?  I have a reply from Brett.  Shall I read it now?
12:22pm Mike:  Please.
12:22pm Operator:  He says 'LOL'.
12:23pm Mike:  Ah.  Please draft an immediate response of a single winky face.  Thank you.
12:23pm Operator:  Sent.

Oh, wait, that's just some fantasy application that doesn't really exist.  Skype is just a normal IM client.  No aggravation. Pls install, thx.
- Brett


  1. Brett, you are ABSOLUTELY right! I am laughing in Bermuda right now, having witnessed discussions between Joe and Mike regarding different technologies but sounding remarkably similar the content above. Good luck to you and Joe both in your attempts to drag Mike into this century!

  2. This is soooo funny! I love it; it's a great way to start my day :)