The scene: My car. Driving. Almost to my dad’s house.

Ring Ring! (Actually the Charlie Brown music – that’s my ringtone.) (Yes, I know it’s really called Linus & Lucy. I just wasn’t sure if you knew that.)

Look at phone, see who it is. It’s my friend Dimples (seriously, his dimples are ridiculous), who never, ever calls me, so this should be interesting.

W: “Hello?”

Dimples: “Hey, hi, how are you?”

W: “I’m fine. How are you? What’s up?”

Dimples: “Yeah, so, I need some help. Like a favor. If that’s ok. Are you sitting down?”

(mild alarm, especially because he’s not one to ask me for help with anything, especially anything that should require sitting to hear about, but also amusement and curiosity.)

W: “I’m driving. So I’m in a seated position. Do I need to pull over?”

Dimples: “No, no, this isn’t nearly as big a deal as I’m making it out to be. It’s just, I feel like you’re my friend who knows the most about Facebook. Is that a fair assumption?”

W: (possibly laughing) “Yes, that’s a fair statement.”

Dimples: “I did something, I don’t know what. I don’t what happened. But somehow I screwed something up and everything is squares. Like I can’t read anything, it’s all boxes. Like computer code.”

W: (likely laughing a little) “Ok, and it’s only doing this in Facebook, not in anything else?”  (thinking perhaps a reboot is in order)

Dimples: “No, just in Facebook. And I don’t know how to fix it, or what I did. I think I was resting my hand on my mouse and I maybe right clicked and something popped up and kind of all in one I accidentally did something and I don’t know what. And it’s all squares. Like I can see a name, but then everything is just squares.”

W: (almost to Dad’s house) “Ok, it sounds like you changed the language, to something with a different character set. I’m not sure I can tell you how to do it over the phone…let me see if I can use Dad’s computer, otherwise I’ll have to cal you back in a little bit.”

(enter Dad’s house, find him at computer. Dimples, still on phone.)

W: (to Dad) “Hi! Are you in Facebook? Can I look at it for a minute?”

Dad: (moving back from computer, looking at me curiously) “Sure.”

(poke around page, find the language settings)

W: “Ok, on the home page, at the top, next to the word ‘home’…”

Dimples: “I can’t see the word home. All I can see is my name and a bunch of squares.” (mild tone of panic)

W: “Ok. Next to the squares do you see a little triangle like a drop-down menu?”

Dimples: “I just see squares. I see the triangle, but it’s next to a bunch of squares.”

W: (laughing) “Ok, click on the triangle and then pick Account Settings”.

Dimples: “I only see squares. Oh wait. I see (page for his band), then Advertise, then squares.”

W: “Ok, click the thing right below Advertise. Then Language will be the last thing in the list. Click edit off to the right.”

Dimples: “I only see squares.”

(By this point, pretty much every time he says “squares”, I’m laughing. Dad is laughing too, even though he has no idea who I’m talking to or what exactly we’re talking about.)

W: “There should be six things listed. Language is last.”

Dimples: “I can see my name. And my email address. And then squares.”

W: “Ok, keep going. Language is the last one.”

Dimples: “Ok. It’s the last one. Is English an option?”

W: “Yes, it should say English (US). OOH! You know what you should do is pick English (Pirate). That’s hilarious.”

(Dad is cracking up)

Dimples: “Let’s just start with regular English and see if it can work.”

W: “Ok, click save changes.”

Dimples: “Is that in the blue box? HEY! That’s it! You fixed it! I think I changed it to computer language or something. Hey, yeah, so what’s new? How are you?”

This is the beautiful thing about being the unofficial Facebook help desk instead of a doctor or lawyer or something – no consultant-client privilege.  😀


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