We wandered around the computer displays.
Wendy: which one do you like mum?
Mumsie: I can only choose based on how they look dear
Wendy: They’ll all work for what we want them to do, so that’s an ok way to choose
Mumsie: This one has a big space-bar, I want a big space bar. Why is that one [an Apple] so expensive?
Wendy: It’s for people who like showing off that they can pay a lot for their computer, I can’t help you with using that one, I can help you using with all the others.
The large store was very busy in January. We asked for an assistant and were put in a notional queue, we browsed while we waited for an assistant.
Assistant: How can I help you?
Mumsie: I don’t know, we want a computer with a keyboard
Wendy: Mumsie wants to do emailing, share her digital pictures, use Facebook and write the WI minutes. And I don’t want to push her into getting anything she doesn’t feel comfortable with
Mumsie: Oh, is that what we want?!
Assistant: You want a Surface RT, it comes with Microsoft Office installed for writing your minutes
Mumsie: Wendy, is that the ‘Word’ thing that I use? I just copy last month’s minutes and make small changes each month
Wendy: Yes mumsie [turns to assistant] Do any of the others have a version of word installed, and how much would it cost to add Word [annoyed because my surface pro didn't come with any version of Office, just the option to purchase the full version]?
Assistant: Only the surface comes with Office installed, it is a reduced version but should be sufficient for your Mum’s needs. You’d have to buy and install it on other Windows8 machines
He started talking about Bluetooth and other technical features at this point and I could see mumsie getting disengaged.
Wendy: can mum have a go with it?
He took us to see three Surfaces, each with a different coloured keyboard. Mumsie really liked the keyboard because it had a decent space-bar, but mostly because it was backlit so the letters on the keys were really easy to see. We bought the surface because the value for money and enabling mum to keep using word was important. Then on with the shopping, we wandered off to look at the winter coats. Mumsie carried the surface easily around the store as we continued browsing. Nice. It was like buying a computer had become just another thing you buy on a shopping trip. A bit scary for mum, but it was my money so it all went smoothly. The package even fitted under the table in John Lewis’s café as we stopped to treat ourselves to coffee and cheesecake. Mum doesn’t use a walking stick, but if she did she would have been able to carry the surface easily around John Lewis’s. Well done.
I was a bit scared about how right the Surface RT would be for her, I would soon find out, but that’s another blog post…