A conversation I had today with my mother-in-law (replace with any boomer).

Me: When did you get this 4G home mobile internet subscription?

MIL: About 3 years ago.

Me: What's the max speed on it?

MIL: No idea.

Me: What are you paying for it per month?

MIL: Not sure.

Me: Ok... Can I see your last bill?

MIL: Hang on, it's on the drawer somewhere with all the other million paper bills I get because I don't know email billing has existed since 2001. Let me dig through it.

Me: You should sign up for email billing...

MIL: What if I forget because I don't see the email?

Me: You don't check your email?

MIL: No because all I get is spam...

Me: You should use a second email for spam.

MIL: How do I know which is spam?

Me: Umm... Anyway about that bill...

MIL: It's $29,90 and it's 10Mbits.

Me: Yeah sounds about right, these speeds are bad and that's definitely a very old plan... There are plans for 50Mbit for $14,90 now. You should swap.

MIL: But this is fine for me.

Me: Literally what?

MIL: I don't need it any faster.

Me: You spend all day watching Netflix and YouTube and you're paying for the HD plan and you don't have fast enough speed... Also when you do that, no one else can use the internet, nothing will load for us.

MIL: You've never had a problem with it before when you were both here.

Me: Because we've never stayed here longer than like 2 days, and usually we use our mobile hotspots but I need to connect some devices via wired now.

MIL: Why do you need to do that?

Me: Never you mind. Anyway, both your daughter and I would like the internet to be at least a twentieth of our home internet speed... Not a hundredth... Plus it's literally $180 cheaper per year.

MIL: I think having slow internet is nice (she actually said this).

Me: We don't, and wtf no one thinks slow internet is nice... Really you should upgrade. They'll probably end support for this plan soon anyway because it's so old (half lie). Also $180 is a lot of money to save.

MIL: If they haven't after 3 years then I doubt they will and they'll just change my over automatically, won't they?

Me: Yes but they probably won't offer you anything remotely as good as if you asked yourself. Why won't you swap?

MIL: Oh I don't know. I don't understand any of the things they ask on the phone.

Me: You can do it all online. You signed up to Netflix without any problems...

MIL: I'll think about it.

Me: Okay and I'll think about mowing the lawn and digging those few new garden beds you wanted.


1 hour later (to her daughter)

MIL: Oh so I got a 5 pack of these 100 decorated serviettes and they were 25% off.

Me: But you won't save $15 a month and get 5 times faster internet to satisfy your daughter and her partner.


Some more hours later

MIL: (to my partner) Can you ask pythoninrelay why Netflix isn't working?

Me: It seems to be because I'm downloading some stuff.

MIL: Can you do that later?

Me: Nope.

MIL: Okay how long is it going to take?

Me: At this rate, about 13 hours.

MIL: What? What on earth takes that long to download!

Me: Quantum Break (it's 100GB)

MIL: Is that a show? Can't you watch it on Netflix?

Me: No and no it's not on Netflix.

MIL: Well this just won't do! It's not going to work if only one person can use the internet at a time!

Me: ... So you'll swap the internet over?

MIL: That'll solve the problem?

Me: Pretty much.

MIL: How long will it take to swap it over?

Me: Probably about an hour, but definitely less than 13 hours.

MIL: Can you just download that whilst you sleep?

Me: We have dozens of other things we need to download and I need to reprovision my home server. Can you watch Netflix whilst we sleep?

MIL: ...

Me: Just give me your laptop and let me change this shit for fucks sake! It was your fucking idea that we all quarantine here. Even if we didn't NEED to swap it, you should think about being proactive enough to make use of my talents and ask me how you can save money and get a better deal on stuff like this anyway.

MIL: I don't care about getting deals on stuff like this.

Me: Yeah nah, but fucking serviettes are worth bragging about right? Hand me the fucking laptop. I won't ask again or we're leaving, quarantine or not.


Not even 35 minutes later, the plan speed silently increases and we're enjoying 100Mbit internet and it's the same price she was paying for 10Mbit. All this fuss and she didn't have to lift a finger...

We've succeeded in making a world where boomers can just live in total selfish comfort and where it's painful for them to consider someone else's needs, even temporarily. Especially if they don't get to brag about it.

  • 13
    Great it had a happy ending.
    I have a friend who does not want his landline upgraded because he absolutely needs an analogue telephone line - not like any good router has analogue telephone sockets...

    And they could get a new cheaper and faster contract as well.

    On the other hand I understand people not wanting to switch contracts, as ISPs here are notorious to fuck it up.
    Once the ISP cancelled an order altogether because they couldn't find out whose cables we use.
  • 15
    Honestly, your approach sounded quite hostile to me.
  • 18
    You were nicer and more patient than I would have been. I'm not very patient or kind when it comes to laziness or willful ignorance.
  • 10
    @sbiewald I had old-style ADSL until, dunno, but for really long, basically until the DSLAMs were taken down in the streets. I feared that VoIP would fuck up my voice calls, and also internet itself, and I would sit offline for the next 3400 years which is the average time for ISPs in Germany to get their shit together.
  • 7
    @Root I'm the same. There is no shame in not knowing something, but if you refuse to learn or worse, you're proud of your ignorance, that makes my blood boil.
  • 5
    @frankot Context is everything mate. I love my MIL but she can be really pig headed and dismissive of others. Plus she doesn't need me to kiss her ass. We're both adults.

    @sbiewald I have one too. My father. It sucks and it's part of the reason why I can't stay at home for too long. We live in the mountains but they still have fast enough 4G there. He still wants to stick with 30 year old copper that stops working whenever it rains.
  • 3
    I had kinda same with dad. At least he is kinda into tech and it took only small talk to go from 30 to 600Mbps for the same price.

    Best was the moment he saw the crazy speed. YouTube 4K on all devices and still not even limited.
  • 4
    @Haxk20 my old man is into UFC and a lot of other sports. I keep trying to tell him that I could set him up with all the PPV stuff on HD using Kodi or something similar but he needs to swap over so it's faster, and plus it'll be cheaper and all that but he's clinging onto that landline like it's a lifeline... Worst thing is that he goes on about "loyalty" having been with them for 30 years but the rest of us know that means fuck all to a telco business.
  • 1
    @pythonInRelay People "loyal" to brands/companies are one of a kind. The stupid kind.
  • 2
    With how little they understand of the shit around them all boomers should be legally incapacitated.
  • 1
    The best part is most managers at work and especially C-level executives are boomers like that. No wonder we lurch from one disaster to another nowadays.
  • 0
    @Root I think I saw you on stackoverflow. Not a pretty scene...
  • 1
    @S0L4RE No. 😋
    I haven't been active there in years. I'm also not strict asshole gatekeeper like the mods there.
  • 0
    Fucking boomers
  • 0
    Fucking zoomers with their 100gb downloads WHICH HAVE TO HAPPEN RIGHT NOW BECAUSE IF I DONT GET CONNECTED IMMA DIE. Seriously dramma queens take it down a notch, because I got a serious urge to go to your house and blow up your power grid so you could just disconnect for a week or two and realize how moronic you sound. Seriously this was one of cringiest and neurotic caffeinated rant Ive red in a while. Pathetic.
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