Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Machine's at Fault

When something mechanical in my life doesn't function perfectly, I tend to assume it is my fault.  Something I did is causing the problem.

Remember that new computer I waited half the summer to arrive?  When it finally did, I was immediately frustrated.  I've been complaining since that first week.  Sluggish.  Unresponsive.  Slower than its predecessor with less guts and gusto.

I complained to the vendor, who happens to also be my tech support.  Hey, Daniel, why did I pay a premium price for something that doesn't do what was promised?  I thought you were going to add extra memory to this beast.  It's not there.  Hey, Daniel, I could go to Costco or Best Buy, get the same machine for less money, load it myself (and know where all the files get put), and have at least as good a product for less money.  Just wouldn't have the on-call tech support.   Hey, Daniel, we've got to fix this.  I'm really, really not happy.

Daniel is a good civil servant.  He takes all Federal and State holidays.  He takes a spring break and a winter break.  My computer disasters always seem to happen on the Friday of a long weekend.  Or at 5:30 p.m. on Friday just after he has shut down for one of his 2-week vacations.  His Christmas break starts at 5 p.m. tomorrow.

We started looking for a mutually convenient time to do a remote support session.  First we had to scatter my dad's ashes.  Then we had to get Kimo back on the road.  Then there's my mom's nearly daily list of errands to run.  Then there are my own pressing errands.  Daniel has his own set of problems with an ailing, aged mother and an equally aging father with not-quite-sufficient financial resources.  We finally settled on yesterday afternoon.  At  2:00.  No, changed that to 4:00.  With Robert.

2:00 came and went without a call.  4:00 came and went.  Still no call.  At 4:30 I figured I'd been by-passed one more time and started the download of a library book.  Robert called at 4:31.  No, we couldn't ask the computer to multi-task.  We would still be here 12 hours later, still trying to solve the same problem.

Robert called again today.  Late again.  He tried all the tricks in his magic bag.  Couldn't solve the problem.  Guess what?  It's NOT ME!  He will try again tomorrow.  With a new set of tricks.  It might be a graphics issue.  It might be something else.  Daniel is making "we'll replace it in January" noises.  We'll see.

The important piece:  I didn't do it!  It's NOT ME!  For once, the machine appears to be at fault.

Give thanks for all those machines in your life that work tirelessly, uncomplainingly, day after day, as they are intended to work.   Pray for the tempers of those of us dealing with the recalcitrant, trouble-making machines in the world.

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