The latest Affairs. . .

Getting help from Tech Support


Getting Help from Tech Support


                      . . . in a land far,far away


If you haven’t read Getting on FaceBook with Betty, you should read that first. You’ll see how, in this orchard, the apple doesn’t fall far from its tree. Click the bee: 


Last year my laptop began to die. A rosy haze glowed on start-up, it ran hot and slow.

I liked my old laptop. It had performed admirably for seven years. Microsoft sent notifications they would soon quit sending updates for XP and bragged about all the magical things their new Windows 8 could do. What they really wanted was for me to buy a new computer.

My guy and I found one I liked at Staples. And thus began The New Computer Saga of my life.

I chose a thirteen inch, Inspiron, 64-bit, i5 Windows 8 Touch. That’s pretty much all I remember.

Going from a seven-year-old XP to a Windows 8 Touch is a bit like going from sitting on the boat with Noah to sitting on the Enterprise with Captain Kirk going where no man has gone before. At warp speed. Without Geordi’s glasses. 

From day one, my new laptop had issues. Tyler, the tech guy, came to the house, fiddled with it, said it wasn’t me and took it away. A few days later, he called to say its issues were bad, but he had a better one waiting for me.

Rather than get all bogged down in what happened, I’ll just fast forward to today . . . FOUR computers later–  through which Tyler and his techs at Staples took great care of me– I now have a fifteen inch, Inspiron, 64-bit, i7 Windows 8 Touch. All is good.

I am still in the learning curve, but things are getting better.

Until two weeks ago.

My new computer . . . out of the blue, right in the middle of writing a post . . . just sat there spinning its little dots. I took it in to get checked. A week later, Staples called and said the mother board and the hard drive were both dead. They couldn’t get it to log in or reboot. It just sat there spinning its little dots for them, too.

It was still under the original warranty. We– that’s me and the Staples techs– called the manufacturer.  For THREE days we were informed there was unusually heavy call volume–    Isn’t it funny how these companies blame us, the customer, for their failure to schedule enough employees answering the phones?    — and placed on hold a total of FOUR HOURS. Once a representative would answer, we’d be disconnected.

Finally, a guy named Gene, or Shzene,  answered. He’s sending a box. I’m returning the laptop for them to repair or replace. I sit here waiting for my box.

But, this is, in part, how my conversation with Gene went. It lasted an hour. Breathe easy, I have spared you all but the highlights.

“Hello. My name is Shzene. How may I help you today?”

“Hi. What do you need from me first–  Scene, you said?”

“No, madam, I am Shzene. G-E-N-E. (Only he said it like this: shzeh – eh – ehn – eh ) May I have your name and service number?”

“Susan Bosscawen. It’s ASDFG1”

“Yes. I have it here in front of me, Miss Boss-ss-bossa– Miss Susahn.”

I tell him what Staples has done with it for the past week.

“Let me ask you, Miss Susahn, please, have you run a check on it yourself? I would like to do that with you.”

“I haven’t and I don’t know how.”

“I will be velly glad to help you. Please, first, let us turn your laptop on.”

“I can’t tell if it’s on or off. I pressed the button, the logo comes up, then it goes to a black screen.”

“OK, Miss Susahn, please. Press the F12 key.”

Or the F4. Or the F2. He had me pressing all sorts of keys before we were done.

“You mean press it down or just press it and let go?”

“Please, press it once and let go.”

“I’m back to the logo. Oops, nope, it went away again.”

“OK. Press the F4 key many times, Miss Susahn, please. Keep pressing it. OK, you may stop.”

“OK. Now, what?”

“Press the FN key in the lower left corner and hold it down.”

“It’s beeping at me, Gene. It’s really upset. It’s making this unhappy beep.”

“Dahs ok. Dahs ok. What do you see on your screen?’

“There’s a list of things with green check marks. One has a red X. Something about memory.”

“Ok, Miss Susahn, please. I need you to do this with me. Ok? I need you to turn off your laptop.”

“You mean like — completely off?”

“Yes, Miss Susahn. Now, turn it over. Please, remove your battery. You will see a rectangular cover with two screws. I need you to remove those screws. Can you do this for me, Miss Susahn, please?”

“Those are tiny little screws, Gene. Hold on. I’ve gotta get my other glasses. (Gasp, sigh, feel sorry for oneself) I’ve got to go find . . . Let me get a tiny screwdriver.”

My guy’s been listening to this and places a tiny screwdriver set before me. Bless him.

“OK, Gene. I’m working on it. You know this thing has been in the shop a week, they can’t fix it, it’s only a few months old, it was expensive, and now it’s dead. They can’t even get my files off the hard drive. Everything is lost. And getting hold of you has been a royal pain in the neck. We’ve tried for days and been placed on hold for hours. And now, you have me taking it apart. I’m not having fun here.”

“EEsss Ok, Miss Susahn. I will be velly glad to help you through this.”

(The man has the patience of Job.)

“Ok, Gene, I have the cover off.”

“Do you see the blue square to the right?”

“I see a teal blue area to the right with two rectangular teal blue things with little black squares on them.”

“That is so, Miss Susahn. I want you to remove them.”

“Remove the black things or the blue things?”

“Remove the blue rectangles, Miss Susahn. They are in a frame. You can pop them out.”

“I can’t figure this out, Gene.  (Frustrated, heavy breathing) They won’t pop. I could pry them with this screwdriver. Would that work?”

“OH, No!! NO!! Miss Susahn! (Job is now in panic mode.)  Don’t use your screwdriver, please. You only need your fingers. It eess velly easy.”

“Well, it’s not working for me. Oh, wait a sec, I think they came. Yes, I have them. There are two.”

These are memory chips. They looked more teal in real life

“Ok, now replace your battery, and turn your computer back on.”

We went through his tests again with me punching keys. Same results.

“Ok, Miss Susahn, please. I want you to replace the blue rectangles and screw the cover back on.”

“Ok, Gene . . . all done. Did we fix it?” 

“No, Miss Susahn. I need you to send in your laptop. It will take about two weeks for us to repair your machine. If we can’t, we will replace it. We will send you a box.”

And so, as I wait for my box, I’m back on the ark.

I feel Betty’s pain.


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