Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The Latte Syndrome 

"I have the four year accidental damage insurance, I have the four year accidental damage insurance, I have the four year accidental damage insurance..."

This was my mantra that began at 6:30 last evening when in the middle of Evidence I spilled an ounce or so of my pumpkin spice latte on the keyboard of my notebook.

I froze for about a second, then calmly stepped out of the classroom to retrieve some paper towels, returned, turned it off and unplugged it, while trying to get every drop out from between the keys. Unfortunately, the computer was attempting to communicate its distress by means of flashing the monitor at me, despite the power being off. When I was no longer pulling any moisture out of the crevices, I pulled a yellow notepad out of my bag and began taking manual notes. This is really a bad thing for me, because I have horrendous handwriting.

At the 10 minute break before Constitutional Law, while my neighbors were freaking out on my behalf, I called The Guyfriend and left a message that I'd be bringing the notebook in today in hopes that he could somehow access my hardrive. I did back up my school folders recently, but it was a week ago. My friend who sits directly behind me and therefore had a complete view of the entire horror immediately offered to send me all of her notes from the evening's classes, and to take over my promise to give a copy of notes to another friend who is in Egypt this week.

I got on the phone with Dell at 10:15 last night, when I got home. The very pleasant, Indian-accented woman assured me that I indeed have the accidental damage complete care service package, as well as the at-home service package, so a friendly technician would be coming to my home to apply healing hands. But first we had to narrow down exactly which parts might need replacing. I retrieved my tiny, tiny flathead screwdrivers and she walked me through removing the battery and hard drive in various combinations and testing the power. Unfortunately, the screws are Phillips head, and the third panel she wanted me to remove had a firmly installed screw. She offered to wait on hold while I went out and bought some tiny, tiny Phillips head screwdrivers, but realized my dillema when I told her it was now 10:30 at night and the store was not likely to be open.

So now I have the computer at work, and the friendly customer service woman will be calling my office at 2:00 this afternoon to finish the estimated 10 minutes of the screening. I'll be recruiting The Guyfriend to sit here with me to provide expert assistance. The customer service woman will then set up an at home service call, which she assured me would take place in a day or two.

I've been handling this fairly calmly to this point, but I'm a bit wary that my protective emotional disconnect might fail at any moment, at which time my head will simply explode. I'd better cover the notebook, just in case.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 7:51 AM