Thursday, June 12, 2008

Laptop Rehab

My laptop needs an inpatient program.

For some time now and without warning, mid-Visio Business Process Model workflow, it flips a chip. For a moment, I see the blue screen of death flash before my eyes, followed quite cheerfully by the Dell reboot screen.

Like all good enablers, I've learned to deal with its issues. I can compensate by saving my documents regularly to my local drive. It's really not that bad, I tell myself. For the most part, it's a good laptop. In most cases, it is quite reliable, it contains all the programs I need to do my job, and it performs well for personal use. It tries very hard to stay the course and behave functionally. But every now and then, it falls off the Intel wagon and all its weaknesses and insecurities get thrown heave-ho into the spotlight where even I, the co-dependent user, have to admit that an intervention may be necessary.

I love my laptop, really I do. And I'm not wholly kidding when I refer to myself as the co-dependent user. Part of the reason Dell Latitude D630 hasn't gone for inpatient help is that I selfishly don't want to be deprived of its company. How on earth would I update the blog without him? (And don't ask why the laptop has a gender. I couldn't explain that if I wanted to. And I don't want to.)

My other excuse for not admitting D630 to the Helpdesk Hospital has to do with the care he'd receive there. Our helpdesk is, like all helpdesks in my experience, completely UNhelpful. One first sits in the waiting room being triaged by the on-call technician, who fusses over his clipboard and asks idiot questions between taking frantic phone calls on the help-line:

Dr. Unhelpful: Did you re-boot?
Me: That's what it does when it fails, it reboots itself. Why would I do it again?

Riiinnnnngggg - "Helpdesk, this is Dr. Unhelpful." "You spilled what? On your keyboard? All right, bring it up".

Dr. Unhelpful: Why didn't you bring it in sooner?
Me: Because the message I get says "the system has RECOVERED from a serious error". I figured RECOVERED means "all better". That's what recovery means, right?

Dr. Unhelpful: All right, fine. We'll take care of it sometime in the next year. But we'll have to deal with all the emergency laptop issues first. Did you enter a ticket?
Me: D630 is IMPORTANT DAMMIT! He's got serious mental issues. You mean to tell me that someone accidentally spilling coffee on their keyboard is more critical than my D630's suicide attempts? Have you ever SEEN the blue screen of death? It's traumatic, I tell you, TRAUMATIC. And my blog, er, WORK is business critical! I can't be without him.......

At which point, someone from the Project Management Office will arrive to render necessary support and also physically drag me kicking and screaming from the IT closet. "Now Jenn And The City, you're really not helping D630 here, why don't we go to the lobby and get a nice latte at Starbucks." That's their job, they calm temperamental Analysts.

And then Dr. Helpdesk will keep D630 for a week while I suffer through life with a "loaner". A loaner? That's like a tobacco patch. Or nicotine gum. A loaner my a$$. We're dealing with a serious co-dependency issue here, people!

Like I said, the laptop needs some rehab. I'm quite sure it has a problem. I, on the other hand, AM JUST FINE THANK YOU.


Anonymous said...

No not the blue screen of Death!!?!!

Guess you'd better see about distracting yourself by getting your little girlie some runs at the meet Sat!

Janet S

kclynn89 said...

Funny you should send this blog today of all days..........

So last week I went into "geek squad" at Best Buy. Nicely set my HP laptop on the counter and say "could you look at my crackpipe, it's not working?". He gave me a weird look. Yes that's right I said crackpipe. Some people use actual crack for their addiction. I use a laptop. So What? What's that all about, they were so judgemental. So they shipped my laptop off to HP so they could see what the issue was. Since I didn't have the blue screen of death, I had the "no screen" of death. Which turns out is even worse. HP called me today to let me know they would need $800 dollars to replace the mother board, which they just replaced on December 5th. UGH - send it back to me, I'm going to take it to the local Data Doctor people. Why you ask was my laptop's mother board replaced on December 5th (okay, maybe you didn't ask) - but here goes............

Chicken Soup - Good for the Soul. Not so good for the laptop. I spilled a bowl of chicken noodle soup on the poor thing.

So my dear sister - I might see you in REHAB. Or at the very least -Starbucks.

Pam said...

A.J., my computer hero, will be either at Jan's or Al's. He is much better than Dr. Unhelpful.

Scott said... a former unhelpful doctor myself, this stings a bit (as most truth does)! Having said that, I own three laptops, because out of the three only one of them is ever close to being fully functional at any given time, so I'll always have one that can sputter along while I'm reinstalling Windows for the umpteenth time on the other two...

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