"Oh, I didn't do that..."
So I unplug it and plug it again and it's alive. But I'm still angry because I was ready for him to say he'll send someone over in a week to fix it, so I say, "What happened there?" And he says, "Probably it wasn't plugged in all the way." And now I'm really angry because IT WAS PLUGGED IN, DAMNIT, so I say, "Well, I'll call again next time it happens!" And he agrees I should do that.
That's just an introduction to what comes later in the afternoon.
The network-router-thingy comes in the mail. I unwrap it, put the CD in, and get an Error 301 message. So I call Cisco and this evil Tech Support woman answers the phone. I think she's going to tell me she'll mail me a new CD or a new router or have someone come over and see what the problem is, but instead she walks me through the entire complicated installation. And I'm not ready for that, because the boy has just had his lunch and he's throwing stuff around and singing, and shouting, "Look! Look! Look!" because obviously I've never seen a Lego tower before, and at one point I turn around and there's a Swifter stick inside my shirt. And the woman is this stereotypical SNL Computer Guy, telling me every few seconds, "Obviously we have a problem here because you don't seem to understand what I'm saying. Do you know the difference between Wired and Wireless?" And she's so mean, and I have Lego towers on my lap and a broom sticking out my back, but I get it to work.
One last thing to do: put the network USB adapter in the back. I bend down under the table, stick the adapter in, and am about to get up, when I realize Liam turned the computer off. Pressing buttons is so much fun in the Science Center, after all. So I turn it back on and get an error message. My Config/System file has been corrupted. So I lie on the floor and wait for Death.
That's how Honey finds me when she gets home from work. Lying on the floor with the spark of life gone from my eyes, and a Lego tower on my chest.
She takes the baby upstairs, giving me the energy to fight on. I call Gateway. We can solve it, but it'll be $60. Well, I guess that's a small price to pay to save all the documents and the baby pictures. Thirty minutes on hold, listening to slap-bass improvisation solos, which I guess are supposed to calm me down, and a Gateway Tech Support Professional is ready to save my computer.
First, he tries to start the computer in Safe Mode.
Second, he tells me to insert my original CD. We're going to format the hard drive.
"Wait. Wait! Does that mean deleting everything?" Yes. That's what it means. And there's nothing else we can try? No. File is corrupted. It's all gone.
So I tell him I'll call him back, and I use my cellphone internet to search for "Config System Corrupt," and I find this page, and ten minutes later this is what I see on my computer:
I've never been so happy to see this guy.