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14 January 2010

Wednesday the 13th

So the day started bad, with the cable box not working. I call Comcast and press all the option buttons, and finally a guy comes on and says, "So you unplugged it and plugged it again and it still doesn't work?"

"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.

Doesn't work.

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.

11 comments:

Kristen said...

I've called tech support once in my life. Much like your experience, they were no help. I've learned to rely on friends, relatives, and Google.

SJ said...

Google is my guru. You did the right thing... how does that feel?

Ricardo said...

Well,they can resurrect old files from a deleted hard drive, it will just set you back some cash.

I have comcast too for my internet and cable. I love the inflated prices. don't you?

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Oh dear! The frustration & futility of tech support in conjunction with the being-pecked-to-death-by-chickens of parenting all at the same time! It's a wonder you survived, much less your computer.

Glad you got everything back okay!!!!!

People in the Sun said...

Kristen, it's funny because I've grown so accustomed to finding all the answers on the internet, that as soon as my internet was gone, I was ready to give up and delete everything, justifying it as A New Beginning.

SJ, it feels great, but there's one problem...

Ricardo, the guy actually said there was a way to save my drive, if I take it out and get a company to take out what's in there, but it sounded expensive and I didn't want to wait anymore... (and I was in a hurry to write this review thingy).

Jill, thanks. Every time I need to make an important call he starts with his tricks. One time I held the phone with my left hand while my right arm was folded on the side of the chair. I ended the call with 10 books on my right arm. I didn't even notice he put them there one by one.

Sebastien said...

Thank gawd! but seriously hilarious. At least in your telling of your story. And I bet you've never seen a lego tower before either, but you're acting like you've seen one before because it's part of your 'being cool' act. :)

Frosty said...

I'm so glad that story ended so happily, and I'm sorry you went through such a hassle, but I've got to say, by the time you were laying on the floor with a lego tower on your chest and the spark of life gone from your eyes, I was laughing so hard I was crying.

Brilliant writing, good sir!

People in the Sun said...

Sebastien, not only have I never seen a lego tower before, I've also never seen a man with a Swifter stick down his shirt!

Frosty, I was crying too!

Tom Harper said...

Thank God for Google. More often than not, they've found the tech information I need.

I'm glad my ISP is a small local company; their office is about half a mile from where I live. Their prices are high but their service, the few times I've needed them, has always been excellent.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Holy crap! What a day. Google is the awesome. Good (and unusual) to hear that so many things that went wrong all at once turned out OK.

People in the Sun said...

And yesterday I finally managed to make my computer wireless, which makes me practically a genius. Meanwhile, I've complained to the Better Business Bureau about the Gateway Tech Support. I got a call back from Gateway telling me that because I agreed to pay the $60, it didn't matter that the guy didn't know what he was talking about. Even if he spoke in Gibberish, she said, I'd still have to pay. Funny thing is that we're about to buy a laptop, and I was actually going to buy it from Gateway.

And although the particular site that saved my computer is found on Google (4th or 5th result), the default search on my phone is Bing, so it's all thanks to Bing (where the site is listed second, just after the Microsoft page that's supposed to help with this problem, but didn't, because you know, Microsoft).

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