The screen on my Dell laptop computer suddenly froze a couple of weeks ago. I couldn’t even turn the damn thing off. Panic! Thankfully we have an extended service warranty, so my partner rang up and was patiently taken through the complicated steps to fix it. There was also a general clean-up and debugging, which took forever. Finally all the updates were complete. What a blessed relief. The helpful technician then asked;

Any other problems?

Well yes, my wife says she finds it hard to type ‘O’ and the letter ‘A’ has worn off the keyboard. Plus there has been no sound for a long time.

How had I put up with all this? I don’t know, I think it’s just my muddle through nature.

A week later we were driving to Sydney from the Blue Mountains when Rob’s mobile rang. I answered it, and what I perceived as an over friendly voice mentioned something about computers and asked if I was having a great day.

My ‘spam call’ radar went into overdrive. I told him yes, my day was fine thanks, but that I wasn’t interested in buying anything… and hung up. Polite but firm…that’s the way to handle such calls.

There was an immediate flash of concern on Rob’s face. ‘That wasn’t a call from Dell was it?’

Oh, I don’t think so….he didn’t mention Dell. To be fair, I hadn’t given him much of an opportunity to.

Turned out that it was the engineer, trying to arrange a visit to replace the keypad and restore the sound. OMG! Thankfully we were able to re-schedule after Rob made a groveling apology on my behalf. Mind you, he told me I’d been put to the back of the queue and would now have to wait six months. So funny…NOT!

I gave the computer a good clean before the visit, in the way that one cleans one’s teeth extra well before a dental appointment.

Computer cleaning.

But of course taking apart the old keyboard revealed untold horrors.

The technician found a tiny camera memory chip that had got stuck in the left hand port six months earlier (well that was a misfunction and not my fault!). However, to my shame and embarrassment he also found a variety of other chips; every flavour and make imaginable. ‘These might be what has been blocking the microphone’ he told Rob. πŸ₯΅ Oh good grief, thank goodness I’d stayed outside in the garden.

I can only blame my 3.30pm working ritual of hot milk and Baileys and a little (very little) bowl of chips.

Computer chips!

I might have to swap to carrot sticks.

A few days later the service report arrived in my email. Such was my humiliation that I forwarded it to Rob without even peeping at it. He tells me later. ‘It said all the items removed have been retained by the company, which means the engineer won’t need to buy lunch for a week!’

FOOTNOTE – After I published this piece several people suggested I should use a wireless keyboard. And do you know what? My associate Editor Des reminded that I’ve had one all along. πŸ˜›


1 Comment
  1. Haha hahahahahahahahahhahahahaha

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