Saturday, February 23, 2002

Wwhoo Boy! Somebody stop the world from spinning!

I did it again folks. Yep mousecateers, ole Jeeem got into another whirlwind romance that was not good for him. You'd think I'd learn from my mistakes. Oh well. I managed to dig myself out of it and feel like somebody lifted a big stone off my shoulders. Just got off the phone with Guiness Book of World Records and seems I need to get in (and out of) at least thirty more relationships before they'll send one of their people out to interview me. Guess I better get busy.

My laptop fried. I'm talking cooked. I plugged the thing in, powered it up and it froze and wouldn't shut down. Couldn't even turn the thing off. Smelled the pungent odor of plastic melting and then it just made a sick beep sound and petered out completely. First thing in my mind was, "Is the damn thing still under warranty?" Well, naturally it was/is as I've only had the damn thing for two months. So, I got on the phone to Dell support.

Have any of you experienced this? Un-freakin' real. Here's how it goes:

"Welcome to Dell Customer and Technical Support. If you know your party's 5 digit extension, please enter it now. If you are calling in regards to a Dell Optima system, please press the number one. If you are calling about an Inspiron portable system, please press two." and so on and so forth. I was on the phone for three days trying to get a human being. When I finally got one, it went something like this.....

"Hello, Dell Customer Support, Marie speaking, how may I help you?"
*three or four second pause* "Hello?"
"Is this a REAL person I'm talking to?"
"Yes. My name is Marie. How may I help you?"
"Oh, Thank God Marie. I am so glad to finally get a human being! Can I tell you that Marie was my mother's name?"
"Oh. Well, that's nice. How may I help you this morning?"
"Marie, I'm sorry. My name is Jim. Jim Anderson. I am so relieved to talk to you Marie."
"That's good. How may I help you Mr. Anderson"
"Please call me Jim, Marie."
"Okay Jim. How may I help you?"

This banter went on for a bit until I told her what my problem was. First off, I did not have the laptop in my possession (big mistake) and found that I was talking to the wrong department. I would have to speak with Technical Service.....

"Please Marie. Don't leave me!"
"I will need to transfer you to Technical Service Mr. Anderson . . er, uh, Jim."
"Thank you Marie. It was nice talking to you. I hope I get to talk to you again Marie . . . er, uh, goodbye Marie"
"Goodbye Jim"

*Jim enters the Abyss of cable silence and elevator music*

"Thank you for waiting. All service personnel are busy with other customers. Please stay on the line and the next available technician will be with you promptly."

I wonder if I broke some sort of Guiness Book of World Records for hearing that recording.

Finally I got Manuel. Manuel was young. I could hear his youngness in his voice. The starched shirts had not gotten to him yet. I immediately played on his sympathy but alas, I did not have my Service Tag number nor my Express Service Code with me.

"I am so sorry Jim. I really cannot help you without those numbers."

I bid him goodbye and told him that I would remember him fondly.

Two days later the issues was resolved. I talked to a guy named Eric (with a "C") who told me they would send out a replacement unit as soon as one was built. Probably three to five weeks.

I have Manuel and Marie's extension numbers and plan on keeping in touch with them. Perhaps I will send them a picture of myself.



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