(Editor's note: this rant is based on an actual conversation this morning. Names have been deleted to protect the innocent. And me. Because I still haven't decided if I want to hurt him. He knows who he is.)
"Windows is experiencing a problem with: Loader Error 3. Please contact your IT support desk for further help."
Dammit. Going to have to call Help Desk. This thing was working fine yesterday. This is not the best way to start the day. Can't waste time with this. Have a lot on my plate this morning...
"Thank you for calling the help desk. What seems to be the problem?"
"My computer isn't starting. It seems to have a Loader Error 3, whatever that is."
"Hmm.....(silence)... power down and then power back up again. After the first greeting comes on, press F8 repeatedly. Now, this is important. Do not keep the button pressed. Just press it continually. And tell me what happens."
Wow, the F8 key must be integral. I press it gingerly, repeatedly, the repetitions in perfect sync so the system will not think I have paused too long on a press and not long enough on a depress. I think it's working, I think it's working, "I think it's working, SHIT! Sorry." (Reminder, think, don't speak)
Luckily, he laughs. "It's okay, we get that a lot. Is it back to the same screen it was before?"
"All right, power off your paperweight (ha. ha. ha. I'm not amused) and use your office spare today. We'll send out your Hotswap tomorrow."
Wait a minute, they're swapping my laptop? No, this is not right..."Are you sure it can't be fixed? Maybe there's a magic button you can press?"
Silence....was it something I said?
"No, ma'am, there is no magic button we can press. Your laptop has crashed."
"Well, surely, you can do that thingie, you know, um, remote access!"
More silence. Then he speaks in a more authoritative tone. "You would have to have a desktop and be logged into Windows for me to be able to remotely access your system." (I can almost hear the snark in his tone.)
"Okay, listen, I know you geeks have more tricks up your sleeve-"
"Geeks? Are you insulting me?"
Panic starting to rise. Shouldn't have said that. Now, he really won't fix it. Make it better. Make it better! "I mean, it's okay to be a geek. I'm married to one! It's a good thing! Puhlleaase, just fix it. Call Bill Gates! He'll know!."
Impatient sigh. Not good. "Again, your Hotswap should come tomorrow."
But what about my email? Internet access? My Favorites! I can't function without my Favorites! Omigod, my blog!
Breathe deep. Turn down the crazy. "Um, will I have access to internet and my email without my passwords?"
"Um, yeah? (Oooh, definite snark detected. What did he say his name was?) Your password is universal to the system. You will have access to all the default systems. You just may not be able to access the sites as easily without your passwords. You do have your passwords backed up, right?"
(???????) "Um, sure. Of course I do."
"Then, you shouldn't have a problem. Here's your ticket number and have a nice day (you loon)."
Dejected, I get the office spare out of my boss's office. It's not like my laptop at all. I was used to everything on it, the wrist supports, the sensitivity of the keys, the smoothness of it's response to my commands. We worked well together.
This laptop is archaic at best. It almost mocks me in its response time as I try to boot up.
Windows: Your password is set to expire in 5 days. Would you like to reset it now?
No, it's all I have left!
I open my office programs. Everything is finally up and running an hour after I have begun my day. I need to get back on track, I need to make calls, I need to....see if Brangelina has announced their pregnancy on Perez Hilton. What's five more minutes?