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  • Writer's pictureJayne Lisbeth

The Murder Of My Laptop

Dear Food For Thought Readers:

I apologize for the long delay between my entries. I had planned on sharing my “Reunion” with you all but due to laptop betrayal, this is not possible. Instead, I will bore you with the difficulties of my being a non-techie faced with tech problems. In my next entry I will share the wonderful, loving reunion with friends I had not seen in twelve years. Something to look forward to.

My laptop is my lifeline to my published book, Writing in Wet Cement, including all my documents, photos, marketing and contractual agreements related to my work. It also is home to my new book, Raising the Dead. Then there are all of our Funky As A Monkey art files, artists, contacts, contracts with artists, venues, media lists, jpegs related to everything in our lives. My family photos from 1948 and onward are also saved on this sacred device. It was imperative that all these files were restored, or at least discovered from whatever hiding place I had tucked them away in. I was panicked, thinking of all the losses in my professional and personal life. My world was encapsulated on this machine. Should I purchase a new laptop or beat this one to death? I have a backup drive and my files are still safe. Somewhere. The question was where?

I confess. I murdered my laptop. I tried all the fixes which made everything worse. I am not a techie. A road trip to market Writing in Wet Cement seemed like the perfect solution. We desperately needed a Vaccination Vacation. The road lay open and Tim and I would be on it. I could connect with real people, in bookshops from Jacksonville, FL to Pinehurst, NC and put myself face forward, rather than my words on a laptop face backwards. Blithely, Tim and I set forth. I was convinced by ignoring my laptop for two weeks I would return and miraculously all would be well.

That didn’t happen. Everything was worse. Much worse.

I realized I needed professional help. I contacted various tech sites, Geek Squad, Nerds and Tech Help. The first website interviews were discouraging. Still, I plunged ahead. As I spoke with representatives I was inspired with a new Food for Thought entry. Stories arrive from the strangest places. There was a lot of good material here about the tech support industry. During each call the music played gently in the background and comforted me as the story began to develop in my mind. My final chat with a representative convinced me there was food for thought here. Our conversation follows:

“What are your fees, what do you provide?”

“Ah, $79.”

“For what?”

“What do you want?”

Exasperated, dramatic sigh. “I already told you. Return my browser to Chrome. Get rid of Microsoft Edge. Fix my laptop icons which have disappeared. Clean everything up to improve speed.

“Aaaah, Yeah. I think we can do that.”

With some trepidation I continued the conversation. “What is the experience of your technicians? What is your reputation? Are you part of the BBB? How are your reviews? Do you have a Facebook page I can check out?”

“What? Huh?”

I repeated my question and received this reply. “Uh, we’re great.”

What I wanted to ask next but didn’t was, “What drugs are you on?”

I realized it was best for me to contact Dell. After all, they sold me my laptop, they should know how to fix it. I paid my $99 fee for two hours of service or however long it would take to fix my problems. Turns out, it took over three hours from a very helpful Indian support technician, Tushan, to fix the many ways in which I had sabotaged my laptop through attempts at my own non-techie fixes. I watched in fascination as he magically took over my laptop and scurried about. Occasionally I would offer assistance which he didn’t seem to appreciate. “No, Ma’am, don’t do anything. Please don’t do that. I will do it.Oh, No, Ma’am, don’t touch that! No, don’t delete that.”

My laptop screen went from black to black to blue with the musical backdrop of Tushan’s sighs and coughs with his polite responses of, “Yes, Ma’am, I am still here.” I prepared dinner as my two hour session turned into three. Tushan manipulated my life on this uncaring instrument that held all my resources. I respected Tushan and wished he were in my neighborhood so I could invite him to dinner. Should I make Jasmine rice? Alas, he was in India, I was in Tampa.

Finally, Tushan signed off. But he was still on. He rebooted my system over and over again. I watched images, files flash on and off the screen. DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER! REBOOTING SYSTEM! These admonishments frequently appeared on my screen and kept me in my place, away from the keyboard. I heard Tushan in the headset of my mind saying “No, Ma’am, Please don’t touch that. Don’t delete that. I will do it all.” He did.

Four hours later I am able to access all my files. My desktop has been restored and cleaned up. I am able to browse with confidence and speed. I am no longer frozen waiting for my files and my emails to open. Thus, I am able to write this Food for Thought entry.

Hopefully, my next entry will be my reunion with Robin and her family, after twelve years of absence from one another’s lives and so much more.

For now, I am able to share my joy. I have a working laptop on which to write, transcribing my scribbled notes from legal pads, post-it notes, paper napkins and menus into actual files which I can publish for my faithful readers. I try no fixes, Tushan’s voice is clear in my mind, “NO, Ma’am, don’t touch that! Don’t delete that!” I’ve learned my lesson and will try to be more patient with my loyal laptop. We have reconciliated and murder is no longer on the screen.

Thank you for being one of my faithful readers who inspires me to enter stories onto my laptop. Without you all there would be no words to share and no laptops to destroy.

Sincerely, Jayne


Preparing dinner while fixing my laptop, strenuous work!

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