Tuesday, January 17, 2012

PanicGirl and MacMan

Just 24 hours ago, the unthinkable happened. My laptop - my precious Apple MacBook Pro - crashed. With it, my entire world came crashing down around me.

It's no secret that I've been working to turn this blog into a book which will contain 80% new material. That means you've never read it, and I've never written it. My proposal has been tweaked, edited, reformatted, and rewritten. It's been lovingly slaved over for months now. I have several more grey hairs and several less hours of sleep logged to prove it. If you are looking for me on any given day, chances are you can find me at the same Starbucks table, French vanilla soy chai on one side. Rice Krispie treat on the other. Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and Blogger open in tabs on my screen. Page after page of my own dating disasters making me laugh, tugging at my tears, bringing back memories of a marriage gone wrong, a severely broken heart, and amazing friends made along the way.

Until yesterday, when you would have seen me doubled over my table, crying and begging my barista to (and I quote) FIX IT!!!

My mouse had been acting funny, randomly highlighting paragraphs and deleting them. The keyboard was slow to react and I was getting that sinking feeling good parents have when their child is ill. My baby, my shiny silver 17" baby, was sick and their was nothing I could do. Just as I turned the screen around for John (from here on known as "The Savior") to see what was happening, the power cord came detached and the whole screen went black.

It was the scream heard round the Starbucks.

Panic set in. Absolute fear. Pure terror. I had spent the afternoon writing an awesome blog (Cat Lady gets me every time!) and adding thirteen pages to my book proposal, basically due tomorrow. I suddenly felt like the negligent student on the first day of school who hadn't done her homework while the rest of the class has already read the entire textbook. Can they fire you from writing your own book? Probably. What is the equivalent of capitol punishment amongst authors? Is caning still around? Will they switch my hands with a ruler? Oh. My. God. I think I'm having a heart attack. This can't be happening. It just can't.

Breathe, I hear John say. Breathe, Kim. Just keep breathing. We'll fix it. We'll figure it out. Stay calm. It will be ok. Please breathe.

Thirty minutes and two restarts later, we still can't find the cause of the problem, nor can we find a cure. With the power cable plugged in, the computer turns on but John is not a Mac guy and I'm not what you'd call tech-savvy. What we can see is that the battery on the bottom of the laptop is warped, which may explain why it's not holding a charge. I pack up my bags and drive slightly faster than the legal limit to the Apple store in the mall which closes a little too soon for my liking.

I leave Starbucks crying. I walk into the mall crying. I approach the first Mac specialist I see crying. When he says, "Can I help you?" I thrust my laptop at him and burst into more tears pleading "Something's wrong. It died. Please fix it. My whole life is on this computer. Please, please fix it."

I guess they get a lot of hysterical, clueless girls coming through their doors with iPod / iPhone / iLife emergencies because I kid you not, there is a department for this. First, the MacMan asked me a bunch of silly questions like "Do you have the AutoSave feature turned on?" Ok, really, how the hell would I know that? "Which Operating System do you have?" Panther? Leopard? Tiger? Kitty Kat? I don't know - it's something feline. "When was the last time you backed up your work?" When did floppy disks go out of style?

Ok, he's clearly not getting any information out of PanicGirl so he powers up the laptop and finds it all out himself. My proposal is, as I feared, gone. Also, there is no AutoSave feature on my outdated version of Pages because I haven't updated my software. Or my Operating System. Or anything else since I got the darn thing. Is there a penalty for throwing up in the Apple store? Cause I feel like I'm gonna hurl.

MacMan is very patient with me. He gets me a new battery which we install right away and it seems to be holding the charge. Also, the old battery was disrupting the track pad censor, so he's hoping that issue will resolve with the new battery. Other than that, the computer needs a good cleaning and a new power cable (mine had apparently been recalled. Oops.) He makes me an appointment to come back on Thursday afternoon where he will thoroughly investigate the trouble and encourages me to call him should I have any other problems. Gives me his card and holds my hand a moment longer than I was expecting.

Wait a minute, he's smiling at me. He's looking at me - really looking at me. Customer service people aren't known for their eye contact yet this man can't take his eyes off me. I'm glad I put on lip gloss. Oh gosh! Do I have tear stains on my cheeks? Is my nose runny? Heavens, I hope not. What is his name anyway? I glance down at his card.

Michael. His name is Michael. Of course it is.

Me: Well, Michael, you really saved my life tonight. I can't thank you enough.
Michael: Not a problem. It was my pleasure.
Me: Great, I'll see you Thursday afternoon then.
Michael: It's a date.

A man who can fix my computer and calm my fears? I think I'll be dressing up for Thursday.


  1. This can become regular reading for me.

  2. I kid you not I was PanicGirl two years ago making my wedding invitations online when my PC (sorry, not a Mac girl) crapped out on me. On a mission to Best Buy I went (in pajamas no less) and Mr.CustomerServiceJerk didn't want to deal with me because there was a pretty college girl he was trying to upsell with a ton of other software. I happened to overhear him tell her he left her Dell at register five while they continued to canoodle over versions of MS Office and Adobe...and,yep, I checked out at register five. It could have been hot pink for all I knew, but it didn't matter. It was all that stood between me and finalizing my invitations. LOL