Monday, October 20, 2008

Me, My PC and Matthew

by Susan Jacobson

Calling my local computer guru is a little bit like calling my stockbroker to see how my Enron stock is doing. There’s never a “slight glitch.” Invariably, it’s something so profound that I’ll feel fortunate to see “Welcome to Windows XP” ever again.

And so it was this morning when I called my messenger of doom to report a start-up screen that looked like a short story from the Baltics written in the original.

“What does it say at the very top of your screen?” he asked.

“The only word with a vowel in it is ‘BIOS’.”

“Ooooh boy,” he replied. It looks like your [I have absolutely no clue, but it did not sound good] has bombed out.” We probably can come take a look at it sometime next week, but—ooooh boy—you’ll be lucky if we can retrieve anything from your hard drive.”

I was mourning my loss to my daughter Julie when she told me she had just finished an article about in-home computer services. “Why don’t you give one of them a call?” she suggested. “I’d be interested to know what you think.”

So I phoned Decision One, and after the obligatory pressing of ones and twos to navigate my way through the recorded instructions, I got Matthew. After describing my problem I braced for his second opinion confirming my doomsayer’s prognosis.

Thus, it took a minute to adjust when I heard a cheerful, hopeful Matthew propose, “Okay, let’s try this.” Well, we did try this, and then we tried that, and then we tried this again—meanwhile filling the waiting periods with short Q and A sessions in which he happily answered some of those little questions that begin with, “While I have you on the phone….”

After ten minutes that I didn’t want to end, my computer problem is solved, I have a case number allowing free consultation should this problem recur, and I have answers to computer questions unrelated to the purpose of my phonecall. It’s the best $29 I ever spent.

I have another problem, though. I think I love Matthew.

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