The Bitterness Blog

It’s My Laptop and I’ll Cry if I Want To
December 16, 2009, 2:31 am
Filed under: Musings of a Random Nature

The Mac versus PC debate is pretty heated.   I find that most people locate themselves staunchly on one side of the line or the other, and they usually feel pretty passionately about their stance.  I personally find the ubiquitous Justin Long Mac commercials to be kind of annoying, but I also really hate those “I’m a PC and Windows 7 was my idea” commercials.  Especially the one where they bring the PC user to the Windows headquarters to show her the new Windows 7.  Please.  Anyways, I have both a PC and a Mac laptop, and I’m not a Mac or a PC.  I’m just a computer tard.

One thing I will say for Mac is that they have the Genius Bar at their Apple stores, so you can at least usually get a diagnosis of your problem for free. Last week I made an appointment at the Apple store to try to figure out why my laptop was doing this to me when I tried to surf the net:

He's a smug motherfucker, isn't he?

The Apple geek told me that I wasn’t running the most current browser and operating system.  Blokay, thanks a bunch, now can you fix it?  Well, turns out my laptop is from the stone age and it is physically incapable of running the most current operating system (something called Snow Leopard, which is just a gay-ass name). BUT there is an operating system that is roughly two operating systems older that could be installed (called Tiger, also kind of gay).  Great news!  Do it!  I’m ready.  Hit me with it.

Then the Apple wombat tells me that the program is no longer sold by Apple, so I need to check for it online from somewhere like Amazon.  I found this to be somewhat unacceptable.  Look, you guys have the copyright for this, and I can’t be the only person in America during a recession that is still using a laptop purchased in 2005.  I can’t be.  Sell me the fix.  By this point I was pretty irritated, the guy was acting like the fact that I even still had a 5 year old computer was the most ridiculous thing he’d ever heard, and then he made the mistake of offering up this insight to me, completely unbidden: “It’s not like we do this to make money, we do this because we are constantly improving our products and that’s why what you need is no longer available.” Um, you’re a business, you totally do this to make money, and don’t try to tell me that you NOT being able to provide me with what I need is really just the result of your charitable efforts to make my life better.  Some words were said, probably snarky words, and probably said by me.  Then I walked out.

On my way out, another Apple dork stopped me and asked me if I had been taken care of.  Boy I bet he wished he hadn’t asked me that.  It was clearly a rhetorical question, and the laws of consumer courtesy dictate that he is supposed to ask me and I am supposed to smile and nod and quietly make my way out.  However, I was just bent over last week by my now-former employer, and my stores of general politeness and goodwill are used up.  So I responded, “Not really, no.”  And being the good employee he is, he asked me what happened.  I explained that I was told that I need to purchase an Apple product that Apple no longer sells, which I find to be frustrating and illogical, and right about then, I could feel the waterworks pipes start to warm up and groan and prepare for duty.  The guy, whose name was Josh and who turned out to be the store manager, could see where this road leads, so he offered to help me locate the product I needed on some Mac-reseller site.  Price tag:  279 dollars.  You could imagine how I reacted to that.  I could feel my eyes watering up and I was starting to turn away from him in an effort to preserve some semblance of dignity when he informed me that they really do have the product I need, they just don’t sell it anymore themselves but have some copies in the back and aren’t supposed to install it for anyone because that’s giving it away for free, but if I was willing to wait 30 minutes while he installed it, he would go ahead and do it for me.

And cue the cascade.  At this point I completely lost it and started babbling about how I had just lost my job and because my computer wasn’t working right I couldn’t even log into my email and all I wanted was to be able to send out my resume, and it’s almost Christmas, and there are starving babies in Uganda, etc., etc.  I pretty much had a full-on breakdown in the Apple store. Josh kindly and gingerly took my laptop from me with the cautious movements one might use while trying to soothe a rabid dog, and told me I could wait in the store and set myself up at any computer and use it as long as I needed to, or come back, it was up to me.  I proceeded to walk to my car where I sat and sobbed like a baby for the 30 minutes.  I cried because I left a (shitty but) stable job with a steady income and kick-ass health care for a job that fucked me over 3 months later and had crappy health care to boot that I will have to pay outrageous Cobra rates to keep.  I cried because this happened less than a month before Christmas.  I cried because this random Apple dude was kind and compassionate, and I cried because I am such a mess that everyone in the Apple store except for Josh was doing everything possible to not only avoid eye contact with me, but avoid even looking in my general direction. And I cried because I can’t even blame them.

To add insult to injury, when I cry, I look like this:

Only much, much redder.

By the time the 30 minutes was up, I had calmed down to the point where at least my nose wasn’t dripping anymore, so I went back to the store and Josh set me up and told me to keep checking for software updates and download them until it said there were no more updates.  I asked him if this would fix my internet issues and he said there would still be some sites that would only run properly on the most current operating system and browser, but that most of them should work now.  So I sat there and downloaded updates.  For. Ever. It literally took 3 hours, and then finally it could update no more.  I thanked Josh again and said goodbye and then before I left I went to 3 of the websites that I had been unable to go to before:  my email (highly important for practical reasons), my blog (duh) and Caps Insider (needs no explanation). And guess what?

None of them worked.

I’m still very grateful to Josh because at least I didn’t pay 279 dollars that I don’t have to figure this out, but I was still pretty damn dejected.  The next day, after about an hour and a half of crying over my keyboard, I discovered that when I use Internet Explorer (which is how most people go online) these sites don’t work, but when I use Safari, they actually do work.  And it only took me roughly 6 hours of nervous breakdown to figure that out.  Whoopee.


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