Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Farmer in the Dell

My computer broke. Last week the CD and DVD drives started acting hinky. They wouldn't open without several pressings of their respective buttons (as it were, and pip pip) and the CD drive required a handsomely manicured fingernail prying at the door as well.

But not to worry. My Dell warranty was still in force.

I'm so sorry

But, yes, this is a Dell rant. Just a small one. And unlike Jeff Jarvis in his famous anti-Dell, er, episodes last summer, I'll at least try to be funny.

But won't succeed

Actually, Jarvis's fight with Dell was like Gladiator except with more disemboweled bodies (and disembodied bowels) flying around, and well worth reading, which I say even though I've never liked Jarvis's blog much. (It's probably indispensable and all that, but he's always sounded like some old-fogey spaceman droning on about "the future" and why it's so important for you to hear what he has to say about it. Sample quote from just today, about tagging blog posts:

But this isn’t just another valentine to just another cool online trend; we’re so over that. No, tags have a larger lesson to teach to media. They present a clear demonstration that the web is not about flat content. The web is about connections and the value that arises from them if you enable people to collect and communicate. In the old, big, centralised, controlled world of media, a few people with a few tools - pencils, presses and Dewey decimals - thought they could organise the world and its content. But as it turns out, left to its own devices, the world is often better at organising itself.
See what I mean?)

Get to the f'n story

No biggie, really. I called Dell:

Tech: Blah-blah-blah, [crackle-crackle] is Steeff, how may I help you?

Me: I'm all alone?

Steeff: Stay calm! Put down [crackle crackle] breathe deeply! Give me phone number so if we are disconnected I will [crackle crackle] back!

Me: Are you on a cell phone?

Steef: No, I am not [crackle crackle] phone.

So I give him my phone number and he asks me all the questions the automated system has already asked, having to repeat each question at least twice through the static. Finally we get to the computer. I have just opened up the tower and--we're cut off. I wait for him to call back as promised. Over an hour. Then I call. This time I wait less than 25 minutes for another tech.

It's Jerry!

Jerry: Blah-[crackle-crackle], my name is Jerry, how may I help you?

Me: I got cut off with the last tech. He said he'd call back but--

Jerry: We [crackle-crackle] call out. There is problem with [crackle].

Me: Oh.

Later, after Jerry has guided me through reseating all the plugs, and asked me to do "just a little soldering" inside the tower and maybe "machine" a few parts, he says,

Jerry: Still there is only amber light blinking? Now we have completely different problem!

And we did, with the ignition or the carburator or whatever. But with my next-day service I had to wait only five days for the tech to show and replace all the stuff that needed replacing. That's the story. Thanks.

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