Opinion

A friend indeed - in the Elk Valley

If someone had told me that it could take days to get a new computer operating properly I would never have believed it. I had been pretty content with my Dell until one day I turned it on only to see the start light give a little flicker and then die. Subsequent tries to revive it proved fruitless so I called Dell and inquired as to why my computer of only three years had stopped.

To my surprise it was actually five years since being purchased although until that point I might have sworn on a stack of bibles that this device had only been in my possession for three.

I solicited the help of a computer savvy friend and placed an order for a new unit.  Deep in disappointment at not having a personal computer closely available I neglected to order a couple of very important items, speakers and the new Office Word.

My grandson had excitedly confiscated the speakers when he discovered I had a woofer to go with them, this of course meant nothing to me as I had never made time to play or burn a CD although my computer had the capability. I also assumed the office program that I was accustomed to would work with the new PC.

Four weeks later the new monitor and tower arrive.  My friend Kevin checks things out and sets it up. First disappointment was the twenty inch screen. It’s long and narrow.  My old seventeen inch one was taller and much more comfortable to look at.

Windows Live email proves a nightmare, whoever came up with this program surely intended to punish users.

At this same time City Hall changed email servers. I now have Isosceles programming one email and Kevin trying to straighten out my home address to no avail. It seems that this new program doesn’t need to perform the way it’s intended.  It’s suggested that a new office and email program should be purchased.

I call Dell and order speakers one day, a new office program another day only to discover when it arrives digitally that this particular office program doesn’t have the new more expensive email package of Outlook.  A couple of days later I am explaining again that I hadn’t ordered what I really needed and would Dell please, please send Outlook and of course I know this costs extra.  Kevin downloads the digital information only to discover that it won’t accept the password provided.  With the patience of a saint and a few hearty laughs he finally makes things work or so it seems.

After he leaves the computer terminates the download so I call Dell again and find a very friendly technician who is more than happy to help me.  He takes over the computer, removes the old office Word, installs the new one, checks out the Live email sees that it’s not sending and says the new Outlook installed will solve this problem.  Unfortunately he can’t organize my emails as he doesn’t have authority to do so.

A call is placed to Kevin who comes over the next day and really does manage to straighten things out. On my own  I happily go into Word and find I have to navigate through frustrating new territory as well the sent article doesn’t allow for editing which is pretty crucial to the party receiving it so they can edit.

Another call to Dell, I had been fortunate previously to find a technician who was extremely patient and who spoke excellent English.  Somehow I found the same one at the other end of this call.  It’s obvious this young man has sympathy for the technically challenged woman who keeps calling.  He recognizes my name and in a matter of minutes knows what it is I need assistance with.

To make a long story short, it took three professional technicians, about two dozen phone calls and over fifteen home visits over the span of two weeks to make this PC work for me. In total it has been nearly two months since the old PC died.  I am now back to normal but think I had better not blow it from here on because it’s pretty darn embarrassing to keep requesting help and I would like to keep my friend Kevin still a friend.

Kevin, thank you, you really live that old adage “A friend in need is a friend indeed”.   Why, people might actually think that you live by the Golden Rule, oh, wait a second, you don’t believe in it, you just live it.

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