I found myself being drawn to the computer section at Sam’s (especially Sam’s for some reason), and standing in front of the machines giggling with wild excitement. All that RAM, all that hard drive space, the incredible processors… It’s a wonder I didn’t just whip it out.
My desktop now seems ancient to me. Internet Explorer gobbles-up my resources like a fat boy at a pie festival (I’ve switched to Firefox and that helped a little), and when Carbonite is doing its back-ups, I may as well just go fix myself a sandwich. ‘Cause nothing is going to be happening on that clickin’ and clackin’ computer for a while.
To be fair, however, it’s not nearly as bad as my old laptop. That thing was useless. My current home computer isn’t useless, just nowhere as slick and kick-ass as my new laptop. And when it comes to computers, I prefer slick and kick-ass.
So, I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a new one. But it’s only the beginning stages of the illness, and it usually drags out for months, if not years. Yesterday, however, I threw everything into a state of disarray…One of the Well-Known Electronics Chains advertised a Dell with 6(!) gigs of RAM, a 640 gigabyte hard drive, an Intel quad-core processor, and a 19-inch flat screen monitor – for a very agreeable price. I showed the ad to Toney, and tossed the circular aside.
Then I returned to it, over and over again, which is never a good sign. And on the front of the advertising section I noticed something I hadn’t before: 18 months same as cash, on all purchases over $699. Damn! A good deal made even better.
I didn’t have an account with that particular store, so I applied online. And after I was approved the screen told me I could start shopping immediately. Just print out the acceptance page, it said, go to one of our stores, and knock yourself out.
So Toney and I drove over there. “Is this nuts?” I kept asking her. “Not for eighteen months, no interest,” she kept assuring me. “But is it nuts?” I’d say, starting the conversation-loop all over again.
We parked and went inside, and found the computer within minutes. Oh God, it was a thing of beauty; I nearly wept. We stood and admired it, waiting for one of the vultures/sales people to swoop down.
And nobody came. It was still fairly early, and the store wasn’t exactly slammed with customers. But the staff left us alone, which is the exact opposite of what happens when I’m just browsing in that joint.
I sighed, and went in search of someone willing to help us. And the first guy shoved us off to someone else, a girl with no enthusiasm for any of it. I told her what I wanted, gave her the printout from their website, and she scurried away.
Then: “Um, my manager says you can’t use this thing you printed? Um, he says you have to wait for the actual credit card to arrive in the mail?”
I knew it! Every time I go to that store, something happens to make my crazy. It never fails, and that’s not an exaggeration. “Your website says the exact opposite of what your manager is saying,” I told her, trying to keep my cool.
“Well, um, he says you can’t use this piece of paper? He says you have to wait for the, you know, actual card to come in the mail?”
“Why is something else stated on the website?” We were already repeating ourselves.
“Um, I don’t know? But maybe you could go talk to him, and he could explain it?”
Go talk to him? I don’t think so. He can come over here, and talk to me. But I’m not approaching the throne of some ass-faced twenty year old ball-pouch who thinks he’s a captain of industry.
“Forget it,” I said, and snatched the paper away. “I’ll just go somewhere else, where they actually want to sell computers to people.”
“OK?” she said, not giving a coal-black seahorse, one way or the other.
As we drove home I had rockets of steam blasting from my ears, and the profanity was being manufactured at such a pace, it started to pile up inside the car. And that’s the way I’ve left that store, many times. But what to do, since their main competitor is even worse?! What is it about big-box electronics stores? They make me insane.
I still wanted that computer, though. So I called their 800 number, and asked if I could order the thing online and still get the 18 months of free financing. “No,” was the very helpful and friendly answer. And isn’t that simply fantastic?
After I ranted and raved, and was moved further up the food chain, I finally found someone interested in helping me. She said she’d waive the finance charges for eighteen months, and gave me a name and reference number, in case there’s a problem.
However… I’d have to pay sixty dollars(!) for the computer to be shipped to our house. Sixty bucks!! No way, I said. So she suggested I pick it up at the store, for free.
“Will they give me a bunch of crap, because I don’t have the credit card yet?”
“They shouldn’t, sir.”
“I know they shouldn’t, but that doesn’t really answer the question.”
So, long story a little less long… I now have that kick-ass NASA computer; it’s currently in the fambly room, just a few feet away from me. I probably won’t have time to set it up until Friday or Saturday, but just the sight of those boxes makes my nipples explode with delight.
But how much you want to bet I have many, many hassles with the financing? Anyone care to take that bet? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
I’ll leave you now with an assignment… A guy at work has his cell phone programmed so a different song plays, for every person on his contact list. If his mother calls, it plays a certain song, if his girlfriend calls, it plays another song, etc. Pretty slick.
So, I was wondering: what songs should my phone play if the following family members would happen to call me?
Help me out, won’t you? The see-thrus don’t have a phone, of course, but I’d like to prepare for the future.
And what do you guys think about new Surf Report t-shirts? Any opinions on that? Any interest in it, or is it too soon? Any color preferences, etc.? Also, if any of you are graphic artists and would be interested in maybe helping with the design, send me an email. I think it’s high time for a change.
And this concludes your Monday update.
I’ll see ya tomorrow.