Monday, August 31, 2009

Two Days with Darth Vader

Technology advances faster than I can run or mind move. I do my best to keep up and recently acquired a Dell computer that's lightning fast and wireless. Named TyreceBlue, his relatives appear with jolly singers in those Dell "lollypop" advertisements on television.

In the attempt to multi-task after a visit at the dentist's office, I drove to Staples for printer paper. I also needed a refill for my 2010 "page at a glance" desk calendar that informs me - non technologically - of monthly bills and appointments. I am not paperless in my WIFI or computer-driven life because one cannot predict when those tech-helpers in our will fail. It's vital to have back up.

During my walk toward the calendar section, sleek, black printers captured my attention. They looked so ready for action and had WIFI accessibility. I had to ask the clerk about their capabilities. As a result, I decided to upgrade my printer. My current HP version serves me well but over time the ON button has scrunched into its cylinder. Now it takes a whack to get it started and a fingernail to get it stopped. I soldier on.

Taken in by the ebony sheen, I took a Jet Knight home. Saturday evening, my husband and I struggled to set it up. By Sunday I had given up on our abilities to load the software and called HP's 800 number for help.

After a patient technician spent three and one half hours on the phone with me, Darth Vader still would not print. During that time I watched a spider build its web outside the window. It captured a bee, wrapped it in silk and dragged it up to a tree branch for supper. I read a third of a novel. It helped to turn the phone to speaker. When " Hello, Madam .. . " crackled through the air, I had to assist the technician as he moved the arrow around my screen from somewhere in India.

He directed me to perform several tasks. I accomplished each with ease over the screams of the neighbors splashing in the pool behind our house. Once I pushed the stop button in error and the printer shut down. "Well, I won't make it as an air traffic controller, " I chuckled. No returned laughter.

Sam loaded and unloaded the software three times after my insertion of the CD failed. We could get printing to occur but no scanning. Then a Congratulations! printed out but he warned me not to take it seriously.

How I envied the spider's dinner. My stomach growling, I begged the technician to give up.

"Please don't hang up yet," his voice said. He put me on hold and the melody that stopped and started during that half hour sequence I hope never to hear again. Finally his supervisor introduced himself and wriggled the arrow through a series of commands that scrolled the screen. Still - No printing. No scanning.

I begged, "Please. May we stop, " The arrow moved faster and beyond my control with agitated voices in the HP background.

"If you will let us know the best time to reach you. . ."

"No. Please. Send me an e-mail. I'll call you back."

"We appreciate your patience." The arrow returned to my control. I hung up and shut down TyreceBlue.

My husband and I drove down the hill for nice rounds of Margueritas for medicinal purposes.

Today, I returned Darth Vader to Staples and will return to my stuck print button with a sigh of relief. HP never sent me email to request another "chat."

Creative Write: Describe a day of technological challege. Discover the humor and write about it.

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