Friday, September 5, 2014

Obligatory whinging-about-my-essay post

My essay has been paused; I’ve been given an extension. I managed to battle on through our thirty-fourth cold (but worst one by far) for the month, thanks to which Moses missed three days of preschool and looked like this for the best part of a week:

[insert photo of Moses looking miserable and puffy]

And Hazel looked like this (only for a day or two):

[insert photo of Hazel looking miserable and snotty]

And I looked perhaps even more disconsolate because, unlike those two, I wasn’t allowed to sleep as much as I wanted to, nor did I have someone bringing me apple juice or stroking my forehead or caring at all how I was feeling. We were lethargic and had no appetite and spent a lot of time groaning at each other. But we survived it, leaving me free to turn all of my returning energy towards my essay! Finally! On Tuesday, Mo went off to preschool, I put Hazel down for her morning sleep, got my books out, turned on my laptop, entered my password, was given an error message, then repeated the previous two steps numerous times with the same result but increasing panic.

During the following 4 billion or so phone calls  to a few companies including Microsoft (who said they’d be helpful only if I paid them $80) and Hewlett Packard (who were very helpful for free), I found out the error message was a cryptic way of telling me I needed to take my laptop to a service centre to retrieve important non-backed-up files from my hard drive (such as my essay) and then install a new operating system on it, which, I was told, might be difficult for HP to find and send to me because the version of Windows I had was now completely out of date, being – HORROR OF HORRORS – three entire years old. (They found one. It’s on its way from Singapore now, apparently.)

So my computer, including my essay, is currently sitting in a repair shop in Beverly Hills (THAT’S where I want TO BE!) with a guy who’s told me that he’ll take a look at it in a couple of days and then let me know how long he thinks it will take him to actually fix it. Which, when I’d spoken to him earlier in the day, he’d said would take 48 hours, but then when I saw him later he said could take 3 or 4 days, and when I asked more questions to try to work out whether he meant 3 or 4 days from that exact moment, or 3 or 4 days after he’d figured out what the problem was in a couple of days, he told me he’d call me later in the week and we’d figure it out from there. “Everybody says it’s urgent,” he said not-actually-apologetically, even though I hadn’t.

Fortunately MST are also very helpful and three very kind staff (including the Dean of the college) let me cry at them for a bit before reassuring me that this happened to a student pretty much every semester and it would be fine, I could keep them updated, and we’d figure out a new deadline for my essay as soon as Computer Guy was less vague about actual dates.


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