If at first you don’t succeed, I’ll meet you in customer service

[BEEP] Hi, this is Ned. I’m out of the blog-o-sphere today and probably curled up with an empty carton of egg nog and a pile of Almond Roca wrappers. But if you’ll leave your name, blog and a brief message, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can think coherently which, coincidentally, is one if my New Year’s resolutions! Happy Holidays! [BEEP]…

image It was many Christmases ago when I found myself standing in line with approximately 800 other husbands (conservative estimate) who, like me, had been sent to return the Christmas gift they had gotten their wives.

I should probably point out that I’m not still waiting in that line and have since re-married. I don’t think that is a coincidence.

However, I can distinctly remember the experience for a number of reasons. First, because it’s rare to see so many men standing in line for something that isn’t leading to a sporting event, urinal or more beer.

Not necessarily in that order.

Secondly, I remember it because the loudspeaker, which was positioned directly over my head, played the same Christmas song 16 times. This was over the course of an hour, by the end of which I was making up lyrics I can’t print here. Continue reading

If calling customer service doesn’t help, try the suicide hotline

image Sometime between yesterday afternoon and this morning, my computer slipped from its normal “sleep mode” and into a deep coma. This became apparent after hitting the space bar and getting no reaction whatsoever, not counting a low-pitched whirring sound that — if I didn’t know better — I could swear was snoring.

Realizing there might be a serious problem, I gathered all of my computer troubleshooting experience and, over the course of the next 10 minutes, applied that experience by hitting the space bar no less than 400 times. When that didn’t work, I unplugged the computer and plugged it back in. Tried a different outlet. Switched keyboards. Wiggled my mouse. Considered finding a different occupation, preferably one involving explosives.

I eventually realized the only thing left to do was call the “Help Line” listed in the service manual and hope someone there could either a) talk me through this or b) talk me down should our conversation move to the rooftop. Continue reading