All three people who read this blog may have noticed some radio silence over the past weeks. Mostly that’s because I’m dealing with huge and insurmountable Issues, and don’t really want those to be internet fodder, thank you very much. But it’s also because I made the mistake of surrendering my beloved computer, my life’s blood and my muse, the fount of my creativity, over to the most inept and rude crew of computer geeks I have ever experienced in my whole life.

Two weeks they had my computer. Two weeks. For a flickering screen! The initial repair (oh sorry, that would be the initial second repair, since the first one Apple did a month ago didn’t work) only took about five days. But when I got my computer home, sat myself down in my favorite writing spot on the couch, and flicked on the power button… nothing. It booted up with Apple’s diagnostic programs still loaded onto it. Fantastic!

So I took it back in, and all hell broke loose. Initial diagnosis was that Apple had wiped my harddrive — duh. But it’s fine, right, because I paid $80 for a backup the first time that I brought it in for this same repair? Um, wrong. Even though two people had reassured me when I dropped it off that they still had my data and I did not in fact have to pay for another back up, now I was told that oh, by the way, they only keep their backup data for 30 days. And because they had turned me away when it first started having problems again, it had been in excess of that period.

Panic set in. Panic got exponentially worse when I suddenly realized that our wedding video had been shot straight to my harddrive and never copied.

Oh. My. God.

But then a light came through the darkness. They did a full data recovery, and it looked like they had almost all my files. Huzzah! So I went in to choose what I wanted to transfer back to my computer from their master harddrive… only the tech I’d been working with had just gone home sick ten minutes before — and wouldn’t be in until three days later. Fantastic.

I went back in three days later, very excited to have my computer AND my data back intact. The guy sits down at their master computer, starts looking through his files, and goes, “Uh oh. I don’t believe this.” Ummm… what?

Yeah, you guessed it. Somehow, the recovered data from my backup had been erased, written over, dumped, burned, something. No one could tell me what had happened, and no one offered me an apology. I was flabbergasted, but really, all I could do was laugh and walk out of there before I started screaming and crying like a banshee. I am a little on edge these days, after all.

No call came the next day. When I finally swallowed my pride and called the store, they simply told me to come and pick up my computer while they continued to search for my errant data. And still, not a single apology was heard. Oh wait, let me amend that. I apologized to them for causing them the inconvenience of having to search for my data. Remind me how that works again???

So after two full weeks, last night I finally pried my poor amnesiac computer from their utterly inept hands. I even managed not to break down in helpless tears until I was safely back in my car and on the phone with my husband. But the final indignity was yet to come. After I had cleaned myself up and gotten to my next destination relatively on time, I reached into my bag for my pen — only to find that the tech who made me sign off on five different invoices before I could retrieve my computer had kept my best pen. Damnation! They win again!

Since then, it has taken me another twelve hours to even turn my computer on, because I didn’t want to be faced with its poor blank stare and a stranger’s desktop image. Not to mention its harddrive devoid of my documents, pictures, music, and most importantly, a movie.

Not only is all of this devastating in its own right, but right now everything seems to get blown out of all proportion because it inevitably gets conflated with my dad’s illness. So instead of just shrugging my shoulders and getting on with it, I feel deeply violated by this whole experience. The anger and helplessness mirror my emotions around my dad’s cancer, as does the lack of comprehension as to why exactly this all happened.

So yes, I know it’s just a computer, but it’s the only one I feel comfortable writing on, and it’s an integral part of my daily life. The loss of my data is a deeply personal one, and the callousness with which this loss was treated is simply inexcusable.

What lessons have we learned today, children? 1) Always always ALWAYS back up your data yourself; and 2) never ever EVER go to this particular Mac store again.

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