Like Bleedin' Buses

I swear that when things can go wrong, they usually do go wrong. I've ranted about this before, but you know, it's happening again. Last night, I was all set. Nice cuppa, had a nice dinner, I was toasty, I was comfortable, and I was going to play some Warcraft for a few hours before hitting the sack. "Ho ho, not a chance" say the powers that be, and throw their proverbial spanners in the works. Person X, who shall rename nameless for fear of seeing my death threats, called up at 8pm. "My computer has stopped working, can you fix it?"

Well, "stopped working" is pretty non-specific. Smoke? Fire? Just dead? Wobbling? Juggling small baby geese? So he announces he has a blue screen. Ahhh the good old Blue Screen of Death (BSoD). Bugger. Usually, a sign something could be wrong. I talk him through various steps - not easy as he's an idiot - and after half a fricking hour, it works again. Go Dan. Gold stars all around.

As I put the phone down, Jo reminds me another friend, Person Y, is coming over to collect his un-fixable computer. It's worse than that, it's dead Jim. Literally. Twenty minutes later, which I am giving grief via MSN to, well, anyone, the phone rings again. Person X again. It's stopped working again. BSoD again. "Fine, fine, it's knackered, but I refuse to come out tonight." If he paid me, fair enough, but for heavens sake, it's 8.30pm. So he tells me - and you'll love this - "OK, I will get a new hard drive tomorrow, bring it over to you, but I want it fixed by the weekend". You bloody what?

I've known Person X for a long time now, and he's rude, he's ignorant, and while I am Comedy-Sexist, he is Actually-Sexist. I could dish lots of nasty dirt here, but I am far more mature than that, so will resort to swearing behind his back. And, of course, he expects the world to stop if he has a problem. Me, on the other hand - you ask me nice, once in a blue moon, and hey here's a thought, offer me SOME kind of payment, no worries. Not Person X, ho ho. I might be lucky if I get a thanks.

Now my problem, as I have always maintained, is I have no stomach for rude or ignorant people. Person X is both of these. And now, he must pay the price. "I want *insert date-based demand*" will only make sure I DON'T get it done by then. Screw him, he can wait till after Xmas.

So, I put the phone down and rant to whoever is listening. Bad Dan. Then the bloody door goes - In comes Person Y to collect the previously-mentioned dead PC. While we're sitting chatting, Jo has a brainwave, and Person Y says "Worth a shot", which means Frankenstien'ing another computer. So I sit, and I fiddle and it crashes, and I fiddle, and it crashes, and I get more stressed and hacked off because by rights, it should be working, sans error messages, minus hassle, just simple in, out, done.

But no. So now I am getting really pissed off. As you can tell. I fiddle some more, and get a new message. Jo gets me to talk it out - our usual problem solving method - and a lightbulb goes on. Joyous. So I start to get somewhere, it gets to 11pm and the hard drive starts to grate, and grind and rattle and... Long story short (too late) the hard drive dies a painful, physical error death.

I've had enough. I am tired, I am stressed, and I am pissed off. I have opposable thumbs for bloody hells sake - I'm better than a computer! I was a monkey once, and now I am a free-range chicken. They might be able to work out several thousand calculations a second, but I can pull their insides out and there's nothing they can do about it. Don't hate the Man, hate the computer.

So, here we are today, and aside from being entertained while out in the bloody cold weather, my day thus far has involved avoiding the now TWO computer carcasses in my kitchen. At least Person Y gave me £40 as a thank you, despite not winning as yet.

Person X can go to hell and wait for his machine.

In un-related news, those of you that upload photos via blogger will see the interface is a wee-bit different, in that you are now uploading to Picasa, which is Googles photo-sharing thingie, kind of like Flickr. For those worried or paranoid about Google claiming ownership of whatever you upload, you are safe, BUT they do "retain the right to use" whatever you upload, which means if they want, they can put your picture into one of their marketing campaigns and you don't have any say in the matter.

I don't care to be honest - anything on the web is pretty much giving whoever wants it license to do as they will with it, so meh :) Here's the appropriate paragraph in the T&Cs for anyone interested:

Google claims no ownership or control over any Content submitted, posted or displayed by you on or through Picasa Web Albums. You or a third party licensor, as appropriate, retain all patent, trademark and copyright to any Content you submit, post or display on or through Picasa Web Albums and you are responsible for protecting those rights, as appropriate. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Picasa Web Albums, you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt, distribute and publish such Content through Picasa Web Albums, including RSS or other content feeds offered through Picasa Web Albums, and other Google services. In addition, by submitting, posting or displaying Content which is intended to be available to the general public, you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt, distribute and publish such Content for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting Google services. Google will discontinue this licensed use within a commercially reasonable period after such Content is removed from Picasa Web Albums. Google reserves the right to refuse to accept, post, display or transmit any Content in its sole discretion.
And yes, I know this post has gone on and on, but I'm in a bad mood. Well, gnarcky is probably better. And I am cold.

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3 Responses to “Like Bleedin' Buses”

The Special Zipper said...

You're are just too accomodating my friend ..... here's an idea .. attach an invoice for your time to the side of the PC when it is picked up ...
I love the picture of the PC you have included .. returning it in that state would surely mean no future requests.

Let me guess, is this the same person that led you to your last rant in relation to people expecting you to fix everything ... or are you just known as Mr Fixit in the UK

Mark said...

Dan you obviously have a talent that you should be cashing in with. Down the M4 turn left after the bridge... we charge £25 per hour regardless who you are even my brother pays, but then I end up giving a refund just cos he's my baby bro. So get your word programme working and get designing your invoices there's lots of dosh to be earned without leaving your front door so what would you do with £25 per hour matey? and don't say Books & DVD's

Dan said...

Too accommodating, yes. Charging people, would love to, but the trouble with being the joker - people don't take me seriously :(