Thursday, June 12, 2008

Well This Explains Some Things...

Unbelievable, huh?
India's standard for electrical wiring.
No wonder I have a hard time understanding "Tech Support".
But just in case you think me heartless and crass (again), let me tell you a little story. (OK, OK... I don't know how to tell "little" stories - go grab a drink and maybe a sandwich too...)

I've been working with a small leadership team at my church for the last four months. Last October, our congregation began a process to refocus the ministry of our church to be more in alignment with the will of God, seeking His guidance through personal and then corporate surrender to His leading. It's been pretty incredible and life altering for those involved.

Anyway, as the "communications coordinator" I have many of the secretarial duties. One of the things I needed to work on was taking all the information from the history of our little local church that had been written on about 100 or so 8 1/2 X 11 color coded papers and taped to the wall in our fellowship hall and transfer it to a more personal size so that each member could keep a copy. (That run-on sentence right there is reason enough to fire me from the position of communications coordinator...)

Once a month for three straight months, we have an all congregation "Summit Meeting" to seek the Lord and discuss where we've been as a church, where we're going, and how we plan to get there. Naturally, at the first summit, (where we've been) we did this major church history time line deal that filled nearly an entire wall. By the time we were to have the second summit meeting a month later, I needed to have that information consolidated into one page.

Almost immediately, the team came up with the idea to put the information in a spread sheet and print it on 11 x 17 paper. This would be great and my printer has the ability to print up to 13 x 19. No problem. The spread sheet will take some time - but my dad is real accustomed to working with them and as part of the team will be helping me with that.

If you know either of us at all, you likely know we usually save any task (from showering to final exams) for the last possible second when the inspiration is flowing like water... BUT - I'm personally "refocused" now, so I'm going to start early - Thursday night rather than Friday night, to have it done for Saturday morning and the meeting that is slated to begin at 1:30 p.m. I called dad and we got busy working on it.

The time came late Thursday night (around 11 p.m.) to do a test print. I've never printed larger than 12 x 12 on my HP 9800 printer, so I had to tweak the print settings just a bit, but it's designed to do this - shouldn't be a problem.

I hit the print button and I get an error message. So I investigate and see that the printer is set to "offline". What??? OK - reset and try again. Same thing! Over and over - each time I reset the printer to put it back online, it resets itself to "offline". By now I'm getting tired, I've got my dad logged into my puter from his house via Teamviewer (nice to have now and then) and he can't figure it out either. And he's got all kinds of professional puter training!

We decide to leave it alone and try again in the morning.

Well morning comes and I get distracted with life and in the middle of my Friday afternoon errands I remember I'd better see if I can print now. So I drop back by my house and try again. Same problem.

I get dad logged back on with me and we're hooked up on the phone with headsets trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with my printer. He has me check to see that all the cords are solid in place so I have to access the back of the CPU and the printer - a task I detest, because now my nose is running and I'm sneezing my head off after stirring up the dust and cat hair that resided in all crevices of this house. We uninstall the printer, and while he's looking for answers online at HP I'm searching for my installation disc that came with it so we can get it back. After about 15 minutes of searching I remember I've sent it to California to my sis-in-law since her identical printer didn't come with the disc. Dad downloads the new drivers and we finally get it installed again.

Still nothing - except NOW, when we do the HP self help stuff, they don't even see that I HAVE a printer installed at all! It's time to call in the big dogs. I hate that... I ALWAYS get someone with a heavy accent that I can't understand - let alone the fact that they're going to be using big words I just don't get. The time is 5:30 p.m. locally and HP Tech Support closes at 6 - so we had to hurry. We decided to go with the online chat version and using the Teamview dad can see my chat box and tell me what to type via phone headset - so at least HE can understand and fix the issue for me. Yay dad. I feel a little bit like a secret agent with an ear bud crashing a government party...

I begin the tech support chat, type in the model and serial numbers of my printer and "Chad" (sure...) tells me that I'm out of warranty and if I still want live support it will cost me $25 - would I like to continue?... Well I sure don't want to pay $25 for tech support - I can think of dozens of other things I'd rather spend $25 on... After trying to be cute and funny (and "Chad" resending the "would you like to continue for $25" line three more times,) I remember I'm running out of time and I agree and click the link to enter my credit card information.

It clears immediately - but it takes "Chad" a full 7 minutes to evaluate the information. At the time I was not thankful for this.

He begins by restating my issue to be clear and waits for my confirmation. I give him just a little more info - about the self help not even seeing that I have a printer installed.

In walks my babies daddy from work. I immediately wave him off. As good a multitasker that I am, I still need to try to concentrate with this project looming, typing to tech support, (which flusters me anyhow) and having my dad on the phone. I drive home the gravity of this issue with my dear husband by spewing, "my printer has crapped out and this tech support is costing me $25 and they're closing in a few minutes! Keep the kids outta here and don't talk to me!!"

With that, my darling husband reaches over and plugs the USB cable into the FRONT on my CPU from my disconnected hub.

Veins pop, my face splits open and fire shoots out as once described by Bill Cosby.

Seems that he was syncing his phone/palm/puter thingy and "forgot" to plug my hub back in. It didn't occur to me that anyone would unplug anything from my puter. Of all the time logged here - he does maybe 1% of it.

Red faced (or fingered) I let "Chad" know that I seem to have fixed my issue and I will no longer require his assistance. I ask that he please change my name before he adds it to one of those "these idiots vote" e-mail forwards.

To my amazement, he even agrees to refund my $25 since we never got to the actual trouble shooting part of the appointment. Thank you Lord for that 7 minute delay!!!

With this issue now resolved, there's no rush to print the 11 x 17 document - it will wait until 5 a.m. and then with other printer/paper feeding issues it won't be finished until 12:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon. But it got done.

Actually - just to show you that the Lord really is involved here - we stopped printing at 34 documents - we simply ran out of time and figured people could share if they had to until we could print (or copy) some more. Well... 34 people showed up for that summit meeting at 1:30.

This all comes to mind because we're having a "rain date" meeting this coming Saturday afternoon and I need to be sure I have a few additional copies for people that didn't make the first meeting... That's originally what I got on here to do... so I suppose I should get back to that...


  1. LOL doesn't even cover this!!!!!!! So did he make it back yet?
    :) Heather S.

  2. this post took 5min to read and your telling me took all of 2min if they only knew funny girl!


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