Step by Step Instructions for Surviving a Computer Melt Down


    First, recognize the approaching signs of computer meltdown, before full-blown disaster strikes. This can be difficult, because operator error can easily be confused with machine dysfunction. At the slightest inkling of a problem, make sure the computer is plugged in to the power strip. Back up all your essential files, especially the video of your boss tap dancing in a kilt at the office Christmas party.


    Ask every techie friend you have for advice. Open the box and replace your hard drive cables. Fiddle with everything else inside, to make the problem worse. Put off doing anything more for fear the machine will have to be sent away to the factory, which will turn out to be in Sri Lanka, not Ohio, as you had been led to believe.


    Check the Manufacturer’s Warranty. Revive the fading ink on the document by recopying three times using the high contrast setting. Contact tech support. Try four calls a day to tech support voice mail. Be creative with the subject lines on all of the one hundred emails you’ll have to send to get one reply. Give up and call the toll free sales number, but when you get shuffled to a voice mailbox, try not to despair. Leave this message: “ I would really like to have one of your Acme computers. I want the four thousand dollar model”.


    Once you have a return authorization number, box the computer, then double box. One roll of packing tape should suffice. Haul the lunker to the nearest UPS. Plunk down fifty-four bucks.


    Try not to panic while the computer is away. Ooze relaxation. Try Buddhism or Kabbalah to find the inner calm to face your empty universe. Realize that without Googling Buddhism or Kabbalah, you don’t have a prayer of knowing how to find inner calm.


    Learn how to sharpen a pencil to update your monthly finances.


    Dread getting the computer back, knowing that the hard drives and all the software, hardware drivers and ISP passwords will have to be reconfigured and reinstalled. Frantically look for your ISP passwords.


    Sign for the computer when it arrives. Be nice to the guy in Brown. It’s not his fault that your computer melted down. Unpack the boxes. Lovingly connect all the cables, gently running a hand across the computer case from time to time. Make sure the computer is plugged in to the power strip. Have a tender moment, or a tender day or two reinstalling Windows.


     Enter your ISP passwords. Download virus protection. Download the updated version of Virtual Billiards. Play Virtual Billiards. Surf the web; read all the Fox horror news stories. Post effusive emails to all your friends. Thankfully your mail was web mail. Too bad none of your friends missed you. Write a flirty reply to a post on your “Fun with Bonsai” egroup. Accidentally cc it to your mother in law. Breathe a sigh of relief. Everything is back to normal.