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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

SLICE OF LIFE

It's been a hard six weeks. The first week of October Son #1 tore his ACL. That same weekend, Son #2 made one of those stupid, stupid, stupid, underdeveloped frontal lobe, two second teenager decisions that has had enormous and  far reaching consequences for him, and also for me.

And as so often happens, when the big things start falling apart, so do the little ones. Or maybe the little ones fall apart regularly, but you just notice them more when the big ones are hard. Two weeks ago, for instance, I broke a crown on a tooth. And last week my computer died. 

When I took my computer to the shop I've used for the last ten years, they told me it would take 3-5 business days. After five days, the computer store called. The off/on switch was shorted out, and they thought it I might have spilled liquid into the computer. I hadn't. They wanted $380 to replace the switch and the top case. I wasn't sure whether my four-year-old computer was actually worth that much. My twitter friends suggested I get a second opinion.

Last Saturday I went to pick up my computer. They guy said I couldn't take have it. It was in pieces on the workman's bench and I would have to wait until he put it back together on Monday. I couldn't get there on Monday or Tuesday, so I went to pick it up on Wednesday morning (on my way to the dentist to get the crown repaired). The repairman offered me $30 for parts. I didn't take it. He then suggested that I try the Apple Store.

I should confess that I am not a big fan of the Apple Store. It's always super, super, super busy. There are all kinds of different computer noises, and classes, and conversations, and it puts my ADD brain into full fight or flight mode. That day, the day before Thanksgiving, was no different. The store was busy, busy, busy. And super noisy. And I couldn't get an appointment at the "Genius Bar" until Saturday.

So on Saturday I went back. And it was still busy, busy, busy. And super noisy. And I had to stand in front of the speaker display and every time someone needed to look at the speakers, I had to kind of scootch over and try to make room in this really crowded store. At one point someone asked me for advice about which speaker they should buy. And I was really, really glad when it was my turn for the Genius Bar and I could sit facing away from the craziness of the store. 

Mr. A., my genius, was very personable. In the first five minutes, I knew that his favorite part of Thanksgiving was cornbread. And that he has a sister who is a social worker in Minneapolis. And about his friend who is a football player that tore his ACL. He knew about my boys. And all the while, he was plugging in my computer and running different tests.Soon he was able to confirm that there is something wrong with the on/off switch. I thought about the $380. And I wanted to cry.

"Let me see what I can do for you," he said. And he walked away and went over to a different computer. In five minutes he was back. "Ok, here is what they are going to do," he said. They are going to replace the top case. And then they are going to replace this part on the bottom too. But it will take about 3-5 days."

"How much?" I asked, hoping I wouldn't start to cry in the store, in front of all of those people.

"Nothing," he said. "Apple is taking care of it."

"Nothing?" I said, thinking of the $380 I was expecting to hear.

"I don't joke about money," says Mr. A. "Really. You just need to sign with your finger."

I sign and leave the store quickly, then go to my car and cry.

It has been a long hard six weeks.

Tonight I am going to write Mr. A a note, to tell him how much his kindness meant to a very tired mom.

18 comments:

Lori said...

I'm so glad Mr. A. came into your week. I hope the next few weeks are kinder to you.

Katherine Sokolowski said...

Wow, you've had quite a few weeks. I'm so glad you had a brightness somewhere in the murk. Hoping December treats you kindly.

Nanc said...

I'm showing this to the Mr. ! We have been Apple lovers forever and I guess this just reaffirms that God walks through it with us. Another small miracle of kindness. I'm so glad that you are a 'genius'. I love hearing your slice. XO

elsie said...

What a tale of your computer! Mr. A was a life saver. I hope the days of disaster are behind you and you can enjoy December.

Linda at teacherdance said...

I have been sending some thoughts your way about your boys, Carol. Parenthood is not for sissies (I know I mis-quoted, but it fits, doesn't it?) So happy to hear that in that noisy, crazy store, you had a wonderful experience. I try to go on odd days when I can, because I do know how busy it is, but the Apple people are so helpful. I'm happy for you!

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

You were due some kindness, Carol...what a time it has been for you! I guess this genius also had a heart...

Laura said...

Ah yes, you get to that point and a simple slight can send you into tears. Its amazing how the offhanded, daily kindness of someone like Mr. A can help restore balance. So glad you are going to write that note. I truly believe that kindness recognized inspires more of the same. Sometimes, we just need to be reminded how important we are to people we don't even know.

Donna said...

I worked in an Apple retail store for 2 years, evenings after teaching, and on Saturdays. I loved being able to tell people the good part about bad news! You are right, Apple stores are usually busy, busy, busy, but they are full of people who really DO want to help you with a problem! And Mr. A will appreciate your note!

Lynn said...

You really have had some bad things going on! I can really relate to son #2... and what ever it was be sure you get good advice from someone who really knows... How nice that in all this craziness someone took the time to be nice and helpful.

Judy said...

It's those little warm fuzzies that make life better. So glad that Mr. A came to your aid. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of better times. Blessings & Hugs.

Jaana said...

Just when you needed a little hope and a financial surprise--you got it! I have to find Mr. A. in my area next time I need to have my computer repaired!

Dawn Rankin said...

I just happened upon your blog. I'm an often-overwhelmed educator mom and I've been there/done that. I'm praying for you and your sons!

Chris said...

Hooray for customer service that doesn't cost a dime! Hope all is better soon.

Michelle said...

Now, I'm sure you can find that "parenting handbook" somewhere online . . . oh, but you couldn't get online, huh? Hmmm...life can be so difficult, but it makes you stronger. Struggle through but stay positive and be thankful for those that help you along the way! Like Mr. A! Hope you wrote that note of thanks, I'm sure you would make his day too!

JoAnn Early Macken said...

I just found your blog while searching for Poetry Friday info. Holy mackerel, what a time you've had! I hope that bit of kindness and good news turns out to be a turning point for you.

Mary Lee said...

I am thankful for Mr. A.

Take care, dear friend...

Ruth said...

So happy for those bright spots! They really save our lives sometimes.

Laura Benson said...

I am so :) to read that Mr. A came into your life and offered you such generous - and such well-deserved! - support, treasured friend. I know how strong you are and how able you are to face of all this on your own...but I sure hope you know, too, that I am here for you and I care. Everyday, in small and big ways, Carol, you inspire me and give me the courage to keep going...Love you, Friend! xoxxo