Today was one of those days. First a rotten onion fell on my pants. They were white pants. Now they are white pants with a disgusting brown rotten onion stain on them. I mean, really. Who does that happen to; who has a rotten onion fall on their pants? And, perhaps more importantly, who in this house left an onion to rot only for it to adhere stickily to the perfectly good, non-rotten onion placed casually on top of it, only to un-adhere itself dramatically onto the first pair of white pants it sees? It might have been me, I don't know.
Then, not fifteen minutes after the onion incident, I broke a glass. A glass that someone (definitely not me this time) ((I think)) had placed precariously, tipsily, and I think we can all agree, incorrectly, into the dish drainer, which I barely touched when it then toppled onto the kitchen floor and shattered into a million little pieces. And is it just me, or do you get that mom voice in your head every time you break a glass, and it says, "Stop, wait. First, go put some shoes on." And so you do, and not because your mom told you to, but because you're barefoot and it just makes sense. Then you come back, and you're picking up the shards of glass and that mom voice is saying, "Now be careful, you don't want to cut yourself," and you're like, "Mooooooooommmm, I'm thirty years old for god's sake, I'm not going to--aw, christ, motherf--OWWWWWW!" And suddenly you're bleeding and surrounded by glass shards and there's rotten onion juice on your pants and then your spend the next hour and a half on the phone with "Ricardo" from HP tech support because the sound on your laptop has suddenly and mysteriously stopped working. And your computer is no longer under warranty so Ricardo wants you to pay $99 for unlimited tech support for one year! What a deal!
When I mentioned to Ricardo that I was loathe to spend money when I wasn't even sure he would be able to resolve the issue, "Ma'am, I can assure you, I assure you I can fix it."
"Because I've already done a bit of research on this and I've tried reinstalling the drivers and someone already told me that I need to do a system recovery, but I don't want to do that if I don't have to, so if you're just going to tell me that I need to do a system recovery..."
"Oh no, ma'am, there is no need for that. I guarantee you I can fix it and you will not need to do a system recovery."
Ricardo seemed so confident in his ability to fix the problem without me having to back up all my files and painstakingly re-install all of my programs, that I let him talk me into the low, low price of $49.99 for fourteen days of phone support. I gave him my debit card information and sat back to let him work his ghostly magic, watching my cursor float around as he took control of my computer, relieved to have finally turned my problems over into the hands of an expert. For 90 daytime minutes, I watched him do everything I had already tried.
"Ricardo, I already tried re-installing the drivers, it didn't work," I told him.
"Ma'am, I just need to isolate the problem, ok ma'am."
When that didn't work, he tried it again. When that didn't work, he had me re-start my computer. Then log in to our session again. Then re-start again. Log in. Then more fiddling with drivers. Then more re-starting. He seemed genuinely stumped.
"Ma'am, I think you are going to have to perform a system recovery."
"But, Ricardo, that is exactly what I said I didn't want to do. I mean...that is the part I already knew. You told me...I mean, you told me...!"
"I am sorry ma'am, I really thought I could re-install the drivers, but I have tried three different ones. I think it is probably a hardware issue."
"And so...what then?"
"Then you have to send us the laptop and it will be three nine eight dollars."
"Wait, how much dollars? I mean, how many?"
"Three nine eight, ma'am, three nine eight."
When I expressed my dismay, he left me with this bit of free advice: "Well ma'am, maybe you could just use the computer without the sound."
And the person who comes up with the pithiest retort to this gem wins a prize*, because I certainly did not think of one in the moment.
Long story short: one free consultation at Best Buy and one $40 external sound card later, and I'm back in the game, baby. (If by "game" you mean listening to something other than those annoying mom voices in my head. Which I am. With headphones. Not the voices. Er...yeah.)
In conclusion, I'm think that HP probably stands for...what... Huge Prick? No, too complimentary... Hollow Promises? Heartless Prevaricator? Hugely Pernicious? In any case, I am taking all future business to my best bud, Best Buy.