There Will Be Plans
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The other day, my battery died on my Mac. Just took a nosedive from a full, healthy 100% to zilch instantly. It sent me into a frenzy. My laptop is my constant companion. I write in school car lines, at the airport, in waiting rooms, anywhere I get a precious, spare moment and to think I wouldn't be able to cart my baby around with me, sent me into a whirling panic.

My laptop is my blankie.

This is the second battery I've had to replace, which made me kind of suspicious. So, I did a little sleuthing around the Internet and found battery death is a bit of a problem with my type of Mac. I also found out that Apple doesn't give up the ghost easily on this one.

Now, I want to state, I am not bashing Apple in any way. They are dear friends of ours. My Hubby would have given Steve Jobs his own pancreas if he wouldn't have died in the organ-taking part of things. My Hubby would probably sleep with Steve Jobs if Steve asked. My Hubby would be Steve Job's personal toenail clipper assistant. My Hubby is probably the president of their fan club. I'm not sure. I'm afraid to ask because it would confirm that I am married to the head geek. I already have a gut feeling.

Yes, this is him with some of his peeps on a Segway in Vegas. And yes, the Segway tour was all his idea. Because, that's the newest thing the boy shopaholic wants to buy. And yes, that is The Donny and Marie show in the background.

A telling picture, Internet.

Anyway, as for me, I can honestly say I have never had such excellent customer service in my life.

Having said that, I had already plunked down the cash for the first battery only six months into its use and I wasn't going to do it again.

Enter The Hubby.

Anytime, it involves getting stuff for free, I enlist the man. He's great at it. He has this way of charming people into giving things to him. It's why he's successful at selling insurance.

I tell him about my sleuthing and the obvious battery defect in these types of Macs. He says with complete schmooz confidence, "Get the Apple people on the line and I'll get you a new battery."

So, I go to my laptop, to find out the proper protocol for these things and he says, "Don't bother with that. Just call 1-800-my-apple."

And I say, "But it says here, sign up for an appointment time and you don't have to wait on hold. Apple will call you."

And he's all, "1-800-my-apple. Just make the call."

And I say, "But, this is the new wave of customer service. I had this same deal at Southwest a few months ago. (Another fabulous company when it comes to great service.) I had a question. I signed up to have them call me back and within seconds, they returned my call."

And he's just pissed beyond pissed that I haven't picked up the phone yet, "1-800-my-apple! You're wasting your time right now. Stop fiddling around with plans. Make the call!"

And I'm, "But, right here, it shows they've got an appt time 10 minutes from now. I'd rather do something productive and know that in 10 minutes the phone will ring. Instead of giving myself some bad neck strain, with the phone wedged between my shoulder and ear for 20 minutes while I multi-task accompanied by bad Muzak."

And weirdly, he's getting all irate and I can see his blood pressure rising in the red of his face as he flips out, yelling, "JUST MAKE THE CALL! MAKE THE CALL!"

And since he was not listening to the sage advice I gave him on our wedding day, which was, "Don't ever try and tell me what to do and we'll be fine." And since, I really, really love to prove him wrong, I dialed up Apple on the cell phone and then typed in my appointment info on the plugged in laptop.

On the appointed second, my home phone rang. I was still listening to a synthesized version of Kool and the Gang's "Ladies Night" on my cell.

I smugly looked at him and said, "Oh, that must be the Apple guy. Shall I get it?"

This man left-brainness of My Hubby's drives me to distraction, almost as bad as the not asking for directions because- I'm A Man. I'll find the way, By God, even if it means we'll be hours and hours late. Let it be known, I did not ask for help!

What is it with men and the no planning thing? My hubby is like the crazy bug bit him if you ask him to plan ahead of time, whether it be a few seconds or a few months, he is anti-planning. He is the president of the anti-planning fan club.

And I am the plan queen. I have lists for my lists. His anti-planning makes me want to choke him in his sleep. I'm getting angry just writing about it. What? Does he like maxing out his wasted time minutes? Does he enjoy Muzak and driving around aimlessly?

My Victoria is itching to get her learner's permit. She's taken the test online, now all she needs is to head up to the DMV to hand in her documents and take her picture and she is on the road. (If you see my vehicle veering towards you, might want to steer clear.) But the problem is, the appointment hours after school are very limited. I've been having a bit of trouble scheduling her in.

Mr. Never Plan says to me as I'm bemoaning this fact, "Just take her in and wait in line. Don't bother with a stupid appointment."

And I'm, "Have you seen what awaits you in the non-appointment line?"

The last time I was there we had an appointment. It was for the Odawg's license. When I walked in the door, there was a long line and honestly, it looked like the mug shot wall of America's Most Wanted. It was a line of the scariest-looking miscreants in the world, all unshaved and shifty eyed and hookerish-looking. For a minute, I was a little worried, thinking I'd mistaken the DMV for the county lock-up.

A crabby older lady receptionist with latex gloves on- that's right, latex gloves- snapped, "Can I help you?"

I said a little nervously, "Yes, we have an appointment."

The woman's glower instantly turned to a beatific smile. I swore, a light opened up in the ceiling and shone down upon us and I heard a chorus of angels' singing. The woman said, "Ahhh, you have an appointment. What is your name, my precious?"

We gave her our name and we were shuttled right past the criminals and hookers to a waiting window where a group of hardened state workers were grouped around the window smiling, waiting to get a glimpse of the folks with the appointment.

A few years back, I wasn't aware of the new appointment thing when I went to the DMV to renew my license. I sallied in and was directed to a row of cheap, plastic seats where all the untouchables who also had no appointment, sat. It was like criminal musical chairs. Once the DMV employee shouted, "Next", someone would leave their seat and everyone would shift to the next seat, as if life had worn these folks out and standing was too much trouble.

The woman wedged up against me with less than the minimum amount of teeth, asked me what I was there for.

I hesitated, wondering if this was a trick question. "Uh, renewing my license?"

She went into this long story of her license being suspended over a misunderstanding. I'm sure this happens often, misunderstood suspensions. And how she'd been driving around anyway without anyone noticing. I pretended to rifle through the contents of my purse, but this did not dissuade her from confiding all of her law-breaking habits to me. Her suspension time was finally over, but she just hadn't gotten around to getting a new one because she was dealing with her boyfriend and his domestic assault issues with his wife.

Now, if you've never been in a conversation like this before, let me give you a little tip: It's best to just nod occasionally, add a few, "Been there myself" and "I hate cops, too." You don't want law-breakers on your bad side. I'm just sayin'.

By the time, I'd gotten to the head seat, praying for a swift flowing game of musical chairs, she'd told me that she'd gotten pulled over today and since her arrest record had been clear for awhile, (At this point, I was tempted to ask what awhile meant in real people terms) and since she technically was able to drive now, the cop decided to give her a break, if he escorted her up to the DMV to ensure she secured her license this time. She pointed over to the door where an officer stood, looking formidable with his arms crossed, keeping his eyes glued on her.

They had just, thank the Heavens Above, summoned me with the "Next" and I wasn't sure what to say, so I murmured, "Well, didn't you luck out?"

As they directed me to stand for my picture next to the row of chairs, Suspension Lady, shifted into the seat next to the picture-taking spot and said, "You're lucky. You look like a nice girl, who hasn't seen trouble." I wanted to argue that I had seen trouble, I just hadn't gotten on the ground and wrestled with it like her. But, I was trying to take a picture.

She leaned in, closer than I would want a woman with rotten teeth and misunderstood suspensions and a boyfriend with domestic assault charges from his wife, to lean in and stage-whispered, as I focused on the camera. "I bet you never had to perform sexual favors so you wouldn't get your ass hauled off to jail. But, just so you know, it really works. You know...just in case. Keep it in mind, girlfriend."

Ensuring this shocked and frightened portrait that has been with me all these years, reminding me every time I see it, how important an appointment can be.

My hubby installed some new crap on my computer the other day, causing my computer to refuse to open up. This, in turn, caused me great distress. After tooling around unsuccessfully with it for a few minutes, he sighed heavily and said, "How do you sign up for the Mac guy's phone call?"

All is not lost. Now, if I could just get him to pull the damn car over so I could ask for directions.

Today's Dooo Itttt Download: "Waiting in Vain" by the just absolutely fantastic, Annie Lennox. Not only is an appropriate song for this post, but my Hubby hates my Annie. It might have something to do with the fact that before there was downloading, I would play her CD's over and over and over, again, subjecting him cruelly to "girl music." I adore Annie. Try her out and drive someone you love crazy.

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