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A Bug’s Life

August 10, 2016

A million years ago, I was working at the Dell Factory Outlet in Austin. This total nasty lady came into the Outlet Repair Center, barged through the line, going on and on about how our products were shit, and that she was Very Important and demanded an immediately fix or replacement. Basically, it was this NL25 386 notebook. There was a known issue with the chassis, as seen here:

dell-nl25-laptop-parts-unit-5-21

We did free replacements on the cases via recall. These were not manufactured at the Dell facility, and we had to send them off to New Mexico or something to get them fixed at the factory. There was about a 3-week turn around. Mind you, this was about the time the first Pentium chips were coming out in the mid-90s, and this Very Important Person was furious about her beat up 386.

I get it. PCs are expensive and laptops more so. Especially back then. She ranted and yelled and cursed. Of course, the sales manager went and talked to the back of the house tech support manager. We actually repaired walk-in PC repairs (or folks could send them in) at the Factory Outlet Service Center.

At any rate, she said she plugged the thing in, it poofed and sparked, then went dead. She demanded our techs fix it (even tho we didn’t have the parts. The tech manager agreed, due to sales manager escalating. Charge for us to look at it was $129.00. She agree and said to fix it.

She left her number (pre cell phone days) for her office and went away. Our team continued to help the line. Wasn’t 2 minutes later I got a call to come to the back.

A tech bench had a bunch of folks around it, some with cans of spray. The tech manager used a screwdriver to lift the unscrewed lid and hundreds of tiny roaches scattered. The rest of the team started stomping and spraying. The manager grabbed a bunch of dead ones (he was wearing gloves) and put them in a baggie. Taped the whole thing shut, with the big bag of roaches taped to the top. They refused to touch it further and told me to call her to pick it up.

The same folks who were waiting in line were still there in line. Since she was easy to reach, I called her from the Front Desk, instead of the back of the house (because i cannot abide abuse. Angry customers? Sure. Abuse? NEVER).

“HELLO MS SO-AND-SO? WELL, WE DID SEND YOU THAT RECALL NOTICE YOU REMEMBER AND YOU REFUSED TO LET US FIX IT? WELL, THAT’S WHAT CAUSED YOUR ISSUE. BECAUSE IT IS CRACKED, AND IT ALLOWED A NEST OF ROACHES TO TAKE UP RESIDENCE. YES, I AM SERIOUS. SOME BUGS ARE ATTRACTED TO ELECROMAG…YES, I AM SERIOUS. NO, THIS ISN’T A JOKE.

ANYWAY, YOUR NOTEBOOK IS PERMANENTLY FRIED, FULL OF ROACHES AND NOW WE HAVE TO DECONTAMINATE OUR TECH AREA. WE SUGGEST YOU COME PICK UP YOUR LAPTOP IMMEDIATELY. AND OH, YOU OWE US $129 FOR DIAGNOSING YOUR ISSUE. THANKS AND GOOD DAY.

When I hung up, the whole waiting room bust out laughing and also with nervous “ew gross” gigglesr. She arrived 10 minutes later, paid the $129 without speaking, grabbed her laptop and stormed out the building.

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