Sunday, April 18, 2010

Crying Over Spilled Milk

April 18, 2010
It happened in a split second, as accidents often do. Before we could even react, the freshly poured glass of cold milk tipped over and saturated the keyboard of Doug's beloved laptop computer. The ENTIRE GLASS of milk. We jumped up and grabbed the computer, attempting to drain the milk off the side, but almost immediately we smelled something akin to sizzling human hair--the frying of internal electronics, the smell of toasted circuitry headed off to the landfills.

I've got to admit, he handled it far better than I would have expected. In these days when our computers and cell phones and iPods are like extra appendages, seeing the destruction of one of these before our very eyes can be somewhat traumatic. Yes, of course he was incredibly frustrated and upset. Yes, he yelled a little at the YouTube guy whose video on how to recover a spilled-on laptop stressed the importance of acting within SECONDS after an accident. (He looked up the video on my computer. It took a long time to load the video, thus negating the whole 'acting within seconds' advice. Also, YouTube dude's first bit of advice? You're stupid if you allow any kind of liquid next to your laptop. Really? YES, we know that. We should have been more careful, more diligent. But we lapsed, okay? And a lecture right now isn't going to help any.) But me? I would have cried. I would have railed. I would have temporarily lost sight of the fact that in the grand scheme of things, it is, after all, just a THING. He, on the other hand, was surprisingly calm. After awhile of talking through how we were going to replace his computer, which surely was lost, he wondered aloud about the unlikelihood that his warranty would cover a laptop swimming in milk.

Not likely of course. Unless...why not check anyway. I jumped back on my laptop and checked into Best Buy's Black Tie Premium warranty. Scrolling down several pages, I saw that his coverage did, in fact, include Accidental Damage DUE TO SPILLS. Really? Could it possibly be that in the face of bad luck, some pre-planning and proactive measures might actually have worked in our favor for once? Despite skepticism from Doug, I couldn't see anything in the fine print that disqualified us, and he still even had his receipt that would seem to verify that our accident wouldn't result in a total loss. We resolved to head to Best Buy first thing the next morning.

Once we determined that we might find some good news about the computer, Doug started realizing the amount of sheer content he might lose if the computer was dead. He had actually just purchased a back-up external drive a couple of days before, but hadn't yet had a chance to transfer his files. There was so much in the way of ebooks, photos, and music on his computer that it was hard to even contemplate what he might have lost. I know how I would have felt if everything I had written and my pictures on my computer had been fried. He spent the evening adjusting to resigning himself to starting back at zero.

When we woke up in the morning, Doug was still pretty in control of his emotions, surprisingly. At Best Buy, we were helped by Dane, who assured us that, yes, we were covered by our warranty, and although the 2-3 week turn around was a bit longer than we were hoping for, we were relieved that there was no hassle with the return. On top of that, Dane came back with some pretty fantastic news: miraculously, although the computer itself wouldn't start up, the actual hard drive still had recoverable data. His music and pictures could still be saved! We brought in the external hard drive he had purchased for that purpose, and Dane transferred all his files before shipping off the actual computer for repair. He also told us that if the computer couldn't be fixed, Doug would be offered a comparable new computer in its stead.

It's going to be a long couple of weeks without the computer for Doug, but at the end of a couple of weeks, there'll still be a computer, without us having to empty out the bank account to replace it. And that makes BOTH of us very happy.


  1. Yikes! I'm thinking it's time to back up my files...
    Glad you had good news.

  2. Doug - Man of Steel.

    That is good news. I've had pretty good luck with the BB Geek Squad myself.

  3. I liked Best Buy's response way better than HPs... I will keep this in mind the next time I have to buy a computer (hopefully not soon). :-)

  4. Oh my goodness. I would have been freaking out. Nicely handled by you guys and Best Buy. Yet another reason I don't drink milk!

  5. WOW! I never would have thought they would fix/replace it. Good for you!