Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Don't Let Your Work Disappear

By C. LaRene Hall

Every time I have a good idea after I’ve gone to bed and fail to roll out and write it down, I hate myself come morning. That is the case today. Yeah, I know what it’s about, but the wording is going to be all wrong.

The past two weeks without a computer at home was difficult. To make matters worse the first company I called made the situation harder than it needed to be. My first appointment was at 10 am. After an hour, I telephoned to see what the delay was. They returned my call and asked if they could move the appointment to 3 pm. When they didn’t come by 3:30, I called but the receptionist told me I had to give them at least an hour to show. I paced the floor for another hour. By this time, I was angry.

One of the most precious things to me is my time. This company, Fast Tek, had wasted 2½ hours of my day. How dare they do this to customers? I called to see what the excuse would be. When they called me back about 5 pm, they told me they would have to reschedule and would be there first thing in the morning.

I waited until 10 am and telephoned to see where they were. Several phone calls and an hour later they told me they had someone coming. He would call me to tell me what time he would be at my place and they guessed it would be within the hour. I waited another half hour before picking up my computer and leaving. No one had called me and I had found a much better deal with someone else.

While I was at Computer Fix, my telephone rang. It was almost noon and the voice message said, “I’m outside the door and no one is answering. I will wait for about 20 minutes.” I laughed and said to myself, “This is first thing in the morning. Well, you can wait all day if you want.” Twenty minutes later he left another message, “I’m sorry about the problems but there was a clerical error and no one knew they were supposed to be coming until an hour ago.” I laughed even harder when I listened to this message because this was the first time I had heard this excuse.

Actually, that company lost out. I was desperate and agreed to pay their high prices of $89 an hour. I wanted my old stuff retrieved off my computer. It was worth hundreds of dollars to me. Instead, I paid $100 for a backup system. Now everything I do on my new computer will be backed-up daily. The kind man who helped me didn’t charge me for retrieving everything off my computer or for the diagnostic test that he ran on my dead computer. He was truly helpful, and he’ll get a good referral from me. And, lucky me, I didn’t have to pay an arm and leg for my mistake.

I think this proves that as a writer we will do anything for our precious manuscripts we spend hours creating. I realize I should have been smarter and protected them daily. I think I was dumb and thought I’d have some sort of warning. Never did I dream that in one second my life’s work could disappear.

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