The risk of relying too much on technology or "I cried a little yesterday"

So, I had every intention of writing something different on Wednesday, but unfortunately it was not to be. Because Tuesday night, while using this computer, my work laptop behind me made a strange musical sound followed by the usual Windows error beep. I attempted to wake it up from slumber (something it was lately doing often) but it wouldn't wake up. So I hard reset it with the power button. It came back up as usual and loaded to the login screen. I then left it alone and went to bed.

Come Wednesday morning, I go to use it and find it off. I hit the power button and it boots up to the BIOS screen as normal. Boot up takes a little while, so I walk away. I come back a few minutes later and it's off again. I hit the power button once more and...nothing. I try again and still nothing. I hit it a couple of times without any effect. It is now an expensive paperweight.

But wait, I need the files on there!  So I call up my boss and he says talk to IT. I give them a ring, waiting an expected, excruciatingly long time on hold until speaking to someone who is sorry for my circumstances and suggests I do a bunch of useless already tried steps (remove the battery, try the power, does it work? Plug the computer directly into the wall outlet instead of the surge protector, anything?). After many of these pointless steps, they finally agree to open up a support case regarding it. I then hang up with them feeling both hopeful and devastated at the same time: hopeful I will hear something but devastated that all my work is now lost.

I had backed up my personal files to an external harddrive and moved them over to this computer. So the personal, important stuff was okay (and since then I have made backups upon backups), but all the work stuff I've gathered over the course of a decade of employment is gone.

After a few hours, I finally hear from the technology person who received my support ticket and he informs me that it wasn't the disk that had died (yeah!) but the motherboard. If it had been the disk, it would have booted to the BIOS screen and then nothing further.  Since no amount of power button mashing would make it turn on, something on the motherboard had fried.

The solution is to have the motherboard replaced, a relatively simple process. Unfortunately, it requires a part being ordered and the service guy who will receive the part will not get it until tomorrow. Therefore he will not install it until tomorrow. The technology guy will open up a service request ticket and I hang up with him, feeling somewhat better about my circumstances. I inform my boss of the unfortunate news and then go to the spa for the day (not really, but I could have used it!) I do however, receive an email stating the service request has been made and I will receive a follow up email indicating status of the replacement part order.

Now tomorrow [re: Thursday morning], I am patiently waiting for the call from the service guy and after a few hours, nothing happens. I reread the service ticket email and notice the line "if you require a part, you should receive a notification email immediately after this one indicating the order status." No such email came.

The email further states that if there is a problem, I should call up support and reference this ticket number. I do so, and while I am on the phone for another excruciatingly long wait, I receive an email indicating that my part has been ordered.  I stare it in disbelief just as the line clicks and I receive the friendly voice of another support person. I mention the email in disbelief and the person on the line responds that the part request has been received and is being processed. I explain the fact that I had made a request for this over 24 hrs ago, to which the service person admits is strange, but there is nothing she can do. I hang up with her in frustration and inform my boss that I am once again unable to work.

Given memorial day on Monday, I'm sure a lot of you would be happy with a 6-day weekend but the fact of the matter is I HAD to work. There was a heck of a lot I needed to get done the least of which being deadlines . So here I sit (Friday morning), patiently awaiting a phone call from the service guy telling me he received the part andwould be over to replace the motherboard at such and such time.

And while I wait, I cry a little, because I have become dependent on the technology to get my work done. There is no local office to which I can visit and get a loaner. There is no temporary VPN account I can install on this computer (thanks, security!). There is just my sad, little, useless work space and a several hundred dollar paperweight.