Ah yes, another day another dollar.
The delivery of cheapo, generic power supply units (PSU) arrives, just in time to apply my attention to another seemingly dead PC, whose PSU has just given up the ghost after six years of loyal service to its user, which, for a generic $20 unit is pretty good going in these parts. I often wonder what they put in these puny little boxes as they seem to weigh almost nothing and don’t exactly ooze quality, I thought to myself when I fitted one and then pressed the ON button.
What shook me the most, wasn’t the bang, the smoke and the flames so much as the acrid stench of fish that reached me and an oily substance seeping from the brand new, but now rather limp, ex power supply unit.
After a quick brush up and de-coke in the heads, I was ready have a quiet word with the supplier and the conversation went something like this:
Me: One of your new power supply units just blew up in my face.
Them: That’s the first time that’s ever happened. How unusual. What did you do?
Me: I switched it on!
Them: Do you know what caused it?
Me: No, hum a few bars and I’ll pick it up as we go along, shall I?
And so it went on, until they decided, quiet wisely, that it may indeed have been a defective unit… but only after insisting on seeing (or smelling) some proof.
Later that morning….
After recovering from my nutty professor impersonation earlier and a most welcome infusion of caffeine, I turned my attention to the not quite defunct PC, when in walked a tall, slim and very attractive lady, who’d decided that her PC was infested by more viruses than you could shake a stick at. I always think it’s a sensible idea to let customers get these problems off their chests, so to speak and as she rattled off her list of PC woes, I became distracted by the oversize handbag, slung rather nonchalantly over her shoulder.
Maintaining eye contact with customers is always a good idea, unless you have something to hide of course, but right then I became very interested in the sudden and cartoonish movements from the handbag, which made our exchange a tad tricky, to the extent where I actually pointed at the bag, which she appeared to brush off as a mere distraction.
When a small, whiskered head popped out unannounced, with the features of a medium sized rat, I took a step back, fearing a sudden and rabid lunge would have me carried off to the local tropical disease center. My lady friend, completely unfazed, reached into the bag, extracted the hamster size marsupial and began to coo all over the poor creature as if she’d just given birth to it and huskily whispered at me ‘She won’t bite, you know…’, which is a cloaked warning I’ve heard many times before concerning small rodents and canines, with the bodily scars to prove it….
Little shop of horrors
As I was mulling over whether the day could possibly degenerate any further, next in line was a suited up and presumably well heeled customer, carrying a new Compaq Mini PC under his arm, desperately repeating over and over again ‘….it just won’t start..it just won’t start..’. After he became a little more coherent, he assured me that he’d lent it to his brother, who liked to use it in the kitchen and watch YouTube videos with his wife whilst he cooked, as if I really needed to know the full details of their domestic arrangements before I attacked his dead box.
I wasn’t fully prepared for happened next, which for me would always be the stuff of nightmares and B movies.
After setting the PC down on the bench, I detected through my peripheral vision, what can only be described as feelers moving and twitching from the rear end, near the PSU, which I mentally brushed off as probably, maybe nothing. As I went to plug it in, at least three or more large cockroaches scurried onto my hand and up my arm and I’m told by reliable witnesses, that I was later found in a fetal position under the front sales counter.
I’m also told that I miraculously regained my wits and was able to drag the offending metal box to the front door and hurl it outside onto the street, where it remained until I was able to control the tremors and on later inspection, still outside in the street, I found that the offending six legged critters had jumped ship and were last seen heading in a southerly direction towards the Chinese takeaway on the corner.
That day, I packed up early, fired up the bike and headed west concentrating very hard on images of fluffy kittens, ice cold beer and a Nazi Zombie Army, trying my hardest not to join the dots.
- Catch up with my previous ‘Day in The Life of a PC Technician’ article here: https://davescomputertips.com/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-pc-technician/