Just as I was still settling into my relatively new abode of two years, eleven months and twenty six days, it dawned on me over my second coffee of the morning that the landlord of my computer shop still hadn’t replied to my counter-offer of the previous week, which left me with the impression that he perhaps thought I would roll over and agree to his outlandish new rental terms. This is when serendipity intervened in the form of the travel agent not five doors away whose rental contract expired simultaneous to mine and a deal was sealed with a handshake that very lunchtime – him out, me in.
They say the early bird catches the worm and in this case, it couldn’t be more true.With my handshake and new contract well and truly in the bag, I felt a warm and cuddly feeling of schadenfreude sweep over me, safe in the knowledge that for the next three years I would be paying less rent, in the same amount of physical space, a larger amount of exposure, with hopefully an increase in my computer solving workload.
What’s’ worse than telling a customer their hard drive has died or is about to die? The answer is clearly that they’ve lost all their data forever until the end of time, which is what I nearly had to do with the owner of an HP laptop that had frozen up, until I tried the very last resort, which was to boot to Hiren’s Boot CD and run Parted Magic. I say last resort because all of my other emergency programs either didn’t recognise her hard drive or they came up with errors that couldn’t be fixed. The laborious part was backing up 45Gb of data, which took most of the day and had to be done by connecting her drive with my main PC. I imagine she’s still recovering from the shock of having to replace her drive, judging from her muted reaction.
In spite of the fact that the customer hadn’t as yet decided to replace the hard drive (a no brainer really), I thought it prudent to get the stuff off as soon as possible, thus elevating myself to possible hero status. This is all in stark contrast with another customer a little later in the day who came to collect her netbook to which I had fitted a new hard drive involving literally hours and hours of fiddly work with tiny screws and connectors. Very attractive she may have been, but a simple thank you would have sufficed instead of a flounce out the door as if she had done me a favour. But hey, the customer is always right, right?
Later that day…..
Completely ignoring my own advice of a few weeks ago of not leaving the shop door wide open and whilst my head was buried in a broken PC, I noticed two shadows move closer to me near the door and looking up, noticed what I could only describe as two drunken beggars carrying Adidas holdalls trying to sell me contraband crap. I may have been a little more cooperative had one of them refrained from actually swigging from the bottle whilst leaning against the sales counter, but since the fumes were so overpowering, I was forced to render my scary face and dig deep once more for the old but reliable Anglo Saxon. Works every time, even in Spanish.
Saturdays are for chasing the sun into the west on two wheels and not for moving furniture and boxes from one position to another, so, refreshed and with a clear head, we set to and began moving the ex-shop to the new shop not five meters away, which must be the easiest removal in my entire life. However, I wasn’t getting off that easily and when you give my lovely lady a bucket, liberal amounts of water and cleaning fluids, her transformation into a Tasmanian Devil is uncanny and a little frightening to behold. In the space of a few hours she was able to find stuff to clean that I’d never have dreamt of finding, let alone cleaning. And I don’t mean a quick rub down either, this was serious elbow grease in nothing less than 35 centigrade (95F in old money) and no air conditioning.
Monday morning – Day 4
It just so happened that this day coincided with what is usually rent day and so, off I loped to the estate agent’s office knowing exactly what to expect.
Agent: ‘Ah! Here to renew the contract?’
Me: ‘No, here are they keys!’
Agent: ‘But we thought………….’
I’ve had more eventful weeks…..