The Ghost In The Machine

I am KRYPTONITE to electronics. Seriously, there isn't something you can plug in that I can't break simply by looking at it. It's my X-Men power. I break things WITH MY MERE PRESENCE. It's awesome, really it is. So this is what I've been dealing with for the last, oh, month or so.

Me: Worky worky worky on computer.

Computer: *sighs* *dies*

Me: What what what????? *reboot*

Computer: I'm just going to do it again, you know.

Me: WHY? 

Computer: That would be telling.

Me: Okay, smartass, I'm calling my brother, he'll fix you.

Computer: Your brother's asleep, it's 7 am and he doesn't have to work today. Call Dell. I'll stay on long enough for you to get the number.

Me: Gee, that's awfully generous of you, thanks.

Computer: I live to serve! And break. 

Me: Okay, calling Dell.

Lovely Woman In India: Thank you for calling Dell! How can I help you?

Me: My computer keeps shutting off. For no reason.

LWII: Is it plugged in?

Me: *dripping with politeness* Yes, it's plugged in. 

LWII: Well since you still have a warranty, I can go ahead and remotely access your computer and see what's going on.

Me: You're gonna what?

LWII: I'm going to control your computer.


LWII: Yes.

Me: Well. Isn't that…neat. OKAY! Go ahead, fix my computer from India!

*the computer starts doing things on its own. The cursor moves. Programs are started. I stare at the screen in awe.*

*much time passes*

LWII: Okay, there's nothing wrong with your computer.

Me: EXCEPT ME!!!!!! I DID IT!!!! That's what I didn't tell you, I BREAK computers! I don't mean to, its just HAPPENS. I can't help it! I don't MEAN to break them!


Me: Not that I don't totally appreciate you doing whatever it is you did, I just…OOH IT HAPPENED AGAIN IT SHUT OFF. 

LWII: I did that.

Me: Oh. You could warn a girl.

LWII: Okay, let's turn it on again.

Me: Okay, THAT I can do. I can turn it on, it's this button right here. 

LWII: Okay, so we are connected again. Wow, you have a LOT of things on your desktop. 

Me: Oh, I work on the internet, I keep all my pics there. It's totally stupid and wastes a lot of space, but what can I say? I gotta be me.

LWII: Okay, so now I'm going to do something really complicated to make sure all your hardware is working. I need you to do one thing for me.

Me: Anything! Just FIXIT!

LWII: Don't. Touch. The. Computer.

Me: *jumps off couch, scurries into kitchen* I am nowhere near the computer!

LWII: Good. 

*I sneak a peek at the computer, which is going along by itself like a GHOST is IN MY MACHINE, but I know, rationally, it's just the lovely woman from India, doing whatever the hell it is people do to fix computers idiots like me break.*

LWII: Okay! All your drives are updated. It shouldn't happen again.

Me: Oh, it will.

LWII: Then you can call back! Here is your reference number. Do you have a pen?

Me: I have an eyeliner!


Me: I have a pen, yes. *gets reference number* Okay, so you promise it won't shut off again?

LWII: It shouldn't, there aren't any problems with it.


LWII: *laughs*

Me: Oh. OH YOU LAUGH. But you just spent TWO HOURS with me on the phone sending your SPIRIT GUIDES into my Dell to fix it, and after all this, you say that there's nothing wrong with it, so the problem has to be ME.

LWII: Or a fan.

Me: A fan?

LWII: A fan might be broken and overheating the computer. If it shuts down again, call back and we'll see what we can do.

Me: Well, and please don't take this the wrong way, ma'am, you've done an extraordinary job and you're absolutely delightful to speak to, but I'm calling my brother if this happens again.

LWII: Your brother is a computer technician?

Me: My brother is MacGyver. 


Me: My brother can fix anything. I'm calling him. But not now, he's sleeping. 

LWII: Well…good luck, and thank you for choosing Dell!



Me: IT'S A CURSE!!!!!!!!!!!

LWII: Time to go! Goodbye!

Me: *weeps*

So now I'm writing this, staring suspiciously at the computer like it could EXPLODE AT ANY MOMENT, and waiting for it to be mid-afternoon so I can call MacGyver and he can yell at me for breaking my computer.

How's YOUR morning going?



The Ghost In The Machine — 8 Comments

  1. My morning is just peachy because I have resolved Not To Deal with my sick desktop computer. My MacGyver is a darling lunatic who will stay on the phone with me for hours trying things. They don’t work. He LOVES it, begs for the chance to suggest new diagnostic attempts. I HATE it. Three evenings in a row is enough. I’ll use this here laptop which is none too young or healthy either, though younger than the desktop PC and about six decades younger than me.

  2. When I read this I kept screaming (in my head of course since I’m at work)”It’s probably just over heating!” I’ve burned through three laptops because I use them like a desktop – my last laptop did THE SAME THING…just **poof** shut off. So I ended up giving it to my bf so I could get a new one (I’m so thoughtful) and as long as he keeps it elevated and at least an air space between the bottom of the computer and whatever surface you set it on it stays on for much longer stretches…
    Glad you had a pretty good encounter with the lovely lady in Inda – that was lucky! đŸ™‚

  3. Ooh! Ooh! I have a super-secret super power too! Are you ready? I …
    … absolutely cannot walk past a bag of Wonka-brand Runts Freckled Eggs without immediately stopping and buying every bag in the store! I KNOW! And I can sniff them out from the back of the parking lot, too, so I KNOW THEY ARE IN THERE.
    Your super power is way cooler.

  4. Laptops like Dell’s tend to suck in a lot of dust. Over time it builds up and makes a film around the air vents that let the fan blow the hot air out of the case.
    The get blocked and it causes overheating. Disassembly and cleaning shouldn’t be hard for your brother.
    Unless of course it’s a problem with the thermal compound but I doubt it. You can also buy a USB powered fan-pad to set it on.

  5. I had a Dell laptop once that kept shutting off. It was the fan. We didn’t even have to pay to replace the fan, though. My husband took it out and blew all the dust out of the fan blades with an air can. And then it worked again.
    Of course, cracking open your case does tend to void your warranty, reducing your opportunities for entertaining conversations with computer ghost wranglers from India . . .

  6. Not that it’s morning anymore (not that I was awake in the morning either), but you made my morning better as nothing else today has. Yep, your ramblings are more effective than a boyfriend, ice cream, and madly cleaning my apartment.
    Feel special, damn it.

  7. Ok, the remote access thing that the lady in India did? I do that all the effing time to fix my parents’ computer. Because my dad is… well, he’s almost 74. Let’s leave it at that. But I once fixed their computer via remote access, while I was in England. And they live in Mississippi. Boo ya for technology!
    Btw, I have the exact same laptop as you (Dell XPS, no?) and I had the same issue a few months after I bought it. They had the very handy warranty repair guy come to my house the next day to fix it. Awesome.

  8. My laptop’s done the same thing before, and it’s relatively brand new. As someone said in an earlier post, just keep it elevated. Or even on a flat surface, like a hardcover book or something. Then the fan can do its thing. It’s overheating that causes it to shut off.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge