* * *
Og posts a copy of one of his service reports, and I have to say this is pretty f-ing funny stuff.
I experience his pain, in miniature, just about every time I go to work. This is my best one so far:
Phone was run over by a semi. It barely counts as a telephone any more.It was an iPhone, and it was so mangled that the screen was detached, all glass shattered and gone, and the guts exposed. The frame was bent.
Second best: "This iPad was run over by a monster truck. Repair under ADH."
...and one client brought in an iPod which looked like it took a bullet for him. WTF.
In theory these kinds of accidental damage from handling (ADH) claims would be denied, because if you're stupid enough to leave your iPad where a monster truck can run it over you deserve to be out the $600 it costs to replace the damned thing. In practice, however, we grunts are virtually powerless to enforce those kinds of standards, and I have given up trying. (Hence the service order for the phone that got hit by a truck. Yes, the claim was honored.)
If I had a dollar for every client who brought in a device that was having a power issue without bringing the AC adapter I wouldn't need to work there:
"My tablet/laptop/phone isn't charging."This job has really taught me how not to make sarcastic replies to obviously dumb questions, let me tell you.
"Okay; can I see your AC adapter?"
"I, ehh, left it at home. Do you need it?"
What really gets me is when I hook the device up to a charger and it charges fine. "I tried all kinds of adapters at home!" is invariably the next line. Uh huh; I'm sure you did. And if you don't use the right charger, the device will take forever to charge or not charge at all. (Samsung tablets, in particular, are fussy about charging--it must be 2A at 5V, or else it won't play.) All of this relies on you not treating the USB cable like you would a piece of rope; you can't twist the damned thing around like a telephone cord--it won't take that kind of abuse for long. Also, Samsung AC adapters are made out of putty and pipe cleaners, so they go bad spectacularly fast.
Then there are the people who buy something, break it, and insist that the repair ought to be covered under the manufacturer's warranty. Sorry; if you forget the thing is plugged in and rip out the USB port, it's not a warranty issue.
I don't expect people to know everything about this stuff; that's why they pay us to work on their equipment. But I do expect a little common sense, you know?
I have a lot of sympathy for the people who come to us with something that has data on it they can no longer access. If the thing doesn't work for us when we plug it into one of our computers, then we'd have to send it out for data recovery, and that starts at $250 and rapidly climbs to $YEECH!
If you have any critical data stored on SD cards or flash drives, and you don't have it copied somewhere else, you don't have it. While it is theoretically possible to recover data from a damaged flash drive, I would not care to bet on the liklihood, and I will invariably advise you that unless the data is priceless and irreplacable, you will be wasting a lot of your money on the attempt.
"I formatted this SD card. Can you get the data back?" No.
"This flash drive doesn't work when I plug it in. Can you get the data off it?" No.
"This external hard drive doesn't power on. Can you copy it to a new one?" Maybe, if you take the drive out of the enclosure; then we can plug it into our data transfer machine and see what happens. If the actual drive works, then we can usually copy the data to DVD or another drive, and we'll charge $100-$150 for that. Otherwise we have to send it out and charge you $250+. Nine times out of ten--999 out of 1000--people don't bother.
* * *
Today my boss said something that annoyed me considerably.
With the holiday that's coming, and all the stuff surrounding it, I requested the weekend off. Then I learned that my wife's brother was visiting from Atlanta, so I requested a couple more days off. Yesterday the office manager asked me if I just wanted to take the whole week, since I was only available on Saturday, and after thinking it over for about fifty milliseconds I said, "Sure."
Today, then, my immediate supervisor asked me if I was really taking that whole week off? "Yes," I said. "I've got family coming in for the holiday weekend, and then my wife has family visiting later that week, so it just kind of snowballed."
"Well," she said, with some pique, "I'm glad [coworker] is back." It didn't really bother me at the time, but when I thought it over I realized that it had gotten under my skin, and why.
See, a month or so ago I interviewed for a full-time position there. They decided not to fill it, but instead we now have some three or four people from elsewhere doing this job part-time. This includes a woman who doesn't really know much of anything about computers who nonetheless has worked more hours in the back fixing computers than I have. (Said woman being young enough that I was fixing computers before she was born.) Because of this influx of new talent my hours have been cut.
...and then my boss is put out because I'm taking an unpaid week off? WTF, if I am that damned valuable why am I not full-time? If my being off a week is that much of an imposition, how can you afford to keep me part-time?
Meanwhile the one actual official repair agent we have ([coworker], above) has been on vacation for a while and machines are piling up on the "incoming" shelves. Has my boss made good on her promise that I'd be given hours in the back? Have I gotten the training needed to be certified on data backups and such? Noooo.
But the thing is, I do my work and don't screw off. Today I was alone in the precinct from open until three o'clock (another coworker was actually scheduled to be in at 4 but he came in an hour early) and I got everything done that is expected of the opening shift: I checked to insure all the completed units were where they should be; I got the shipping checked in and clients called and reservations scheduled; and I handled clients as they came in. For the first three hours of my shift I was in constant motion, doing my job--without supervision.
They know they can rely on me to do my job without screwing off, else they would not schedule me to work the precinct alone. They know I won't make a fuss about working weekends, nor do I get disgruntled about the shifts I am assigned to work. They give me hours, I work them, and I do the best job I can.
So I guess that's why it's an imposition--but if that's so, if I am indispensable, why am I scrounging for hours?
* * *
Hard to believe that it's almost July already. Well, that's how it goes.