Thursday, April 27, 2017

Writer’s Workshop: The Christmas of Broken Toys

Today’s prompt: Write about a time you wasted your money.

Mary and I have a deal at Christmas: we buy for ourselves, then pretend we got the stuff from each other. She usually wants knitting books, yarn, and other knitting paraphernalia, and at the time I was heavy into computers and peripherals. We’d have ended up having to tell each other exactly what we wanted and where to get it from, and finally we decided to eliminate the middleman. Works for us.

This one Christmas I couldn’t decide what I wanted, and it was getting close to Christmas. Finally, I was flipping through a catalog and saw a bunch of computer accessories I thought I could use, and they came to $50 with shipping and everything. So, I ordered it, and was relieved that I had finished my Christmas shopping.

The stuff all came in a box, and I held off opening it until Christmas morning. I brought all of it up to my office and started plugging it in. Understand, this was in the olden days when peripherals all came with driver software and nothing attached with USB cables, so I had to actually screw the stuff into the back of my computer. I got everything attached and ready to go… and nothing worked. I tried installing the drivers, and none of them would install, or it wouldn’t find the device I had installed and would tell me so, in large letters.

I go to the vendor’s website and find driver software, but had the same issues with what I downloaded. I tried every trick I knew, and it still wouldn’t install, and I couldn’t use the stuff without the appropriate drivers. Of course, it being Christmas Day, no one was working, so I put the stuff aside and figured I would call in the morning.

When I finally got through to them, the guy asked, “What release of Windows are you running?”

“NT,” I said.

“Ohhhhhhh… that stuff won’t work on Windows NT. It’ll work on 95 and ME, but that’s as far as we’re supporting those items. You might try getting your money back from whoever sold the stuff to you.”

So I call the people I bought the stuff from, and was told the stuff was on final clearance and couldn’t be returned.

$50 worth of peripherals, no good on my release of Windows. I just threw the stuff away. Merry Christmas.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

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