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Neither Lender or Borrower Be...

I loaned my laptop to my neighbor for 2 hours. Even handing it over, my hand shook with hesitation... concerned how this would go.

Yup. You guessed. Busted. The computer was returned to me (as if nothing was wrong) and when I tried to power up a few days later, nothing.... couldn't it get it go to Windows. Tried booting from the prompt. Tried all the tricks with the function buttons. Tried a total hard drive reformat by booting to the manufacturer's recovery boot disk. Nada. Had a computer guy attempt to bring it to life. Dead. It's dead, just dead.

The thing is about a year and a half old and isn't even paid off yet on my Best Buy credit card. I paid about $800, which is not cheap. Of course... Murphy's Law, it's out of warranty. I'm S.O.L.

It was my laptop for travel and work in the office/classroom. Luckily, my important files are saved on my desktop and a back up server, as well as an external hard drive. Still, it pisses me off royally how computers seem to last only a couple of years and that laptop repairs are just not a happening thing from a technological and feasibility standpoint.

Yes, I told the neighbor the laptop came back broken. What do you think their response was? Typical. They didn't own up to doing anything to it, and why would they? This is the price one pays, herself, for being an idiot loaning out a valuable piece of electronics that shouldn't have been loaned.

I didn't want to lend it out for a minute. Learning to say "NO" is a lifelong struggle not just for me, but for most folks. I admire those who say "no" with power and conviction and without feeling they need to justify-- without feeling guilt.

As I reflect on this experience, it was a great opportunity to speak with my kids about such a thing... these are the kinds of truths learned the hard way and I hope they learn to take care of the things they love and not be so whimsy to loan out something that is important to their work or recreation, just because saying "no" seems at the time to be a bit hard. I think of how many times I've watched a Judge Judy episode (one of the few TV shows I watch and love)... and how many times the case is about someone who loans their car to someone, only to have it returned smashed up and the culprit believing he's not responsible because the owner "let him use it".

I'll tell you something... I NEVER borrow... but in a pinch, if I ever needed to and something got banged up or broken, I couldn't live with myself without taking responsibility. For God's sake, there just is no integrity in this world and this is the shit that weighs heavy on my heart sometimes - that givers lose and takers don't care.

When I shop for another laptop... and I will, well, when I have a few hundred loose $50 bills laying around to use for spending... I'm getting something cheap, dammit. And if anyone knows of a laptop brand/configuration that allows for Windows 2007 and a little bit of web surfing... that's all I want. What is the minimal I could expect to spend for basic functionality since I already have a good desktop for heavy handed work, like graphics? I have the MS suite of software, just need the notebook computer. Thoughts?



Roger D. Curry said...

OK, dearest, school is in session:

Response to request to borrow a laptop made by ANYONE, including your mother, your great Aunt Tillie, or the boy/girl you're trying to induce to bang you until your ears ring: "Are you out of your fucking mind?"

Where to buy laptops: eBay, reconditioned, 2 years old.


Jilly said...

i have learned to say no. I often have to fight over saying "no" and i do feel guilty later, but i have to say no. it's easieer now that i have a child, because saying no is often what is best for her. i work with nasty little thieves (i love them, but many are on probation and have other charges for a reason). Now, i kow you won't, because you're classy, but at the next neighborhood function, mention how unreliable your neighbors are with other people's property and if they ask, tell about the laptop. you'll probably find out that they've borrowed things all over the neighborhood and broken or lost them all.

p.s. my laptop worked fine until the flight back from CA in Jan. It's now got so many problems with it, i have to get a new one. All were caused by the handling of my luggage by the airline. you have more of a chance of getting a new computer out of your deadbeat neighbors than i have from getting mine fixed by the airline.

c'est la vie


Spidey said...

silly silly girl. when will you learn?

Anonymous said...

After having not one, not two, but THREE laptops destroyed by my own child, I finally put my foot down and said nobody but me is to EVER use my laptop.

About a month ago - I went home, booted up my laptop, and my virus scan was going nucking futz. My laptop had about six viruses in it. I knew instantly that someone other than me had been on my laptop. I confronted Spawn, who said, "What do you mean?" I told him I could tell someone else had been on it. He then told me that my little brother had been listening to music on my laptop, and that he had copied several gigs of music to disk. Then, where did the viruses come from. I confronted Beastie who said he checked his bank account. Neither one of them will admit to doing anything else on my machine. But where did the viruses come from? It's too big a coincidence that they appeared after my brother used the machine.