Saturday, November 10, 2007

An Apple A Day...

Rumor has it that a daily dose of the round, red fruit is good for you. I wouldn't know. The computer company that bears the name of this very fruit is not cooperating with my commitment to good health. At least not my mental health. They are, in fact, a true detriment to my continued cognitive functioning.

At the start of school, all the special ed. teachers were presented with brand new MacBooks. We need the better computers in order to effectively run the new state program for writing individual education plans and are among the lucky few in the school district to get these little gems. After receiving it at the district workshops, I packed it into the truck and returned to my own school, little knowing what events were about to be set into motion.

After sitting through a couple of meetings, I returned to my own classroom a bit bleary-eyed and overwhelmed by the sheer number of things I still needed to get done before the students arrived the next day. Just to distract myself, I set up the new laptop and turned it on. You know...just to see what it looked like.

I then looked up at my Cheerful Teaching Assistant and said, "Wow."

With the exception of the small screen size, it was everything a girl could want in a computer: fast, shiny, had it all! I knew that, if ever the opportunity presented itself, I would move heaven and earth to make one of these machines mine own.

This wasn't really a pipe dream. My school district offers a payroll deduction program for staff who would like to order computers for personal use and it's a very handy way to upgrade equipment without having to order it yourself. I've done it before, actually. The very computer upon which this post is being typed came to me three years ago through that very same program. Sure, you have to wait two or three weeks for delivery. But, it is still a pretty handy way to manage the payments and a couple of weeks isn't really all that long.

This year's due date for orders was September 26th. Given that it takes time to pull together the entire order, it wasn't unreasonable to assume that we would have our new computers by mid October. Anyone who has been following this saga knows that this did not happen.

There were any number of issues ranging from changes in sales representatives, to rather large checks from the school district not having been sent to cover previous orders. In addition, the company decided to do a massive upgrade to the operating system and many orders were stalled while the computers were made better and brighter. In short, it has taken a very, very long time for this situation to sort itself out. There have been many, many emails shooting between the tech director and the various people who ordered computers, some of which have been rather ..."pointed" and "uncomfortable." We are all losing patience with this situation.

On Monday, however, we read those magic words on our morning email! The "hold" had been taken off the district's account, the computers were shipping and all was right with the world. My Cheerful Teaching Assistant and I, both eagerly awaiting our new laptops, danced a wild and celebratory dance which both horrified and intrigued our hapless students that day. We were of the opinion that we would have our new computers by the end of the week. Surely our patience would be rewarded with speedy shipping!

On Thursday, with nary a laptop in sight, I tried to fill my day with paperwork. I had sent my Cheerful Teaching Assistant off on a field trip with the 6th graders and I had a bit of time on my hands between 5th grade classes. Every now and again (or every five minutes, whichever came first) I would check my email to see if there were any new developments. Now, the fact that the tech director was actually in the building, made eye contact with me, but avoided speaking to me should have been a clue of sorts. But, I have developed an almost maniacal sense of hope and positive thinking around this situation and I figured he was just playing it cool so I'd be all surprised when my new laptop showed up.

I am rather naive that way...

There was no laptop delivered that day. And there was a bit of a sting that came with that wound to my good nature. But, a far greater insult awaited me. Upon returning to school from the field trip, my Cheerful Teaching Assistant checked her email and announced (cheerfully) that she had just received shipping confirmation and a tracking number for her new laptop! She danced that wild dance of joy that we'd both engaged in on Monday while I looked on bitterly and pretended that I was happy for her.

I also had to pretend to be sad for her when we reviewed the tracking information again on Friday. According to the shipping log, her computer is sitting in the back of a truck somewhere in Shanghai. This could take a bit longer than it already has under the circumstances and neither of us really has the strength to continue dancing for that long. And besides...if hers is on a loading dock in Shanghai, then mine is still in pieces in a factory in Shanghai. Maybe she'll get hers for Thanksgiving and I can, perhaps, play with mine during the Holiday Break in December.

No Apples here. The wait goes on.

I'm passing the hours by plying my newly spun sock yarn. Every once in a while, I remind myself to stop gritting my teeth so hard. You can't enjoy an apple through locked jaws, after all.

You also can't yell at "Tech Directors Who Aren't Completely At Fault For This But Will Bear The Brunt Of Your Wrath Anyway" unless the jaw will release enough to allow for full mouth extension. Or eat chocolate. Both of which are rapidly becoming necessary parts of this process.

Hopefully, I shall have some nice, soothing sock yarn pictures to show you tomorrow. That is cheering me up considerably!



Emma said...

Ah, what a long and sad saga indeed! Stupid computers. Can't wait to see your spun sock yarn.

Knitting Linguist said...

There is absolutely nothing worse than checking email to see whether a long-awaited object is winging its way towards you only to discover that it is not. Nothing. I know this through bitter personal experience. I'm feeling for you out here! BTW, thanks for the book recommendation -- being the not patient person that I am (see the above comments), I bought it today :) And, being the not patient person that she is (hmmm, wonder where she gets it), Older Daughter has already read significant portions of it. She's very happy, and therefore so am I. Thanks!

G said...

Sock yarn can and should be soooothing!!! Im sticking with the red,crunchy varieties of apples, so much nicer than the kind you have to wait for, that you can't make pies out of either LOL....

Huggs, G

Leigh said...

Oh my. I am not at all patient when it comes to waiting for expected things that are supposed to happen. I sympathize with you!. And I'm very curious to see that sock yarn!

Donna Lee said...

Sorry about the computer, that sucks. Some nice soothing spinning is in order. Wait, I know nothing about spinning. It is soothing, right?

trek said...

Apple-ocalypse time.

Sorry, Sheepie. But you are quite right that a tightly clenched jaw is counterproductive when one is in need of medicinal chocolate.

nancy said...

Patience is a virtue. One I do not have :) I am currently waiting for FOUR things to be shipped to me. Two bundles of fiber from the same place (which I've been told they were 'on their way' two different times, and I'm no longer believing them), one bundle of business stuff (not as much fun, but gotta fund the toy habit), a bundle of hand dyed sock yarn, and from a separate company 2 cones of yarn. To add insult to injury the Post Office is CLOSED on monday due a holiday that I don't get off from work, but will cause my items to be delayed even further.

I feel your pain.

I'm now a fan of "go pick it up in the store" on certain purchases.

I was debating ordering a roving kit; but figure I better not push my luck right now.

mehitabel said...

We are currently doing the Wait for The Computer Dance around here. Daughter Meg ordered her new Dell and got shipping info--of course, it hasn't arrived yet and now it will be at least Tuesday. She also ordered a nice router so I will be able to take my laptop upstairs and read email in bed if I want to! (And if the BedCat will let me--he gets possessive of the lap!)

brenda said...

I was doing the same thing, checking every ten minutes, for my Ravelry invite. I know, not really the same thing, but the anticipation is awful! I hope it gets here soon. Did you get a laptop? Hopefully with a bigger screen than those teacher laptops.

Teri S. said...

Drat...still no shiny new laptop. That stinks! I understand what you are going through. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you'll have better news next week. Enjoy the process of the sock yarn. I can't wait to see it!

kmkat said...

Perhaps you could knit yourself a new laptop? Out of shiny red, er, white yarn?