Of course, both computers here decided to do the Animal House horse thing within a few hours of each other, and worse, while I was writing a few blog posts and seeing what sort of tax filing I needed to do in my current financial status. Let me tell you right now that finding someone to fix a computer during a crisis is quite difficult (and how!), but this was one of those weird twists where being in the right place at the wrong time was beneficial. After calling around to a few places in a bit of a frantic (and yes, they were all closed), I took a short break, noticed the trash was piling up and went to take it out to the compactor. I was annoyed to see someone was leaving their bagged garbage and a few pizza boxes on the floor of the compactor room for the last few days, but didn’t want to touch it because, well… you know.
Just then, a neighbor down the hall pops out of his place with a garbage bag, walks up and sees the mess, makes a face, then turns back to his apartment and starts yelling in a language I didn’t understand. He turns back to me and says the person who left the trash was his teenage son, who he was yelling at to come take care of the mess. His father apologized and made a face, then yelled for his son again while his kid was yelling back “OK, OK!” from the closed apartment door. “Sometimes, the only reason I like to have him around is he’s a genius on computers.” Which made my eyebrow go up. Half joking, I asked if his son also fixed computers because mine stopped working and I got a “Oh, he does everything” followed by a “Well, except the garbage right!” He was about to yell for his son again, when the teen appeared and his dad pointed to the trash and then the sign noting that putting trash on the floor wasn’t a good thing.
I wasn’t about to ask him while his dad was berating him or even after, but before I could get to that not asking, his dad is suddenly saying my computer is broken and his son needed to fix it for no charge (!) because of my discovering of the trash pile and that was a weird thing for him to do on the spot like that. That, and if someone was going to fix my computers, I’d be paying them and it would very likely be a more qualified professional doing the job. Oddly enough, the kid agreed but I was a bit wary of the whole thing until I realized that he’d given the kid those instructions in English right in front of me and the kid seemed genuinely interested in the task, almost too happy.
We decided the kid would drop by and work on what needed fixing at my place and amusingly enough, both he and his dad seemed relieved, which I found out as the kid went to get some tools, that his dad was kind of wanting him to get out of the house after being cooped up with him, his wife, daughter and a relative for a stretch. Dad said he was going to work for a few hours (a local takeout chicken place, which was still open for delivery), and as he didn’t want to hand me his business card, slid it under my door after his kid dropped by, asking me to call if there were any problems.
The kid washed his hands and got to work right away, finding out that the old desktop just needed a new power supply (I needed to buy one at some point and I could actually replace it myself), while the laptop required reinstalling a few drivers and a few reboots to get functioning again. I’m not the most technically adept person, but the kid did a proper nerdy, wordy step-by-step description that really helped. While he was working, he spied a stack of games nearby and yep, we chatted about games for a bit and he was thrilled at that, as no one in his family was a gamer and I was maybe the oldest person he’d met who was playing (gee, thanks!).
He was done in about 25 minutes, minus the updates that I needed to wait on, but I think we chatted for about an hour about games. He actually didn’t want to be paid, but I insisted on it, offering a fee I’d seen advertised on a flyer from one of the shops here. I also had a few duplicate PlayStation 4 games in the library here (I’d bought a few older titles cheap and was using them as trade items), so I passed those on and he was almost jumping up and down at that as he only had six titles to speak of. So yeah, I still have a bit of catching up to do, but so it goes. Now, let me go finish up what I started and then some. I’ll be back shortly.