Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Terminal Overload

Well, here I sit inside DFW's marvelous new Terminal D, the international terminal, for a flight to... Seattle. Washington state has apparently seceded from the union while we weren't looking. Smart move, I think.

Even after the protestations of a full 1/4 of my regular readers -- Monk -- I have still been unable to post anything here for awhile. Things have been VERY hectic in the last few weeks, as ANN gears up for our coverage of the Arlington Fly-In (where I'm heading now) and, later this month, Oshkosh. I have seven distinct projects in my "to-do" pile right now, and that's in addition to posting the site, oh, pretty much EVERY SINGLE GODDAMN DAY. More on that in a minute.

I must begin the tales of my current exploits, though, with the story of how I somehow managed to order two computers from Dell. As is the case with a lot of situations like this -- and most nuclear families -- only one of them was planned. As the old Dimension 2200 was starting to slow down just a little with the added workload it's had to perform these past seven months (not bad at all for a computer I ordered from work, back in ABQ, with no prior knowledge of How These Things Worked) I decided to splurge on a new E510 with megamemory and an updated graphics card.

This had nothing at all to do with wanting an uprated machine for Flight Simulator... nothing at all. It's all for work, really... as far as the IRS knows.

ANYWAY, after building several machines online, I finally ordered my new $1600 computer. It arrived promptly, and set up was a breeze. All was well... until I decided to order new ink cartridges for my (old) printer, which I'd forgotten to do.

Somehow... and even Dell doesn't know how this happened... one of the machines I "built" -- and then erased -- got put onto the printer cartridge order. It wasn't there when I clicked "send order," I swear.

Of course, all this happened on a Saturday -- when customer service, such as it is, couldn't access the order or do a damn thing about it... so first thing Monday morning, there it was in my email... "We'll debit your account for $17XX.XX NOW and send your NEW Dell Computer -- you lucky guy! -- in 3-5 days. We're already building it, even!!"

Or something like that. The exact specifics (redundant, I know) elude me, as I was back on the phone to India to rip some poor haj a new one.

Finally, after about an hour of linguistic loop-the-loops, the order was cancelled... but not before sapping my bank account AGAIN. Fortunately... and search me how this happened... the balked transaction did not mess anything up financially for me. No checks at all cleared during the 48 hours it took for Dell to give me my money back. Good news.

Other news... I mentioned earlier that I'm pretty much posting every single day for ANN again. That's because our most recent Weekend Editor sacrifice -- er, new hire -- managed to talk himself right out of a job within two weeks, by attempting to set policy before his time. I understood and supported the decision... while fighting back tears. I'm also pretty sure my hair is even grayer now than it was before.

So... does anyone reading this want a part-time job? My boss isn't THAT bad, I swear... just ignore the whole "tried to base jump from the WTC and, oh yeah, pretended to be a doctor in the 70s" thing.

Wow... typing this only took about 15 minutes. I still have another hour-and-a-half to go before my flight... I swear I'll post again sooner than last time... like, say, 14 days from now instead of the 20 last time.

Don't hurt me, Monk!

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