Platinum Premium Service & Support Policy
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Dear Mr. Waygate,

I thought you would like to hear from a grateful customer how your Platinum Premium Service & Support Policy came to my aid.

I noticed recently that my Waygate Pentium was running as slow as a snail walking backwards. I had become such a joke among the 486ers that I began to shun them.

My computer would be classified as new if it weren't a computer. I had paid twenty-three hundred bucks for it in May. I see now that it isn't even listed in Waygate's advertisements.

Your cheapest computer is a lot faster and more powerful than mine and only twelve hundred dollars. I see you're throwing in a printer... that really hurts. The speed of advancing technology is frightening. What you invent today has to be marketed within the month. Soon you may have to date them like milk cartons. I finally figured out that the right time to buy a computer is in the future.

The New York Times is spreading a vicious rumor that you are thinking about giving them away and giving AOL a run for their money. I don't believe that for a moment.

Luckily, knowing nothing is perfect, I paid extra for your Platinum Premium Service & Support Policy. I wanted to be guaranteed the very best support. Seeing "Old Bess" had started to drag, I immediately took advantage of my Platinum Premium Service & Support Policy in order that she might regain her youth. My only concern was how long it would take your repairman to come to my home.

Charley, a technician in North Dakota answered my phone call and I explained the problem.

"Bill, you have a virus that has destroyed a part of your conventional memory." I quickly denied his accusation, telling him I had always used protection. Norton's Anti-Virus was constantly on guard. He kept insisting it was a virus.

I felt like a nice girl being accused of being the East Coast distributor of a venereal disease. He spent the first hour giving me tons of instructions and having me push every combination of keys on the keyboard. Charley was about as patient and as persistent as you can get. He finally gave up on the idea of a virus.

"Charley, don't waste your time, just send out the repairman. I got the Platinum Premium Service & Support Policy," I said. There was a long pause. Finally, I again heard the voice from North Dakota.

"Bill, do you have a Philips-head screwdriver, tweezers and a needle-nose handy? We are going to have to go in."

I thought only surgeons used that language to one another. What in hell does he mean "we"?

"I want you to take the case off the tower, go in, and move some parts around."

"Charley, I get nervous when I wind my watch."

"Don't worry about it, Bill."

I thought, "a six-month-old $2,300 computer is going to have its guts switched around by a guy who puts his finger in his ear when he tries to pick his nose?"

Taking the cover off the tower was not tough. That's what I would like to say, but for me it was tough. The second and third hour was spent taking "Old Bess" apart.

"Case off."

"Do you see the battery in the corner?"

"I see nothing that looks like a battery," I said.

"That round disk in the corner."

Long pause. Finally, I respond, "Is it about the size of a nickel?"

"Yea. Do you see that set of...? (God knows what he said.) I want you to move the jumper off the second of the third set of..." (?) About three inches from the nickel."

"What's a jumper?"

"That's what's connecting them," Charley responded.

Long pause. "Charley, I think I see those things." There was a whole bunch of little things that were about three thousandths of an inch wide in sets of three and four. Some of them were connected to each other by these little, tiny things he called jumpers. By now I have my trusty magnifying glass in hand and my arthritic spine is killing me. I go nose to nose with the jumpers.

"Bill, I want you to take the jumper off of S3 and S4 and put it on S2 and S3."

"What do you mean S3 and S4 and S2 and S3? What the hell do you mean? There’s about a hundred of them."

"Each one has a number on it."

"You're kidding," I insisted. Sure enough, I peruse them with the glass and they are numbered. Talk about a prayer on a head of a pin. I'm talking about parts that I can only see with a magnifying glass. I am in the heartland of the microprocessor. Now the impossible starts. I have to pull a jumper off and attach it to S2 and S3. To really appreciate my task you have to see a jumper. Look at this one. (.) Using the needle-nose to get a hold of a jumper is like trying to pick up a grain of sand with the bucket of a steam shovel. I struggle and struggle. My right thumb, damaged in an accident, is near useless.

I keep thinking, if I ever do get this damn thing off, I'm sure as hell going to drop it into that maze of the microscopic, and how would I ever be able to face Charley? I soon realize moving a jumper requires the hand of a female violinist with the nerves of a person who has been dead a week.

I reach into the very depths of my faith and beg God for a steady hand. The jumper is soon submerged in a drop of sweat from my nose. It takes forever and forever, but I do it. After accomplishing my mission, I reconnect all the plugs into the back. During this whole operation the phone line has been open. It has taken so long that Charley has had his Platinum Premium Service & Support Policy lunch. I am exhausted. My suspenders are soaked with sweat and my back is killing me.

"Hey, Charley, what did you have for lunch? Sounds pretty good. I'm starving. Okay, Charley, switch on. We booted it up for about thirty seconds to a minute.

"Okay, Bill, shut it down. I want you to strip it down again and put the jumper in its original position."

In the pause that followed you could have built a pyramid and gotten a good start on a second. Finally, Charley spoke up. He is a real cool guy.

"Bill, I've got plenty of time. Just be careful to put the jumper back exactly where you had it. You don't want to blow the motherboard."

"Charley, are you sure you have plenty of time?"

"Bill, I'm with you until the job is done. You have the Platinum Premium Service & Support Policy. No problem."

"I had a strange feeling that Charley had a big grin on his face.

"That's great, Charley. Listen Charley. Moving those jumpers took a lot out of me. Besides that, I think I was lucky as hell. I'm not as nimble as I used to be. You will have to bear with me. I'm on in years; just hit 92," I lied. "I'm missing a thumb on my right hand. The other problem is I have to hold my right hand with my left to stop it from shaking. Stay next to that phone, Charley. I'll be needing your support."

I then went into my kitchen and had my Platinum Premium Service & Support Policy lunch. There was no need to hurry; Charley had plenty of time. I started the meal off with a Manhattan followed by a well-cooked cheeseburger. I always noticed that after a second Manhattan there was no need for me to hold my right hand with my left. I almost forgot that Charley was on the phone. After a leisurely lunch and a glance at the newspaper I picked up the phone again.

"Hey, Charley. I had a delicious lunch and now I'm going to get hot on that jumper." I went back to "Old Bess" and replaced the jumper without hearing an explosion. I guess I didn't blow the motherboard, whatever the hell that means.

"Charley, the jumper is back in its original position."

"Bill, push the button."

“Old Bess" came flashing on at top speed.

May I suggest, Mr. Waygate that you include with your Platinum Premium Service & Support Policy one packet containing:

1-Philips-head screwdriver
1-Needle-nose pliers
1-Magnifying glass
2-Manhattans, very dry.

Yours truly,

Bill Monks

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