** Note: I originally wrote this post on Thursday, but then my computer shut down mid-post, and I thought I'd lost it. I just found it buried deep in a weird folder while preparing to restore my computer to its factory settings in the hope that I can finally resolve this problem I'm having.
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I don't often lose my temper, but I lost it today and I lost it big. A year or so ago, I bought a new laptop computer after my old one crashed and burned. My new computer came loaded with Windows Vista, and my life took a downward turn the minute I turned the stupid thing on.
My day started out normally enough -- until the computer crashed and shut down four times in a row while I was in the middle of a document that I had to have finished early this morning. This would have been frustrating enough, but since the day I bought my computer, Windows Vista has systematically been destroying all of the other programs on my computer.
The first casualty was Internet Explorer. Microsoft Tech Support was spectacularly unhelpful, blaming everyone and everything from George W. Bush to my granddaughter for their faulty program. I limped along without IE for a while, contenting myself with Mozilla Firefox instead.
Then Microsoft Outlook started acting up. I uninstalled and reinstalled several times, to no avail. Outlook soon went the way of Internet Explorer. What I find most interesting is that Windows Vista can't even work with other Microsoft programs.
Then Firefox began to act up, and MSN explorer soon followed. Like I said, one by one, Windows Vista is exploding all of my other software, and I'm quickly losing my temper.
Today, on my fifth (no exaggeration) Tech Support call of since morning (I logged more than 8 hours talking with folks from India today) I finally lost it. The "helpful" tech support rep from Microsoft's Windows XP division decided all on his own that I was an idiot and began speaking to me in much the same tone one might use with a particularly dim-witted dog.
He started telling me that I didn't understand Microsoft's licensing procedure. Well, buddy, I do understand Microsoft's licensing procedure. I understand all about OEM licensing and all that. But would he let me tell him he could skip that part of his canned speech? No, he would not. In fact, he didn't let me get more than two words out before he cut me off and told me I didn't understand.
I would have asked how he knew I didn't understand since he wasn't listening to a d**n thing I was saying, but I couldn't get the question out before he cut me off. In the end, I did what he was probably trying to get me to do all along. I hung up in frustration. Of course, I managed to use my best raunchy sailor language right before signing off, but I doubt the tech support guy stopped talking long enough to fully appreciate my talents.
I tell you, it's almost enough to drive a person to ... well ... murder!