Monthly Archives: September 2016

Only Child says Dell Canada came through with Windows 7 problem

Laptop 18-433930798Sometimes big companies do come through with providing good service and with a staffer who not  only knows what he or she is doing but is also polite and professional.

So, after the runaround with Dell Computers, Canada Branch a few weeks back to extend my laptop lease on a month to month basis for up to a year, and get the service warranty connected to it extended, it was a surprise and relief when I actually had to use the current warranty to get a malfunctioning part in Windows 7 fixed. Yes, that is covered by my warranty, so no extra charge. Like many people with Windows 7, the Check for Updates function  on my laptop got stuck in an endless loop. I only hit that button because the regular daily check had stopped working the week before the monthly Microsoft updates.  There were also some Dell software updates that needed installing and perhaps they might be interfering here.

So I used my warranty and the Dell Support Assistant on my laptop to get to the contact info for Technical Support and phoned them. The first person took down the basic particulars, then transferred me to someone else who got the info on the problem then transferred me to an actual technical support person. This might seem like a runaround, but it all took under five minutes with no wait time for each call.

The fellow who helped me was Raj. He explained what he was doing and got my permission to access my computer remotely, taking me through each step. I also had him download and install Internet Explorer 11 in case that was needed to download Windows 7 updates. First, I told him I wanted to see if the other stuff opened the way for the update function to work.

It didn’t. But the email Raj sent me (all technicians do this after a session) with the Service No. also had the line that if I still had problems related to that service no. to get back to him.

Next day I did and suggested a time for him to call me. He did at the requested time and he got to work with the Windows 7 problem again with my permission using their program to access my computer and keeping me informed about what was going on.  And he did use Internet Explorer 11 for this.  After awhile he said this would be taking longer so he would put me on chat and we could stop the phone call. This gave him a chance to work on my computer problem (and maybe a few others’ computer problems that weren’t so complex) and me to go on to other things on my desktop computer.

The whole thing took around three and a half hours (I also had time to cook dinner in the oven and eat it). When I saw the laptop shutting down and rebooting and then put in my password to connect to Windows 7 and then saw the familiar updates available logo instead of the loopy Check for Windows updates, I cheered and got back to Raj with a thank you. And let him know he could close the remote connection and close the chat.

Of course being the partial computer Luddite that I am, I didn’t think to restart the computer again to clear, so when I clicked on the download and install updates – it didn’t do it. So I shut down the laptop.

I left it for a few days and when I turned on the laptop yesterday, opened the Windows Update box and hit the download and install button, it worked. And yes, I emailed Raj’s manager (there is a link in the email for that) and gave a good report on Raj and how much he helped me with the laptop software problems.

I don’t know what exactly was the block to Windows updates, but as mentioned above it is now common on laptops since last year when Microsoft started pushing Windows 10 on everyone with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. As Windows guru Woody Leonhard says, Microsoft wants us to upgrade to Windows 10, not do updates to Windows 7, yet Microsoft is supporting Windows 7 until 2020. It is still 2016.

Bill Gates, now a philanthropist, is probably glad he is no longer with Microsoft. People used to take his name in vain when he was. But the powers that be that took over from him are missing something – like they don’t seem to know or grasp the true philosophy of customer service. Maybe they should take a lesson from the Dell Canada technical support system.

Would like comments on others dealings with Microsoft  in particular.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

 

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Filed under Dell Canada, Help and Support, Life demands, Microsoft, Only child, Technology problems

Only Child says: Run my life? Then live it

Only child stews about people's interferance

Only child stews about people’s interference

Lately so-called well-meaning friends and family have been telling me how to run my life. They have been using various tactics. Which got me thinking about the psychology of telling people what to do.

For one thing, the methods used make a big difference. And whether they are listening to what I am saying, or not saying. Many times I am just telling about the difficult times I have in my life. But I’m not asking for their advice – if I want their advice, I will ask for it. I think they are forgetting the prime “rule” for when someone confides in you. Listen emphatically; don’t give orders.

I think my son has it down pat what to do and what not to do. Certainly if I have a problem with computers and ask him, he will give advice and try to fix the problem. But otherwise…let me give you an example. A few weeks ago I was complaining about all the Toronto public transit subway closures on weekends and despite shuttle buses (which never can hold the high number of subway passengers), it can mess up you getting to where you need to go. All he said was “the TTC have to do the maintenance or they will have to shut down the whole system.”

I’ll come back to that in a moment, but first how other family members have reacted.

This is the one that always gets my goat and I think I stumbled on a way to handle it.

I am talking about needing someone to do the weekly housecleaning and the like – not because I can’t physically do it, but because of my time (a lot of the housecleaning never gets done) and I just don’t like doing it and don’t do a good job. I add in I can’t get anyone to do it because I live below the poverty level for a single person living on my own. So the interference goes something like this:

Why don’t you move into a condo?

Me: Not enough space to garden and I don’t want someone living right on the other side of my walls. (And do they consider that no matter where you live, the place will need cleaning?)

Why don’t you sell the house (no reasoning about where I would move as the condo and the like has already been covered). You would get lots of money to live on for other things.

Then I throw out the kicker.

My ex-husband is half owner of the house.

The silence is palpable.

Back to my son. If you compare his answer to the house ones (and he has never said I should move out of my house), the difference is he offers a logical explanation for the problem but no advice. He doesn’t say something like  “deal with it” or “you should…”

So, I will step into the shoes of my so-called advisors with a word of advice.

When a friend or relative confides in you about a problem, unless they ask for your advice, don’t barge in with it.

Just listen emphatically. The person confiding may just need a listening ear at this point in time. In my case, as mentioned before, I do ask for advice and help – but I go to the people who can and/or should help – such as my handyman for house repairs and utility companies and governments  who caused the problem in the first place.

If you want to run my life, then you can live it – and that means doing all the things for me that you are suggesting including supplying the funds for them.

And do I really want that?

No. (The extra money needed from somewhere would be helpful, though).

How do you handle unwelcome advice from others? Comments please.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Family and Friends, finances, Life demands, Living alone, Only child, Problems, The Art of Listening

Only Child looks at fall

Soon to go inside for winter

Soon to go inside for winter

Continuing along the line of last week’s post on back to business in September, September also means a return to fall and then we know what happens after that.

The Weather Network presented their fall forecast last evening. I’m not going into that right now. You can view it here. It is what the word “fall” conjures up that is running around in my mind.

Back in the grey ages (1950s and early 1960), fall meant my dad had to change the screen windows for storm windows. Yes, that meant climbing up on a ladder and physically removing all the screens and putting up the storms – about a dozen windows. At least we don’t have to do that these days, but fall brings up more chores.

Clearing out the garden isn’t a chore, but everything else is. Cleaning the eavestroughs or getting someone to do so – in my case I hire someone but he has to come back several times to do more cleaning thanks to the black walnut trees which shed somewhat gradually (although you wouldn’t believe when you look at the ground) over six or more weeks. A few leaves have fallen down so far but most of the leaves on the trees (there are two walnut trees in my next-door neighbour’s yard that hang over – not complaining about that as they give me patio shade in the summer) are still green. Not holding my breath here.

Patio and verandah furniture will have to be brought in and the air-conditioner covered. There will still be a few more lawn mowing sessions. I finally got my eavestrough problem fixed – I hope, but that saga is for another blog post

For me, fall brings mixed blessings and curses. The latter is tied in a lot to what comes next – winter. And this one won’t be as mild in southern Ontario as the last winter according to the Farmer’s Almanac.

But the significant sign of fall for me is that my old patio umbrella finally stopped working. I had closed it for the past Saturday’s rain and wind storm. Part of the top blew off (thank you God, she said sarcastically). Still trying to decide if I should go through the time-consuming rigamarole of getting a new one now or leave it to next spring. There might be end of season sales on patio umbrellas but I could still run into the same problem as last spring when I was looking for a new one – there weren’t many suitable available and I did check out online and in person, sometimes with a friend. That’s another thing – besides the check online and in flyers for sales and availability of umbrellas, I have to get someone to either drive me to get it or pick it up and repay them. Not their fault, of course, but when you don’t have a car partly because you can’t afford a car and all its expenses….

Methinks I’ll just dump it at the end of the driveway later in the fall. If someone who can fix it wants it, good luck, they can have it. Otherwise the City of Toronto truck that picks up large items such as furniture can do so.

Now on to something more pleasant – fresh produce from the garden.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

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Filed under 1950s, 1960s, Dad, Fall, Garden, God, Home and Garden, Only child, Weather

Only Child says it’s back to school and business

Only Child on the patio of her backyard garden

Only Child on the patio of her backyard garden

The summer holidays are over and that makes me feel sad. Yes, I know there will be summer weather for at least another month, month and a half, but with school and work, there is a shift in the day. When I took a walk earlier this morning, the park I passed by was completely empty of people. Then from the school next to the park came a loudspeaker telling teachers and students to meet in the cafetorium – probably for classroom orientation.

I remember those days – the excitement and trepidation of returning to school – grade school it was internally smelling the pencils and books (I know back in the grey ages when we were spared all this digital business) and in high school some trepidation about new classes and new teachers. The latter with good reason. In the auditorium for grade 10 I found out that the typing classes I and many others had signed up for as an option were cancelled for us and we were stuck with cooking and sewing. Most of us didn’t like the cooking teacher and the sewing teacher was well, okay. But I needed to learn to type and I could learn cooking and sewing from my mother.

Fast forward to way too many years and I am being crowded by the “to-do” list – both mental and written. The writing, editing, writing instruction, book promo and the like do create some problems and it can get hectic, but this is what I love to do. Extra house repairs, including getting an eavestrough (yes, one eavestrough) repaired or replaced is now back on the agenda. In early spring I started getting quotes but became discouraged when one of the contractors came to my door to take a looksee and give a quote and the first thing he said was “I’m 72 and I don’t climb up on roofs.” Well, send somebody who does. His quote was way up there for just one eavestrough replacement. I was also discouraged by some eavestrough contractors who won’t replace just one eavestrough. I also had to get some trees hanging over my roof pruned way back as well as the recovering juniper trimmed back so I was also getting quotes from arborists.

Overkill in work to be done. And as my limited finances wouldn’t handle both, it was the trees that won out.  Now I’m focusing on the eavestrough with the hopes that it will get done by mid-October and I can afford it. Yes, I know, should have had quotes during the summer, but I was busy with the garden (by choice – something I love), editing and writing clients (ditto), getting other stuff outside and inside fixed, and dealing with trying to get the money I was owed. One client, in particular screwed up with half of the payment and the other was the government payments to us seniors that start up again after we file our taxes. Well the Notice of Assessment came back in pretty good time but the other – let’s just say the government took a month to get back into the swing of paying. Which was about a month better than that one errant client.

So, it’s back to the eavestrough business and other fall stuff like checking my heating protection plan renewal and booking a furnace cleaning. But also my garden – lots of vegetables and herbs to bring in and eat and process – just started collecting some of the oregano and drying it in the dehydrator. And of course my writing and editing and the writing groups I belong to starting up again.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

Sharon wearing her grade 10 school sewing project

Only Child wearing her grade 10 school sewing project

 

Onl

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Filed under 1950s, 1960s, finances, Home and Garden, Life Balance, Life demands, Only child, September, to do list