The voice of my 4 year old cheerfully starting his day with a greeting woke me up at around 0630. It was a Monday, 20th January 2014.  As I stretched out, I can feel the warmth of the air through the rays of the sun already beaming in through the window where the curtains did not cover. Today is going to be a beautiful day.

I had a deadline for a project with a respected and well-known organisation in the community. The main tool to complete the project was of course my trusted HP laptop. It was due in 2 days and I had scheduled to start the project as soon as all the requirements and content had been sent through from the client. Anyhow, after morning tea and with the 4 year old playing with his toys, I thought I’d get on to completing this looming deadline. I sat at my desk clicking on the Start key. Nothing happened. I pressed it again and waited for her to respond. Nothing again. Perhaps, a few presses of the Start key afterwards with nothing happening I started to panic. Whether it was panic due to the looming deadline or panic because of the suspected loss of my laptop, I’m not sure.

What was I to do? I quickly turned to my iPhone to search for help from the world I know – the online world. All the “how tos” and “guidelines” for rebooting my HP Laptop were to no success.

Packing the kids in the back of the family car, we were off to “My ComputerMate” – Tagline – Fast Service, Lowest Price Guaranteed. I walked in hoping for a little miracle. I described what happened and somehow pleaded unashamedly if it was possible to get it fixed today. The friendly guy behind the counter smiled and said, of course we do them all on the same day. I thought, ….ah, definitely “Fast Service”.  

Months beforehand, I had always planned to purchase a Mac once the business was able to afford one. Perhaps, the Universe had other plans when that time is supposed to be. With the looming deadline, I knew what I had to do.  My business bank account was screaming, “Nooooo, you cannot afford this!” and on the other hand, I can hear the voice of Robert Kiyosaki telling me that in order to grow my Assets (no not those ones), the trick is to purchase strategically not by selling.  With a sense of justification from the Kiyosaki voices in my head and desperation to get my client’s project completed in time I knew I had to go and rescue that Mac from the computer store shelves. Got down to the main computer retailers and looked for pricing on their Macs. Didn’t even bother to look at the laptops. A few minutes later while I was in one of the Computer retailers eyeing up a Mac Air, I received a call.

“…your laptop is dead…the motherboard is gone…if you want us to fix it, you’ll need ….” 

At that moment in time I had a mixture of feelings. Excitement, sadness and uncertainty. If you had been following my online journey, you’ll know that I lost my mother in July 2013. Today, I can feel a tiny wee bit of that same sadness. My HP laptop had been with me for 3 years and I learned so much from it through the various training resources it allowed me to access through the internet. It allowed me to connect and meet wonderful people across the globe through social media. Many of them, within the virtual assistant community. It also allowed me to watch my own chick flick when the rest of the household who are all of the male species would rather watch the English Premier league.

My trusted laptop decided it was time to resign from her duties. In those few moments of flashbacks, I came back to reality and decided to get a move on as the deadline was not moving out but closer and closer. I walked out of the shop with a brand new Mac Air in hand and headed towards ComputerMate. I picked up my laptop and walked back to the car. The kids felt the sense of loss too. Everyone was quiet for some reason. Quiet moments in the car is a rarity. The day was already half gone and I had only a day and a half to get this project done. We drove back home and I setup the new Mac. The kids were extra helpful that day in allowing me to get on with the work I had to do. They created their entertainment out of the books, toys, dvds and a trampoline outside to keep themselves busy.

Anyhow, thankfully I was able to complete the deadline with the client after some initial hiccups due to the cross-platform issues that my new Mac was having with the PCs at the client’s end.  There were many lessons that my HP continued to help me learn even after it left my “virtual world” and I shall share them with you again in further blog posts to come.

Today, my HP laptop resides in a special cupboard next to my desk until I am able to retrieve the data from it.

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