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Encounters with friends & strangers

Laptop Flop, Part 32

, , , | Friendly | December 8, 2021

I am currently studying to become an IT Specialist and have become the go-to guy for my girlfriend’s friends and family with anything tech or computer-related.

Her father asks me to make his laptop “go faster”. The laptop was quite old and loaded with bloatware so I decided that it would be best to swap the HDD for an SSD and re-install the operating system along with the most important to him applications – all free of charge.

Before I start, I inform him of my plan.

Me: “What do you want to keep?”

I ask this a few times.

Girlfriend’s Father: “I just want my documents, photos, and music files, I don’t need anything else.”

I proceed with my plan and before I can get started, I already encounter a problem: he has forgotten the Windows login details, including his password. After scratching my head for a couple of hours and managing to successfully guess the password, I am able to log in and make a backup of all the files.

I then swap the hard drive (with a spare SSD that I had which I also didn’t charge him for), re-install the operating system, run all the updates and install a couple of basic apps such as Chrome and a media player.

I then copy all the backed-up files onto the laptop and even take some time to sort through some of the files to remove duplicates and the like; he has 60GB of music, half of which are duplicates.

I was happy with the end result, the laptop is running much faster, is not making a loud noise, and does not have tons of apps running at startup. Satisfied with my work I give the laptop to my girlfriend to give back to him, thinking that I will get at least a pat on the back or a thank you.

 The next day I get a phone call:

Girlfriend’s Father: “What have you done to my laptop?! Where is all of my music?! Where is the Amazon Music App?! Where is Thunderbird?!”

Me: “Hi, I have kept all of your music, documents, and photos as you requested, they are saved in the respective folders.”

Girlfriend’s Father: “But where are my apps?! Where are all my desktop icons!? I had Windows Music Player on my desktop and now it’s not there!?”

Me: “Do you remember our conversations where I asked you more than once if there were any apps or anything else that you wanted to keep, otherwise it would be deleted?”

Girlfriend’s Father: “Yes, but that’s not what I meant! I just wanted my music, my documents, and my photos and now I don’t have Windows Music Player and all of my Amazon music is gone!”

Me: “Windows Music Player is still there, as it comes pre-installed with Windows and I will be happy to re-install Amazon Music and any other apps.”

He calms down and agrees. After meeting with him and installing Amazon Music and Thunderbird we encounter a familiar problem: he has forgotten his login details.

 After explaining to him that there’s not much I can do unless he remembers his e-mail address, he gets annoyed and demands that I put everything back to the way it was.

 Already frustrated at the situation and the wasted time I swap the drive back and gave him back his laptop. Shortly after I broke up with my girlfriend. Just over a year later, I received a message from him asking if I still remember the password to his laptop…


Laptop Flop, Part 31
Laptop Flop, Part 30
Laptop Flop, Part 29
Laptop Flop, Part 28
Laptop Flop, Part 27

Maybe We Should Start With “Love Thy Neighbor”

, , , , , | Friendly | December 7, 2021

A recent conversation between my “Christian” neighbour and me went something like this.

Neighbour: “Your Asperger’s Syndrome is God’s punishment for being an atheist.”

Me: “But I had AS before I became an atheist.”

Neighbour: “Then it’s God’s punishment of your parents for their sin of allowing you to become an atheist.”  

Me: “My parents didn’t ‘allow’ me to become an atheist. I chose it myself, so why should my parents be punished for what I did? And why should I be punished for someone else’s sin?”

Neighbour: *Getting adamant* “You shouldn’t question it. It’s God’s will!”

Me: *Being a bit provocative* “Aren’t your God’s plans for the universe ‘ineffable’?

Neighbour: “Yes, that is so!”

Me: “So, how can you know what your God meant to happen to me and why?”

Neighbour: “I’m a Christian so I can understand these things. You are an atheist so you are refusing to understand!”

Me: “I truly would like to understand how you can claim to interpret your God’s ineffable plans for me. To me, that seems like blasphemy.”

My neighbour, speechless, stalked off.

Being charitable, I have to assume she doesn’t know the meaning of “ineffable”.

She’s Your Wife, Not Your Servant

, , , , , , | Friendly | December 6, 2021

My wife and her girlfriends all liked getting together for various holidays after college life ended. She had known her girlfriends since first or second grade and they all grew up together. On holidays such as the Fourth of July, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, they’d make plans for everyone to get together with their significant others and eventually kids as they came into the picture.

My wife and I were the first out of her girlfriends to get married and we were the first to have a kid out of the group.

One of her friends got married a year or two after us and had a kid about nine months after we did. I always liked her friend, but I never liked her boyfriend (now husband). He was just one of those people you meet and you can’t figure out why, but you don’t like them. He gave off a bad vibe that I can’t describe. Even the wife’s friend at one point was uncertain if she should stay with him because of how he acted and treated her. He wasn’t physically abusive and he wasn’t really verbally abusive, but he kind of treated her as a mother figure and not a wife. He was always expecting her to drop what she was doing at any given time to do things for him, and he couldn’t be bothered to help out when she needed help. She stuck with him and married him. This story takes place about two years after their first son was born.

I like speaking my mind; it’s the one thing my wife is incapable of until she’s really pissed. She knows I don’t like her friend’s husband and she constantly tells me to not say anything and to be nice when we get together as a group.

Well, this time, my wife isn’t in the room and an opportunity presents itself.

It is a July Fourth get-together. My daughter is about three and my wife’s friend’s son is about two. Inside, at the dining room table, my wife’s friend has my daughter sitting on one knee and her son sitting on the other and she’s entertaining them and helping them eat. My wife is outside chatting with other people and I’m inside helping with my daughter.

From outside, in walks [Friend]’s husband. He sees her sitting at the table with two kids in her lap and helping them eat. I know he sees her because when he walks in, he looks directly at her, and then his eyes shift to me as I sit next to her and my daughter on her knee. He walks through the kitchen area, fills his plate with food, walks past the drinks — beer, assorted alcohol, and pop — and then walks back to the patio door. As he’s about to step outside, he stops, turns, and says to his wife:

Friend’s Husband: “Wifey, go get me a beer and bring it out to me right now.”

Friend: “Sure, I can do that.”

Me: *To the wife’s friend* “No, you’re busy helping the kids. You don’t need to stop what you’re doing to get a beer for him. He should have grabbed his own as he walked by them.”

Friend: “That’s okay. I can get him one.”

She goes to move the kids off her lap, but I stop her and shake my head no.

Friend’s Husband: “Now.”

I shoot her husband a nasty glare and finally get to speak my mind because my wife isn’t in the room to stop me.

Me: “No. She’s busy. You clearly see she has two kids on her lap that she’s helping feed, and you walked right past the beer on your way through the kitchen. You can get your own f****** beer.”

It felt so good to finally say something to that jerk.

He looked at me like a deer in the headlights, his face turned bright red, and he sulked out the door with his food. He never did get a beer from his wife that day, and in the nearly ten years since this incident, he’s avoided me at any gatherings.

[Friend #3]’s Timing Is A Real Gas

, , , , | Friendly | December 5, 2021

Two things to know about [Friend #1]: he loves his [soft drink] in large quantities, and he is a vehement teetotaler. He has recently moved from a rural farmhouse (owned by his grandfather) to a small town, which means he is relatively new to the experience of having actual, walking-distance neighbors. This conversation happens while we’re visiting some mutual friends.

Friend #1: “Turns out my neighbors are smokers. Having to work around those fumes really makes me understand how bad an addiction really is.”

Friend #2: “What do you mean?”

Friend #1: “Well, I like [soft drink], right?”

Friend #2: “I’d call that a little more than ‘like’.”

Friend #1: “So would I. Thing is, though, if me having a can of [soft drink] meant I had to sit outside in the blazing sun and force the senses of everyone around me to suffer the byproducts of my indulgence, I wouldn’t drink [soft drink] at home.”

Me: “How exactly would you ‘force someone’s senses to suffer’ from you having a [soft drink]?”

At this moment, [Friend #3], who has been enjoying her own carbonated beverage, unleashes the LOUDEST, LONGEST belch that I have ever heard in person. She immediately covers her mouth in embarrassment as silence falls on the table.

Me: “Fair point.”

[Friend #3] started laughing as she realized her unintentional timing, and the rest of us joined in.

Thanks, Rafiki!

, , , , , , , | Friendly | December 4, 2021

When I was about five years old, my parents took my three siblings and me to the state fair. At some point, I slipped away from the group. My mom noticed almost immediately but couldn’t find me. Cue panicked yelling of my name, and my dad asking a vendor to get security immediately.

Earlier in the day, my mom had bought us Disney pennants with our names on them. A man heard the yelling, looked down, and spotted a hysterically crying child holding a pennant with the name being called.

He crouched down and asked me to lift my flag as high as I could. I did so, and he picked me up and lifted me over the crowd.

Man: “[My Name]’s mom! [My Name]’s dad!”

The crowd cleared the way to my parents, some of them joining the call. My parents spun around and saw me now half-giggling, half-crying, being held like Simba, and ran to me. My parents thanked the man profusely, and those pennants were packed anytime we went to an outdoor event.

Shopping Follows The Circle Of Life