A Good Day

Laptops are difficult to repair. Parts and components are small and numerous. Everything is condensed and packed into a tiny shell. They are amazing examples of how efficiently space can be used. 

I don’t recommend attempting to disassemble a laptop, without a service manual from the manufacturer. If you don’t have a guide to screws and fasteners, you will break something.

I went on a call to replace a laptop display screen that wasn’t working properly. It took over an hour just to get it disassembled to the point where I could replace the defective parts with new ones. I reassembled all of the parts carefully. When I had it all put back together, I tested it and called for the owner to verify it was working and to ask him to sign my receipt for service. He didn’t think that the bezel around the screen fit perfectly flush like it did when the unit was new.

I took the display screen apart and attached the bezel again. It did not satisfy him. I repeated the process once again, taking pains to ensure a good tight fit of the bezel. He still refused to accept the repair and sign the paper work. Never mind that the original problem was fixed and the display worked properly now, or that he previously shipped the unit back to the manufacturer three times for the display problem and it was not fixed. 

He let me know that I could not stay past 5:30, their closing time. I asked him to sign for the repair, so I could leave. My plan was to close out the service call, order a new bezel, and return to replace it. He told me that they should have sent someone that knew what they were doing. After a long week and a bad day, I was looking forward to Saturday!

Another client called the next day to ask if I could reschedule an appointment we had set for Friday. He wanted to know if I could come to his house on Saturday to fix his laptop. I did not want to give up a day of much needed rest, especially after the week I had. I also dreaded the time it would take to drive the 30 miles from my house to the new job site, but I was grateful to have the work.

If I had to work on Saturday, I was going to try and make the best of it. After studying the customer’s address on a couple of maps, I decided on my route. Old Boonesboro Road winds its way through horse and cattle farms, from Lexington to the Kentucky River, bordered much of the way by stone fences, some over 200 years old. Several years ago, I used to ride my motorcycle down this scenic byway. 

That Saturday morning, under clear blue skies and a sun that warmed my car enough that I rolled the window down a few times, I drove out into the Kentucky countryside. I took my time so I could take in the vistas as I topped each hill. Horses were out in their pastures and cattle were grazing all along the way. I finally arrived at a home that sits smack dab in the middle of 300 acres of beautiful farm land and gentle rolling hills.

My customer was a gracious host. We had a wonderfully interesting conversation as I disassembled his laptop into pieces that spread all over his dining room table. We talked about our children, all grown, working, or in college. We talked about our backgrounds and where we grew up. We talked about our fathers and our youth.

He told me about his men’s Bible study group – Cigars, Pipes and the Holy Spirit. They are a mixed group of mostly professional men our age. The group meets in a different member’s home each Sunday. They are banished by wives to garages and outbuildings, to enjoy tobacco while discussing the Bible, theology and life.

I never had so little trouble taking a laptop apart. By the time it was reassembled with new parts, we were friends. His computer worked from the first test. As he checked his network connection and a few programs, he invited me to join his men’s Bible study group the next day – Sunday afternoon. They just happened to be meeting at a home in my own neighborhood. I quit smoking over six years ago, so I don’t know if I could stand being around it long. But, I am intrigued by the group’s unusual mix of members and the camaraderie 
they seem to share. I think I’ll go to a meeting soon. I hope I will make more new friends.


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