Do You Have a Computer Geek Nearby?

You never know when you'll need to fix your computer.

A few years ago while I was walking (actually, full-on running) to my home office carrying my out-of-warranty MacBook, I tripped and landed on top of my business lifeline like I was sliding into home base. (Graceful is not a word most people use to describe me.)

I learned a few things from that humbling experience: laptops are not designed for direct impact, don’t wear cute sandals with loose straps, and don’t run unless you’re wearing a fitness tracker, as the steps don’t count. But more importantly, I learned the value of having a knowledgeable computer person in your back pocket.

I scheduled a Genius Bar appointment for later that evening, and according to the tech, he could fix my cracked my LCD screen for only $750. Really? I could buy a new Mac for a few hundred dollars more. So much for the money I saved on those slippery sandals the summer before.

As I left the Apple store and bought a pretzel on my way out of the mall, because I needed to replenish the salt I lost from the tears I shed after the repair quote, I remembered I’d met a Mac consultant, Chelanie Israel (aka Miss Mac), a few years before.

When I arrived home and walked past the donation bag with my former-favorite sandals sticking out of the top, I called Miss Mac and told her about my cracked screen. She could replace the screen, but told me it would be cheaper to send my laptop to Powerbook Medic. Someone who gives up business to help a client save money is at the top of my list, especially when I call after 9pm and she answers the phone. Also, anyone who doesn’t laugh after a detailed description of an embarrassing computer fall and has better control of her laughter reflex than I, will get my business every time.

After I thanked her one too many times—I was going to save $500—she said that if I needed help again, she knew I’d call.

She’s right.

Years later, Miss Mac is the first person to know about any computer issues unless someone is home and hears me screaming at my computer. (That may explain why the cat no longer spends the day in my home office.) Along with helping me solve any computer problems,  she has purchased a few of my old computers for parts. She responds quickly and as I drop off my computer, wondering if it will survive another month, she remains as calm as a surgeon prepared to tackle another case.

Whether you use a small computer support service like Miss Mac, a national chain like Geek Squad, or even a local high school kid to fix your computer, keep your computer guru’s phone number nearby. You never know when you’re going to need help with your computer, especially if your klutz ratio is as high as mine!

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