My hard drive crashed. That’s a major headache for anyone, but add the oddity of being overseas, and it becomes a major migraine.
Fortunately, my computer is still under warranty. I called the company, which is U.S. based but has an offshore service center. The technician, a very nice man, put me and my blue-screen computer through several diagnostic procedures and then announced that my hard drive had, indeed, crashed and would have to be replaced. The company would send me a new one, and within 10 days of its arrival I needed to return the old one. If I didn’t return the defective drive within 10 days, I would receive a bill for the new one.
I explained that, although I have a U.S. address, I don’t live in the United States and, thus, it takes more time for me to receive mail. Besides, the East Coast was in the middle of several storms, which always slows military-diplomatic mail. Even after I explained it several times, the young man had no idea what I was talking about. He kept repeating that I was giving him a U.S. address, so I could not be in Europe. Finally, we both called a truce and ended the conversation.
Three days later, the phone calls began. I have Skype and a U.S. telephone number that rings on my computer in Prague. A company representative—not the technician I spoke with originally—began calling daily to see if I had received the new hard drive. I explained the situation to him and, no, I had not received the disk. He repeated the U.S. address where the package had been delivered and signed for. Yes, I said, but that is a forwarding address, and now the package gets forwarded to me in Europe. He repeated the address again and reminded me that the package had been signed for, but finally agreed he would give it a day or two and check back.
For the next several days, I came home to voice mails from him—at least it was the same guy—reminding me that the package had been signed for at the address I had provided and that I should call the 800 number and leave a message. I did, once again leaving a detailed message about how this mail-forwarding business works.
Again we spoke, and he told me 10 days had passed since my receipt of the drive, because he had confirmation of delivery, and he wanted to know if I was experiencing any trouble. He seemed very suspicious when I told him I didn’t have the drive, because it had not yet arrived. I went back over my story about the mail-forwarding process. He countered that I had called and left a message for him from a U.S. phone number. The unspoken charge? I could not be in Europe because I have a U.S. address and a U.S. phone number that I both answer and call from. Clearly I am in the United States!
PS: I now have the new hard drive and the phone calls have, mercifully, stopped.
For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.