Use Your Words - Damp, Dumped and Delivered

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once, and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:

dump - deliver - draw - damp - desperate

They were submitted by: Baking In A Tornado   - Thank you, Karen!

Is it just me or are there specific weeks when somebody dumps all the shit challenges on you at once?

I've had one of those weeks. 

It began with the new contacts that were sent to me. One was not perfectly round, more like baggy / wobbly if that makes any sense. It was uncomfortable to wear and irritated my eye. Now my lense lady is super nice and competent, but all she could do was to order me new ones. This was going to take at least ten days. 

For this reason I ended up wearing my glasses every day, especially for our trip to Copenhagen. 

Now there are millions of people who wear glasses every day and are not bothered by it. I just prefer my contacts. They don't fog up from the damp warm air when you enter a building from the cold outside. Your range of vision while driving is much better. You can wear non-prescription sunglasses, take them off, put them back on,... So many advantages.

Moving on.

A day or two later when I wanted to start my notebook - nothing happened. No sound, no light, no ventilation, no anything. Damn. I took my gadget to the office. After all I work in the IT field. My coworker tried a few things but couldn't deliver results. "It's dead", he said. "Any warranty left?"

Good question. I purchased it just about two years ago. Give or take. I called Apple Support. Pressed many buttons, answering questions that were going to help triage my concern. Just before I was transferred to an actual person, the phone system told me all the agents were busy at the moment, and they were going to play some music for me while I was waiting. 

Would I like rock or classic?

I pressed one for rock and put it on speaker while dancing around my desk. 

The guy who eventually talked to me asked me to enter my serial number on the check coverage website.

Unfortunately the system told me I was out of luck, my warranty had expired. 

The Apple guy suggested to schedule a repair appointment for me. No thanks. Who has time to drive into the city to drop a laptop just days before a trip? I needed to take C to practice later that day.

My coworker told me there was a certified Apple repair center less than 5 miles away. Now we're talking. It's even on our way to practice. They're renting space at the former BALLY shoe manufacturing plant, picture at the top of this post. Same as the spare parts shop aka lifesaver. They carry electronics that nobody else still does. Times are moving so fast, every time you purchase a new phone, it comes with a different charger cable. God forbid for some reason you need an old style cable!

A few hours later they called and told me that

a) my logic board had died - not surprised. Logic and I aren't tight friends ;-)
b) the warranty for my device was good for another three weeks after all, and 
c) if I could produce my receipt, the repair was going to be free of charge. 

Now, remember I had trouble with my contacts that day. So when deciphering the serial number, I possibly mistook a 0 (zero) for a letter O or the other way round. This is why it appeared like my warranty had expired.

Good news and bad news at the same time. I try to live as paper free as possible. I don't hoard printouts and bills. I do everything online. So the receipt of my notebook was in my Inbox. On my notebook. which's logic board had died. 

Also the e-mails I can usually view on the webmail platform had reached their disk space limit just recently, and I had gotten tired of going through what I should keep and what I should delete. So off they went. All fo them. Fresh start. 

What should I do now? Draw my own receipt? I could probably come up with a decent Apple logo?

I e-mailed Apple.

No response for 12 hours.

I called Apple Support again. Went through the entire process of pressing one for this, and two for that. No music this time, though. 

The guy told me for privacy reasons they didn't issue receipt copies over the phone. 

I don't need it over the phone - just e-mail it to me, please. 

"No, you need to come to the store in person." 


Of course I was desperate, and I needed the receipt because otherwise the repair was gonna cost 820 bucks. So, if I actually made it happen to take the trip to the store, I needed to make sure I was going to the right place. There's an Apple Store at Glatt, my favourite mall, that unfortunately is located a 30 miles drive away, through the worst of traffic. The other one is in Zurich city, reachable by train. 

Can you at least tell me which store to go to? I give you my Apple ID, I have the serial number of the device, I can tell you what credit card I used, I know the exact date of purchase,...?

"No, I'm sorry, for privacy reasons I can't tell you anything over the phone. In theory anybody might call and pretend to be you."

What a bunch of BS. Even the credit card company helps you on the phone. They ask a couple of questions to identify you, and after they make sure it's in fact you, they help you. That's their job.

So, will I need to bring my passport?

He seemed confused. I didn't want to wake the sleeping dog. 

For a minute I considered asking a friend who works in the city to walk into the store and ask for my receipt. On second thought, would I want to be involved in deceiving people? 

So I made my way to the train station.

If everything went according to plan I was going to catch the 12:30 pm train to Aarau (in the opposite direction) where I needed to check in with my dentist at 1:15 pm.

It was gong to be the last week of smoking being permitted at train stations, and I was wondering if they were preparing to set up no smoking signs all over. Nope, couldn't see any major campaign being in progress.

Anyway. Arrived at the store, got my receipt without so much as identifying myself. Really? Privacy laws? My ass. 

Speaking of. Moved my butt to a much deserved early lunch. This is what a Swiss "American" restaurant figures a "California Chicken Salad" looks like.

I was going to get coffee at Starbucks, but if I was picking up the pace, I might just make the earlier train instead. Remember, I had my dentist's appointment, laundry and packing to do for our weekend away.

Sitting in the train I was pretty pleased with myself. Yes, I should have kept my receipt in a binder, along with my other important documents, but I managed to reclaim it, and it only took about 3.5 hours of my precious time.

"Welcome to the regional train to Lenzburg, Aarau" the train driver said. Excellent. This is where I need to go. Now may we depart already?

The train was put into motion. After about 30 seconds it came to an abrupt halt. 

What is going on?

Nothing happened for quite a while. I didn't check the watch, but it felt like at least ten minutes, maybe 15. Then the guy put the mike on again.

"Ladies and gentlemen, due to technical issues we are sorry to inform you that... Ahem,..." 
At this point he must have ran out of his official loudspeaker announcement lingo. 
"Look, we can't proceed, we have to pull back. Sorry about that."

I was laughing out loudly. While I was not amused about the delay, his announcement had become so genuine.

More time passed. People began to get restless. The guy who sat across from me did this disgusting knuckle cracking thing. Knock it off, already, will ya? Somebody went and knocked at the driver's door and asked to just open the train door for him. If this wasn't going to happen, he needed to get on a different train.

I perked up my ears. If that guy was allowed to disembark, I wanted to leave, too.

I couldn't understand the entire conversation, but of course the words "too dangerous" and "be patient" were emphazised.

Now, our public transportation usually works flawlessly. Ask everyone. Especially expats are at awe about our transportation system. The cleanliness, the punctuality, the hourly (if not more frequent) reachability of even small villages. 

Only downside: it's pricey. You basically need to purchase an annual "1/2-Tax" pass. It currently costs CHF (=USD) 165. This card allows you to travel at half of the regular price.

Just so you know what I'm talking about: without my pass, the round trip to Zurich (which is a half an hour ride, 23 miles away) would cost almost 40 bucks. Crazy, right?

My point, though: I had full confidence that he would get us back to the station in time to catch the next train.

Sadly we were going to be stranded for a total of 45 minutes. People started making phone calls to postpone meetings or announce they were going to be indeterminably late. Me included. Remember, my dentist's appointment.

Upon wanting to finally get out, the door caused the next hurdle. It couldn't be opened. The entire bunch of passengers had to turn around and walk through the wagon to get out at the other end.

Yeah well, there's always something, right?

So in order to wrap up my story:

That night, around 7pm Apple e-mailed my receipt. 

A couple of days later I got to pick up my notebook at the rep shop - I'm typing on it as we speak. 

And just when I thought this is gonna be a smooth week Colin's glasses disappeared. When we finally found it, it was disassembled. And nobody did it. Read about it here.

How was your week?

Don't leave before checking out my blogger friends' posts:    


Breaking News as of Thursday night / Friday morning before publish date: 

Our garage door's spiral spring bursted! The garage door is down and can't be opened. 

Therefore my car is trapped. 
The door was installed in 1996. The company is trying to find out whether the springs can still be ordrered, and if yes, how long it's gonna take.
I'm not holding my breath. 
I have to say though the level of service is way better than with Apple. A real person answered the phone, and she's trying hard to help me. While put on hold, they play Coldplay. All in all a not entirely unpleasant situation.

Be prepared to hear more stories of my using public transportation...



  1. Whew! Tamara! What a crazy few days. Glad for the most part, you came out unscathed. I relate well to the Apple situation. Our closest was an hour away, even though we have those "certified Apple" places everywhere! Glad you were able to listen to Coldplay; they make every situation a bit better. Were you able to replace the springs in your garage?

  2. As much as I hate to sound happy at the news of all of your issues and frustrations (and I'm not . . . happy, that is), you scared me at first when you started talking about shit challenges, I thought you meant the words I gave you.

  3. Yikes. If it's not one thing, it's another.

  4. When things go bad they go bad! You must be glad the week is over.

  5. I feel naked without my glasses, but they really ARE a hassle. I'm going to have to get some prescription sunglasses soon. But you do look really cute in yours!

  6. I like contacts better than glasses for the exact reasons you mention but my vision is such that I can't read close up when I have them on. When I was working the cash register at Michaels I wore one contact in my right eye for distance vision and none in my left eye so I could see close. Sounds like you've had some week there. I'd hate to be stuck without my car!

    Janet’s Smiles

  7. Great day in the morning you've had a week and then some. I hate when that happens because nothing ever happens by itself, trouble seems to come in threes, fours, fives...


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