He Said It Was OK

2021.12.08 08:54 Ok_Willingness4136 He Said It Was OK

Years ago around oh, say, 2003 ~ish I worked for a small Mom & Pop shop that sold, supported and repaired PC's. We were in a rather sketchy part of the neighborhood, so you never knew what would come your way.
There was myself, who did both sales and repairs, two other techs, a salesperson and the boss. Oh, and the boss' wife, who handled all the admin tasks.
An older lady came in one day with a Beige Box, which had an old ECS mainboard, the kind with integrated everything...and with nearly all the caps swelling or burst open. Amazingly, this PC still ran. It was running Windows 2000. Myself and one of the other techs talked with her, and suggested she not invest any money into the computer as it wasn't practical.
She decides that it's time to move on, and asks us to recycle it for her. No problem.
Now, my co worker (same one who spoke with the lady) is looking over this PC, "you know, this ain't that bad a PC, put Windows Server on there and it's be great!" I mention that I guess it would work as a server, but don't really say anything other than agree to his sentiment. So my co worker decides at the end of the day....he's taking it home.
Now, for those of you who have been in the business long enough, you know once you get rid of something, you inevitably will need it sooner or later. This story is no different.
The next day I come into work, the tech who took the PC home is off that day. Guess who visits the service counter? The lady from the previous day. Only, she's changed her mind about recycling the PC. She'd like it back. My heart literally stops and I get a cold sweat. (Those of you in the business, again, you know this feeling all to well) I excuse myself while I see about getting the PC, and head to the management area where the boss' wife is. I say to her: "We have a problem, and I'm not sure how to handle this." I explain that a customer decided to recycle a PC the other day, and Tech #1 took it home. Now, this lady is back, and she's changed her mind.
I get to stand there while she calls Tech #1 and she basically asks him what right he has to do what he did. Apparently, he claimed that I said it would be OK. She retorts with: "Oh? So Tech #3 is the go to guy for this?" She ends her call, accompanied me to the counter and has to explain to the customer that her PC is not there, along with the reason. The customer didn't understand why Tech #1 would take the PC, but was willing to wait for it to be returned.
Tech #2, myself and boss' wife have a brief conversation about things, at which point she hopes when the PC is returned, "it better be broken just the way it was". Tech #2 talks with me about the situation and guarantees me that Tech #1 won't be fired, because he knows too much about how the tills and network operate. But he is just as upset about the situation as we once again have to play cleanup.
I can't recall if it was that same day or the next, but the PC was returned. However it was brought in by Tech #1's brother. That's right, Tech #1 didn't bring it, and also didn't show up for work cause he was home "sick".
Tech #2 and myself boot up the PC to find it's been erased and a fresh install of Windows 2000 Server has been installed. Oh joy. So at this point, we have to rummage around and find a copy of Windows 2000 that we can put back on this PC, because we need to get it back to the point where it left. Now, because this is an ECS board and ECS didn't exactly have the best support, getting the driver's took a while. After all, Windows 2000 wasn't a mainstream OS anymore, not for 3 years now.
I remember Tech #2 cursing the entire time he was fixing the PC.
Finally, the lady came and picked up the PC, and of course, we apologized for the situation.
True to his prediction, Tech #1 was not fired. I got to "enjoy" working with him for many years.
This was the start of me learning many lessons the hard way although, mostly I was caught in the middle. I have at least one other big story about working for this company, but that will be another post, another day......
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Learn to press W.
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