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November 14, 2006

I knew it. I held the catalog in my hand and made the call. Computer catalog. Trying to buy new laptop. I knew it wouldn’t work. Could I even get through the phone options? Would I get a human? Would they know the product? Would they have the product? Could I get a price?
I know, I know, in the computer age this kind of customer service, service with no face, never provides anything remotely this helpful.
So, here I sit. The call the over. I don’t own a laptop. I’m no closer than before. The “online” service department “hasn’t been updated” to show the options available in the catalog I hold in my hand.
“The most you can get is two gigs of RAM,” the voice says. “No,” I say. “I think the new model holds three.”
It does.
“I see you can get a bundle with an extra gig of RAM,” I say, reading this off the COVER of the new catalog.
“No, we don’t have that option,” the voice says. “Unless you can give me a part number.”
Wait, ME give THEM a part number. Doesn’t this work the other way?
“Do you have a showroom in Los Angeles?” I ask. “No,” the voice says.
“You don’t have a showroom in Santa Monica?” I ask again.
“Oh, wait, let me check….oh yes, we do have a showroom in Santa Monica.”
Okay, now what.
Do I REALLY NEED a new laptop. Hmmm, maybe not.
I could have had it by now? Maybe.
Maybe I buy something else?

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