Thursday, January 19, 2012


How's my mental health today?

It's still too early to tell.

Yesterday was a day like I hadn't experienced in some time.

The day began well with my usual Wed. 6 a.m. coffee/Bible study with the "Band of Brothers". It's a great way to start the day.

I zipped home afterwards to give Heidi a ride to work. It was then that I learned that my day was going to unfold differently than I had envisioned. Heidi asked me to get the lock on the trunk of our car fixed because she needed to haul audio/video equipment in it for work. (The lock had become increasingly non-responsive to our keys - the keyless entry was also on strike!)

I drove to the garage where we usually have our car serviced and had to deal with a new staff person there. All I wanted to know was if they could recommend a locksmith close by that could fix the lock for me. Instead the suggestion was made that I leave the car there for the day and they'd see what they could do with it. I directed my question to  one of the senior staff that happened to come in and was given the information I asked for. The locksmith wasn't sure he cold get the trunk open without drilling out the lock so he made a few calls to try to find a replacement part before he started drilling. It turned out the only option would be calling auto-wreckers to see if they had something useful. At that point the locksmith went out to the car and within a couple of minutes he had the trunk open. The lock was removed for repair and I was told it would take a couple hours for the job to get done.

I picked up a few groceries and then went home to wait for the call to come have the lock reinstalled. I needed a bit of stress relief so I went to the games room in our building and shot a couple games of pool. Then I went back upstairs to wait for the call from the locksmith. While waiting I decided it was time to try to find a replacement battery for my laptop. I hadn't been able to recharge the battery for over a year now so I figured it was high time to get a new one. In fairly short order I found a battery shop that said they could take care of that for me - they just needed the part number off the battery. No problem.

When the lock was ready I took the battery along with me, had the lock reinstalled on the car and drove to the battery shop. After10 or 15 minutes I was told they couldn't find a battery with that part number anywhere online. So much for that idea.

I got back in the car and drove to my daughter's place of work to deliver some mail to her. (She's currently using our address as her personal P.O. box).

When I got home the 'fun' really started. I called the manufacturer of my laptop computer and was told they had the battery in stock and could ship it to me. That changed when I told them I was in Canada. They didn't ship outside of the U.S. but they would check what was available in their Canadian warehouse. Not in Stock!

Time for plan "B". I was given the  name and toll-free number for a firm in Canada that was their Canadian parts distributor. After successfully navigating their automated call answer service a recorded voice told me their service staff was all busy - I should leave my name a number. Then the call was cut off. I repeated the calling process but this time I was directed to the company's website where I could find an email address to submit my request via email.

I did that.

I received an email response within 5 minutes informing me that they did not carry the item I was looking for.

I called the manufacturer again. I got a different parts sales rep (of course) than on my previous call. I repeated my story of what I was looking for and gave the part number. After being on hold for several minutes the sales rep asked me for the model and serial number of the computer and put me on hold again. 5 minutes later she was back on the line and informed me that I had the wrong part number. I picked up the battery, checked the number again and repeated it to the rep. She insisted that it was the wrong number and gave me the (supposedly) correct one. (I really don't understand why the part number stamped on the battery during manufacturing was incorrect - did it have something to do with the computer being built in China? Did something get lost in translation?)

Even though their Canadian warehouse and designated parts re-seller didn't have the battery, the manufacturer still could not ship it to me from the U.S. I was given 2 other company names and toll-free numbers to try.

I tried the first number and learned that although the company sold replacement parts for the brand of computer in question, they weren't in the business of selling batteries. Now I was beginning to steam a little.

I called the second number and learned that they too,did not carry the item I was looking for. Now I was on the verge of using some very colourful language, but I held back the f-bombs. The young lady I was on the phone with then (without my asking) made a suggestion that I hadn't considered to this point.

She said, "Why don't you just Google the part number you're looking for? Maybe you'll find something there." Finally, a helpful suggestion. I thanked her.

I googled the part number and lo and behold, all sorts of options became available. The first link I tried was a Canadian company and they sold the battery for $30Cdn less than the US$ price I was quoted by the manufacturer. I placed the order and breathed a huge sigh of relief. 

This sort of run around is not helpful when I'm dealing with the symptoms of depression. Even though I was successful in accomplishing everything I had set out to do, the process was very draining. I'm not sure how much energy, if any, I have left to deal with today.

Reminder to self: stay positive!

To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused 
on the outcome, not the obstacles.”
― T.F. Hodge


  1. I fixed a leaky Moen faucet today with the help of a wonderful service rep over the phone. It's amazing how a dripless faucet can make you so happy and gain such a sense of empowerment!
    Fellow conqueror of frustration!