pedro-de-valdivia, appointment at the genius bar, Sally Rose, La Gringa goes globalA week ago, my laptop drowned when I accidentally spilled a glass of water and it splashed across the keyboard.

At first, only the space bar showed signs of being affected, but by the following day, the entire keyboard was dead. The laptop wouldn’t even turn on, so off to Apple I went.

That store is always a zoo. People playing with the products, people lined up to sign in for an appointment. Even to buy something, I had to sign in. I dutifully put my name on the list and went to wait near the sample laptops.

After 30 minutes, when a Mac geek finally came to help me, I explained my situation and asked for help with choosing a replacement. He said, “I have to leave for the airport in a couple of minutes.”

“Then why did they send you to help me?” There was no way that I was going to be able to make a snap decision, and he didn’t offer to find me another salesperson. I didn’t want to wait around any longer, so I thanked him, packed up, and left. I wasn’t sure whether I was annoyed or relieved at not having to make the decision.

A couple of days later, I went back and tried again. The scheduler seemed confused when I explained that I needed a salesperson. “I just want to buy a computer! I waited 30 minutes in here the other day. Can’t somebody help me?”

This time, a salesperson showed up within a couple of minutes. She was much more attentive than “airport guy” and she helped me come to a decision. She explained to me that, because my old laptop wouldn’t turn on, I would have to program the new laptop from the external hard drive that I used for backup. She assured me that it was easy and that I could do it myself. I left without making an appointment at the Genius Bar.

At home, I carefully followed the instructions that the new computer gave me. The installation went without a hitch, but I got some odd pop-up messages along the way, and when I attempted to view my photos, the “library” wasn’t there. Only one photo showed up, the one of dogs by a statue**.

I went online and made an appointment at the Genius Bar for Monday morning.

At the Genius Bar, the tech blew through my concerns, resolving the pop-up notice issues and updating a couple of things. Then, he tried to open my photo library. No pasa nada. “Your photo library doesn’t exist.”

He clicked around and fiddled, but he couldn’t find it. He called in another techie who took me to a different area and explained to me that, at some point along the way, I must have deleted my photos…all 15,000+ of them.

I started crying right there at the Apple Store. Those photos were from the past ten years. How many photos of trips, of friends, how many of my son, Phillip, were in that library?

Men don’t do well when confronted with tears, so he went to ask for backup. I kept crying as people milled around, staring at me. Finally, I couldn’t stay there. I packed up, found him to tell him that I was leaving, and I walked out. Then, I sat in my car and cried some more.

When I got home that evening, the concierge asked how my day was going. I would normally reply, “Fine,” whether it was fine or not, but on Monday, I said, “I’ve had better days.”

He asked why and I told him the whole story. Before I was finished, the condo manager had gotten involved. They insisted on contacting a young woman computer guru who lives in the building. She offered to come downstairs to see if she could help me.

Within minutes, she came down and met me. After a few tries, she couldn’t find my photo library either, but she told me that my photos were still there. “This file is way too large for only one photo. We’re going to find them.”

And she did. It took awhile and she had to try different solutions until she came up with the right one. They still need sorting and culling, and they’re still not attached to Iphoto or Photos or whatever Apple is calling it now, but my photos are there.

I offered to pay for her time, but she refused. I offered to buy her dinner from the food truck that was there on Monday, but she is a vegan and had been cooking dinner when the manager called her.

There are still good, helpful people in this crazy world of ours. Thank you 15,000 times, neighbor!

**The sketch of BFFs, Elvis and Roger, is by artist Cristián Villavicencio and is from my upcoming book, Love Me Tender.

~~Sally Rose
Author of Amazon Nº. 1 Best Seller Penny Possible
Author of A Million Sticky Kisses
Contributing author to Once Upon An Expat

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