BUYING A LAPTOP
Somewhere along the line when I wasn’t looking, I became a senior citizen. It wasn’t that long ago that I thought of senior citizens as OLD people. Then suddenly, here I am with an AARP card and direct deposit for Social Security.
I try to keep up with the times. I try to not fade into the background like an old rocking chair that’s seen it’s better days. There are times when being a senior and staying ‘current’ is quite a challenge.
My honey and I were planning a road trip to visit family and friends out of state. We were going to be away from home for almost three weeks. That length of time away from our computers would likely bring about very painful withdrawal symptoms. So, with that in mind, I started watching the Sale Ads for a Laptop.
Many times I’d heard seniors refer to their fixed income, which meant nothing to me until I retired myself. You truly have to live it to understand it. Sale ads are pursued with more interest than the national news.
Finding the best price on the best laptop became more confusing with each ad. Did I want a 3G or a 4G? What size screen? Should I be concerned about battery life? The questions were endless and the more I read the more I realized I didn’t have a clue.
It was even more involved than buying a cell phone. You can no longer find a cell phone that is a PHONE only. One that received and makes calls and has buttons that are big enough to see. Nope, now cell phones MUST text, take pictures and videos, surf the internet and possibly remotely start your car.
I was becoming pretty discouraged with myself and my inability to figure out what I wanted and which laptop would meet those needs. Then one Sunday morning I pulled out the Best Buy ad and there it was. A beautiful Toshiba Laptop looking up at me with 4G, which I’ve decided is a good thing, a nice big screen, and 520 something or other of memory. The price of $549.00 seemed reasonable to me. After all, the ad said the regular price was $749.00, which translated to a $200.00 savings, another good thing.
I folded up my ad, grabbed my purse and car keys and headed for Best Buy. If this is the good buy that I suspect it is, they may only have one or two and I wouldn’t want someone else to latch onto that big savings.
The store was like a bee hive, a-buzz with activity and I made a bee line to the computer section. There I was met by lots and lots of customers and no sales personnel in sight. The longer I stood there and shifted from foot to foot the more nervous I became that someone else was going to grab up MY laptop.
At last I spotted a young man winding his way through the customers, seemingly trying hard to ignore one and all. However, I was on a quest and was not to be passed by. I stepped in front of him, blocking his escape and with my nicest old-lady smile asked if he could please help me.
To give him credit, he was very gracious and said that he’d be happy to. I showed him the ad I had clutched in my now perspiring hands. He led me right to the Toshiba laptop and sure enough, it looked just like the picture and was calling my name. Poor thing, I could tell it disparately wanted to go home with me.
I suspect that I am the perfect customer, especially for those working on commission. I am a salesman’s dream come true . I asked exactly the right questions and they give me exactly the right answer.
I asked, “Is this a good buy?”
He replied right way, “This is an excellent buy?”
“Toshiba is a good brand?”
“Toshiba is an excellent brand. It’s what I have myself.”
And so it went. You would have thought I’d found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Then he asked me if I’d like the extended warranty.
“Do I need it?”
“Oh, absolutely. Especially with a nice laptop like this.”
“Ok then, I’ll go with the extended warranty.”
“You know you really should have a good virus and spy program. A virus could be devastating.” As he grabbed a box of the shelf he said, “This is the one I recommend. I have it on my own computer.”
“Ok, I’m sure that’s a good idea.”
“Now,” he says, “Do you plan to always search for the free wi-fi places or would you like internet connection?”
Oh my goodness, I hadn’t even thought about having to pay for internet service. But, I didn’t want to always be on the lookout for Free Wi-Fi signs. (Little did I know that they’re practically EVERYWHERE).
By this time, a queasy feeling had invaded my stomach. How much had I spent already? But, one of the reasons I wanted the laptop in the first place was so my honey and I could keep up with our email while we were traveling so I found my voice and said, “Yes, I need to be able to get on the internet any time anywhere.
His next questions surprised me, “What company provided your cell phone service?”
I gave him the name.
“Perfect”, he says. “We can fix you right up. Now you need a case to carry it in. We have a really nice one right here that will be exactly what you need when you go through those security lines at the airport.”
“Wait,”, I say, “I think I might be going overboard. How much is that case?”
“On sale for only $69.00”
With a huge sigh, I decide to finally draw the line, resist temptation and say, “No, I can do without the case for now.”
“That’s fine,” he smiled at me. “I think though that you may like to have a wireless mouse. I use one myself.”
By now, that, “that’s what I have” was wearing just a tiny little bit thin. So I passed on the wireless mouse also.
However, the salesman in him was not finished with the nice little senior citizen lady. He went on to explain how their Geek Squad would load my virus/spy program for me, get everything internet ready so all I would have to do would be open it up and I’d be ready to go. All of that for a SMALL fee, of course.
And of course, I relented. There is only so much sales resistance in me and I’d used it up by turning down the case and the mouse. I left all the items with him to be given to the Geek squad and made my way to the check out line.
As I stood in line I thought to myself, “There’s something wrong with this picture. I’m going to pay and walk out empty handed.” As I mulled this over, I tried to comfort myself by thinking about coming back the next day, picking up my laptop and walking right past the check out line and out into the parking lot.
As these thoughts were rattling about in my brain, my turn came and the young woman rang up my purchase from various pieces of paper that I was holding. My $549.00 laptop that was such a good buy ended up costing me over $800.00!
As I drove home, I thought, “Oh my goodness gracious, what have I done? That’s a lot of money on a fixed income. But I wanted it. I deserved it.” As least those were the things I told myself to try to feel better.
The next day I called my honey and asked him if he’d like to meet me for lunch. I told him I’d bought a Laptop. I was on my way to pick it up and I wanted to show it to him at lunch.
Once we’re settled at our booth for lunch, I started unpacking my wonderful purchase. I got it all out, onto the table, open it up and ……………… sat …………….looking at it.
Honey looked at me and said, “How do you turn it on?”
I answered, “I haven’t the faintest idea. The nice salesman said that his Geek Squad would have it all set so that all I had to do was open it. Well it’s open! Shouldn’t it be on?”
The two of us eventually figured out that there was an on/off button that needed to be pushed. Then honey asked, “Now, how do you connect to the internet?”
Looking a little pale, I started packing it back up and said, “Maybe there are some directions somewhere that I need to read.”
It all ended well though. The new Toshiba Laptop went on vacation with us. We were able to check our email and work on each of our books.
I do have to admit that I went back and bought a case and a wireless mouse. I should have listened to him about those two items too.
© copyright 2010 by Donna Hale Chandler
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