Tuesday, October 23, 2012


when last we looked in on my story, it was friday morning and i was on my way to ithaca to see a guy in the esasytech department at staples because ostensibly he was going to be able to diagnose and maybe solve my problem.

to recap: i have purchased and returned one power inverter for my car. i have purchased one universal power cord for my computer, which is causing an error message that has to be dismissed to pop up on my screen every ten seconds.

so i get to the store and the guy is honest-to-goodness dressed like the green lantern. his name is mike, but when they page him in store, they page green lantern. it's some kind of costume spirit thing.

mike pulls out a different model (same brand) of universal power cord for my computer and it works just fine. and then we turn to the problem of the power inverter. he sets me up with one and THEN HE LETS ME TAKE IT OUT OF THE STORE TO TEST IF THE SETUP WILL WORK IN MY CAR.

it sort of does, but then there's a problem with it and because of the chain of things, i think the problem is the inverter. mike comes out to my car and checks it out, too. seriously. he actually comes out to test and figure out what's going on so he can set me up properly.

we think maybe the inverter is defective but they don't have another unit so i drive out to hoseheads coz the staples there has two units and i'm not doing anything besides driving around looking at stuff anyway.

the new inverter does not work with my setup. the nice young man from the horseheads store (devin) comes out to my car and looks at all the equipment, both working and defunct and makes some recommendations.

in the end i decide to go to the radio shack at the arnot mall and try to get the same inverter i just wore out and try that, since it worked just fine for a year and a half before it died. the young woman there is surly and unhelpful. but i get the inverter and i thing everything's going to be all awesome and then i stick it in my outlet and...

...the outlet is dead.
i am a long way from home

so i stick it in the other outlet.

also dead.

what? it's a problem with my car? one of these dying appliances has blown a fuse, maybe?

so there i am in the parking lot of the arnot mall, which is a long, long way from home and not even close to trumansburg or ithaca which are at least friendly and i open up my fuse panel and start checking those fuses and sure enough the two fuses for those outlets are blown.

no problem; i have a box of spare fuses in the car. experimentally, i replace a couple, but when i stick that brand new inverter in the outlet, the fuse blows.

i am now down to my last fuse, but i am next to a sears and they have an automotive department, so i go in there.

i wander around for a while, and then have to ask: where can i buy a box of fuses?

they don't sell them. and they don't do electrical work.

because at this point i am afraid that one of my dying appliances has caused a short in my electrical harness and i do not feel qualified to form an opinion about whether or not this represents a risk of fire and i don't want to screw with it.

from the sears they send me to a nearby subaru dealership, where i am told that if i hang out for three or four hours they MIGHT be able to get me in to tell me if it's a thing they can fix or not and i decide to go back to ithaca.

at the ithaca subaru dealership (maguire subarau) i tell them my sad, sad story and they don't have any time to look, but jason, the manager of service, decides to coem out to my car and have a look. so i show him all the bits and pieces and he does a little test with a 30 amp fuse and the new inverter and he says he wouldn't bet the farm, but the problem appears to be the new inverter and that it is shorting to ground, because it has now blown its own fuse.

so i go up to the radio shack in ithaca armed with this information and i make a simple exchange for another inverter of the same kind and i get everything all plugged in and...

...it works!!!

everything is now fine. but it took some hard thinking and some time on the part of those three guys and at least i bought some stuff from staples and am likely to buy things at staples, so that's customer goodwill, but jason at the subaru dealership didn't make any money off of it and let's face it, i'm from away and unlikely to be bringing my car there for service and unlikely to make a purchase there but he did what he did because, well, i don't know why except that he was good and decent when i needed the help and i hope in the long run that will pay off for him.

1 comment:

GDad said...

Awesome service. It's like the three of them together made up Sherlock Holmes.


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