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It Was Working

By dmiles ·
Here is my situation:A co-worker asked me to check a laptop to get the modem setup.
So I said yes and the laptop was brought in,plug in the system and pressed the on button and no video,went to convey this to owner and she is adiment that the computer was working,yet I get two versions of when the computer last worked six months to a year.I get the impression that she is trying say that I have done something to the computer,but nothing was done,other than plugging it in and pushing switch,tried functions keys and hooking up to a monitor and still no display.
How do I get it cross to her that it was something else wrong with this computer or she knew that it was something other than the modem,my reasoning is she keeps making the comment it was working and cannot move beyond this.
The bottom line should I be held acoountable or how do I go about handling this situation?

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It Was Working

by Shanghai Sam In reply to It Was Working

The Bottom Line - SHOULD YOU BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE?
No. If you were working for free, it was a favor and even if you had broken it, she had entrusted you with the computer. Even if you were being paid for this it is not clear what broke the computer but to any layman or professional it is clear that you are the more competent party in dealing with the computer (she validated this by bringing it to you). Clearly turning the machine on is a task that you are capable of. You were doing here a favor but were unable to help her. End of story.

If she tries to make an issue of it I would nicely let her know that her reaction was clearly a case of being overly emotional about an expensive piece of equipment and she was not thinking about this rationally, but that I was willing to forgive her for her rash behavior.

I would also explain this issue in the same manner mentioned above to anyone who asked about it. I would not discuss it any further with her or anyone, except perhaps to explain exactly what I did to the computer. I wouldn't spend much time on that though because clearly you are the "computer expert" of the group. They can't judge the steps you took as technicians.

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It Was Working

by dmiles In reply to It Was Working

Poster rated this answer

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by brian In reply to It Was Working

I don't see my name on the first answer...

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It Was Working

by dmiles In reply to It Was Working

I am accepting your answer under your name to insure that you get your points
Thanks for the feedback,hopefully I am not reading anything into this and we can come to to some type of resolution

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It Was Working

by maxwell edison In reply to It Was Working

Hello Soulrider,

Since your particular circumstances are unknown (financial, position at the company, etc.) its difficult to advise you on just what to do. However, I can tell you what I'd do, and you can take it for whatever it's worth.

First, I’d evaluate the facts. If it’s a laptop under a year old, then it’s under warranty. There may also be an extended warranty on it, perhaps up to three years. If that’s the case, then that would be the end of the matter, and she’d just have to send it in for the repair. If it’s not under warranty, I would consider which course of action would benefit me the most. That’s the key – what course of action would benefit you, not her. You’re the only one looking out for your best interest.

For example, if she’s nothing but a ****-hard trouble maker who’s actions or opinions wouldn’t affect me in the least, then I’d direct her to the nearest short pier and tell her to take a long walk off of it. If, on the other hand, she’s someone who could (and would) make my life miserable, or somehow have some input on my future, I suppose I might pay for the bad judgment I showed in offering to help her out in the first place.

If it’s the latter, and if she was adamant in her position that I damaged it, or that it "was working" when she gave it to me, I wouldn't argue about it. I would simply ask her if she thought I was responsible, and tell her that I'd do whatever she thought appropriate. (Put the ball in her court, and see where she hits it.) If she said no, I wasn't responsible, then I'd either give it back or offer to take it to a shop that could repair laptops. (I'd prefer to simply give it back and avoid the issue in the future.) If she said yes, I should be held responsible, then I'd ask her what she would like me to do. The options I would give her would be:

(co

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It Was Working

by maxwell edison In reply to It Was Working

.
.
1. Forget about it and learn from the experience.

2. Pay her fair market value for a laptop that is x years old.

3. Replace it with a comparable model.

4. Take it to a repair shop and pay the bill myself. I would stipulate, however, that the bill couldn’t exceed fair market value of her machine.

If she chose option 2 or 3 then I'd price used laptops and pay her the dollars or buy her another one. Used computer stores, the newspaper classifieds, and ebay would be my sources for valuation and/or purchase. I don't know the specifications on the laptop in question, but if it's a few years old it can't be worth too much. A nice Pentium 90 MHZ on ebay, for example, goes for around 150.00 (give or take).
Also, it goes without saying, if she chose 2 or 3, the "broken" laptop would be mine.

Go ahead, play her game. You can get some mileage out of it by taking the high road, while she is slithering in the dirt. It might cost you a few dollars, but chalk it up to experience. The next time someone asks you for a favor, some ground rules might be in order. I’d also let her know that I wasn’t admitting to breaking anything, since I didn’t break anything. My guess is that she would just take the laptop back and not expect anything from you. She'd be in a position to either look really bad (and I'd do whatever I could to accommodate that), or be forced to do something to "save face".

You know that you didn’t break it. You also know that she’s most likely trying to take advantage of you. The bottom line is this: Do what’s in your best interest, even if it means she may benefit. And remember, if she is just that old **** hard trouble maker who has no affect on you or your career, a suggestion of that long walk off a short pier is certainly in order.

By the way, this would be an interesting discussion. And be sure you let us know the eventual ou

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It Was Working

by dmiles In reply to It Was Working

Thanks Maxwell for the feedback,I am thinking that maybe she doesn't know anything about computersa nd after talking to her again she is still insisting that it was working,so I am lost as to what happened,on the other hand I am not interested in playing games ,I am honest with what happened and she will have to take my word for what it is worth
For your info I started a discussion on this topic

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It Was Working

by TheChas In reply to It Was Working

Hi soulrider.

Of course you should not be held accountable for existing problems with the laptop. The question is, how do you convince her it wasn't working when she brought it to you.

I used to work in a Stereo repair shop. the first thing we did with every unit brought in was to hook it up with the customer present and verify the problem, and any other functional problems we found.
We also inventoried any cosmetic imperfections on the unit. This way, the customer could not claim that we were responsible for any damage that was already there.

As to how to procede in your situation, a lot depends on your relationship with the individual, how she can affect your personal reputation, etc.

What is her reputation around the office?
Does she have a reputation of taking advantage of people?

Take into account that it night have worked when she last put it away, and something happened while it was stored.

At most, I would offer to split any hardware costs involved (not necessarily 50/50), and provide the labor for free.
I would then be wary of doing any "favors" for this person in the future.

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It Was Working

by dmiles In reply to It Was Working

At this point I am unwilling to accept any responsibility for what has happened and I am hoping that when I talk to her again,she will be more understanding about the situation
Thanks for the comments

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It Was Working

by TimTheToolMan In reply to It Was Working

Hi soulrider,

What an awkward situation!

Hopefully it was only a brief time between the turning on and the reporting to her it was stuffed.

Is it only the screen? Does the machine boot at all? If not....

And if you feel you need to proveyour point to her, but the disk in another machine as a second disk - with her watching... and show her that there were no files modified since she gave it to you.

You shouldn't have to do that, though. She's probably right in that it used to work - you're going to have to be apologetic to her that her PC is not working but firmly take no responsibility for it.

Cheers,
Tim.

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