Friday, August 03, 2007

Pain as an emotional anesthetic

All along I thought tonsillitis was only for children until at 38 I was hit by it. I could hardly talk. I could not even swallow my own saliva. Just before midnight of the third day of suffering what was clearly an acute tonsillitis, my wife prodded me to see a doctor. So off I went to the nearest e.r.

The doctor who saw me told me to thank myself for making the right choice of seeing a physician just before my inflamed tonsils would have fully covered my trachea giving me difficulty in breathing.

For one week I suffered intense discomfort. I had to force myself to eat so that I could take my medications. I was warned not to take my pills with an empty stomach. I had to prod myself to drink water if only to swallow my antibiotic.

At every instance I tried to lull myself to sleep so that I would not feel any physical pain.

Fourteen days after my bout of tonsillitis, I suffered from bicipital tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendons. For a few days it was very difficult to move about because any bodily motion would trigger intense pain on my injured left shoulder.

My left arm was on a sling so that the swelling will heal faster. I had to endure two weeks of having to use only my right arm.

As I was subjected to intense physical ache I was also undergoing extreme emotional pain.

Belatedly, I realized that physical pain can be a form of emotional anesthetic. As I suffered severe physical discomfort I became emotionally numb. I was so engross in battling my physical hurt I could not feel any emotional displeasure.

When my bodily pain was long gone and my emotional ache was healed I tried to choose what’s more bearable if I have to suffer any of it again.

I think I will choose neither of the two intense experiences. I know someday one or both kinds of pain will come back to disturb my peace. But I will be consoled by the thought that I have been through it before and that I will be able to weather the storm.

Worst Case of Unfriendly Customer Service

Last week I was singing hosanna to Shangri-la Mactan’s superb customer service.

This week I experienced one of the worst cases of customer service by a computer store in Cebu.

I bought a second hand computer last June 27 from Fast Win Computer Enterprises located in Mandaue City, Cebu.

When I brought it home, the computer would hang no end. So I had to return it for them to check what’s wrong. A few days later they informed me it was due to a defective motherboard.

They replaced the motherboard and then I had the PC picked up from there store. Another problem cropped up. This time they replaced the sound card.

Just when I thought the computer was fully okay, it cannot connect to the wi-fi. I had to bring it back to there store for yet another check up. They advised me to change my wi-fi card saying that it’s defective and it is the cause of all the glitch.

Since I had an extra wi-fi card I had it replaced. I was hoping they would test the replaced part before they give back my PC so that I don’t have to bring it back to them if it doesn’t work. Unfortunately, they said there wi-fi connection in there store is fully utilized that they cannot get a signal so that I had to do the testing in my house.

These entire problems happened in the course of one month. Meaning, the computer was not being used for a month after it was bought.

Exasperated, I called up a computer technician friend who is also in charge of maintaining our office computer network for help.

My friend hesitated to open the CPU since doing so will void the warranty. He advised me to call Fast Win and request the store to allow him to open the CPU and check the problem without voiding the warranty. He even told me to point out to Fast Win that since I bought the computer a month ago it has not been used because of the several glitches. Despite there effort to repair the problems they have not succeeded.

So I called the store and related to them the problem. Since the person who answered my call could not decide on my request, she asked me my contact number so that her manager can discuss it with me. A week has pass, I have not received any call.

Finally, I gave up waiting for that call from Fast Win. I decided to risk voiding the warranty so that my computer technician friend can start fixing it. At last the computer is up and running. All it took was for me to buy a brand new sound card. Adjustment in the bios and CPU settings were also implemented.

If not for my computer technician friend, I would have continued to bring back and forth the CPU to Fast Win for repairs and who knows it could take eternity before it gets fixed.

Customer service is the new ball game in business. Sadly, Fast Win Computer Enterprise, while selling high tech products is still low tech when it comes to customer service.