I left my day job at the end of April to go full-time with my own business which meant I needed to buy a PC for my home office.   We had a mini Lenovo laptop I could use but I needed a magnifying glass to see the screen.  A mini is what you use when you’re desperate.  It’s the processed burger you give a starving person and tell them it’s a steak and they believe you.   I actually thought I could take my time to find a suitable laptop replacement, but I didn’t last 24 hours before I started to hit the electronics stores.  Hook and I went laptop shopping and buying, then returning, then shopping some more, then re-purchasing and re-agonizing, etc.

After three weeks of living off the mini, we returned to Best Buy a third time (okay, I went a third time, Hook refused to go after the second visit) and this was even after negotiations with a Fry’s guy who tried to do his best tech talk by throwing around motherboard acronyms like we were at a geek rally.   At Best Buy, I bought the laptop I’d wanted on Day 1 of the shopping-torture extravaganza:  a 17” Toshiba Satellite.   Yes, that’s a big screen.  Mama likes it big.

Best Buy won out because they have a 30-day return option, no restocking fee if I did return, and they threw in complimentary applications for Norton antivirus and Office 2010 which didn’t require mailing off old school paperwork for a rebate check.  Plus, the Best Buy guys were really nice to me.  That didn’t try to woo me with tech talk like the Fry’s guys.  I’m a girl who has done her time in the tech sector so save it for the soccer moms, boys.

Besides, I tried to explain to the Fry’s guy that we didn’t have time for no stinkin’ rebates.  The Hooks will be in Australia, dude!

And, I’ve learned my lesson for future PC/laptops:  never ever, ever, EVER choose a laptop based solely on color or do but make sure you like the keyboard and the touch pad thingy.  You’re going to be banging on both of them a lot, and for me personally, I didn’t want to be stuck 10,000 miles away in a foreign country (even if they do speak English in Oz) wishing I had made a smarter purchase.

So that’s the technology part, here’s the tenant piece:

I feel as though every other hour, I’m being chased out of my own home.  It’s not true of course, except that each time a new couple or a new family or a new group of future drunk 20 to 30-somethings show up to see South Center, I feel compelled to leave so would be renters feel at ease walking through the house.

“Take your time.  I’ll just go for a walk.”  I reassure each realtor that shows up.

Hook thinks I’m crazy to leave, and he’s convinced that if it were him working from home instead of me, no way would he leave.  But I get out as much for the prospects as I do for myself.  I’ve no desire to watch someone walk through my home, opening up closed doors, looking into our pantry to see how large or too small it is.  Not to mention the endless questions that often come when visitors think I’m a tenant, too.

“So do you like it here?”  One prospect asked as I tried to slide out the front door just as she and the realtor were entering.

“Yes, we like our home.”  My dead shark eyes stare straight into hers as I respond.  I’ve no interest in exchanging conversation.  I just want them to let me leave so that they can look around in peace and then I can return when they are gone.  Look and leave.  No conversation.

“Oh, you’re the owner.”   She murmured and at this revelation her husband / partner / 12 midnight lover perked up.

“So, is it safe?”

“Is it safe?  Yes, it’s safe.”  I said then immediately remembered our robbery just last Christmas, and since I consider myself an honest person, I couldn’t help but add,

“But you probably want to check with the City of Austin on crime rates in the area if that’s a concern for you.”

I now have my hand on the doorknob because I know that if I don’t GET OUT NOW, this couple will keep me trapped, asking questions, demanding information I may or may not have.   One of the reasons we hired a management company in the first place was so that we wouldn’t have to interact with people, answer their questions, make stuff up.  That’s what realtors are for.

The husband spoke up again, “We have a 3-year old.”

“Oh,” I shrug my shoulders.  “We don’t have any kids.”  And that’s the end of that conversation because we are from different worlds.  They are from kid world and we are from non-kid world and these two worlds should only meet when drinks are flowing and the booze is free.

“Oops, almost forgot the most important thing,” I said as I rushed back to the dining room table, grabbed my new Toshiba and ran out the front door.

“Again, take your time going through the house and if you have any questions, please call the realtor.”

If I’m going to have tenants, I’m going to need my technology be it Austin or Australia.    Bring on the Oz.

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Technology and Tenants