Feb 6, 2008

stickin' it to the Man

There are few experiences in life that bring such joy, such contenment, such... pleasure - than the experience of sticking it to "the man." There's something about the man... isn't there - and how bad you just want to stick it to him. The man could be your boss, your supervisor, your teacher, the government, the world. It's as vague or as specific as you need it to be. But the one thing about the man is... he'll stick it to you if you don't give it to him first.

I had an opportunity to get nailed by the man... aka... the computer gods several weeks ago.

Ashley's computer was feeling a little ill, so I took it into the store and the sales assistant informed me that the hard drive had given up the ghost. Bad news. How much would it cost to repair? $300. But that wasn't all. Little did I know that this was just the cake. A thin, lifeless, spongy cake. The icing you ask? It would cost another $400 (mandatory) to replace the outer aluminum shell because it had been dropped. $400 dollars worth of bitter, nasty, frosting.
A whopping $700 for a repair. Might as well invest another 3-hundy and get a new macbook right? Eat into the savings, right? Get robbed by the man right?

I consulted Chris, my brother in law who is a nascent expert at sticking it to the man. Not to mention, a real life Mr. Wizard, castrating fruit flies and performing other intricate operations pertaining to stem cell research at Johns Hopkins. He directed me to a website that showed detailed instructions on how to install hard drives, and all other sorts of commonly replaced parts in computers. Wow... show me more.

He informed me that not too long ago, his computer had met a similar fate. He decided that he was mad as hell, and he wasn't going to take it anymore. (my words) He found the aforelinked website and did the exact same repair. And it was a success!

I bit the bullet... bought a new, fancier, bigger hard drive for Ashley's computer, and waited for them to come out and visit so he could walk me through the steps. Fortunately, they were due out for a visit because my sister in law won a free trip to California, lucky dog.

Turns out, doing the repair wasn't as intimidating as I thought Mostly using a tiny screw driver and allen wrench to take the cover off. I was glad to have Chris there to hold my hand, but honestly - the directions were on par with your standard lego instructions or putting together your new fjourdourjkufknog from Ikea.

Ashley's new hard drive was $100 dollars - for a 100GB hard drive. Her old one was a 60GB. Now we have all the memory we need for music, documents, pictures... and archived blog entries about sticking it to the man.

Storage increase = 40 GB
Savings = $600 bucks
Satisfaction for sticking it to the man = Priceless

I feel like there are opportunities everywhere to stick it to the man, if we only have a little encouragement and some hand holding. Do you guys have any experiences when you stuck it to the man, or times when you could've but didn't? Regrets? Let's hear about 'em.... cause honestly, the man is winning this debate and could use some bad PR.


Craig said...

Stickin' it to the man... that reminds me of Arrested D when George Sr. overdoes it on the boil n' bag dinners in the hot tub and is lying on the attic floor. Michael comes in and says,

"I saw Sally Sitwell at the country club today-"

"Did you stick it to her?," all tired, but so very interested in the answer.

Anyway, is "sticking it to the man" just thrifty consumerism or does it count when I rent stuff from Wal-mart or make my former employer pay me unemployment for 6 months even though they fired me? Cause I could talk about either.

So if Wal-mart isn't "the Man," i don't know who is. And once i became privy to their 30 day no questions asked return policy on electronics, i decided to use them like they use all their employees... like a 3 legged ox, showing them no regard whatsoever. I bought a Canon Rebel and used it on my trip to New York. then I returned it. Then i needed a camera again for my trip to the UK. NOw they tried to stick it back to me. The salesperson lied and said that the camera I was about to buy was completely unused. I asked because I recognized it as the same exact one i took to NEw York. I let him think he was fooling me and bought it. After 10 days in the British Isles and 20 more of daily personal use i returned that one too!!!!

I know you and your readers are judging my ethics right now and I sk you to stop. For this post I assume we are operating under a purely utilitarian code where the end justifies the means so long as we are STICKING IT TO THE MAN!

End of story. Thank you.

david said...


your slanderous words towards walmart are like honey to my ears.

how could anyone fault you, for legally yet knowingly, using their return policy to your advantage.

i for one say three cheers for craig, the urban avenger and likely catalyst to the downfall of walmart.

hip hip! hurrah
hip hip, hurrah
hip hip, hurrah!

Mia said...


I am all for sitcking it to the man by solving a problem yourself and expanding your skill set, like doing your own computer repairs.

But since I was asked not to judge on the basis of a purely utilitarian code where the end justifies the means so long as we are STICKING IT TO THE MAN!, I will refrain from commenting on the Wal-mart issue.

And I don't even have any good stories to add where I stuck it to the man...


david said...

mia, are you defensive about walmart?

spill the beans.

Mia said...

Two reasons... One, I am inherently non confrontational. Working retail I hated those people who would return "lightly used" shoes. I almost always caved into them, because I hated to fight with them, and gave them their money back. I was still made to sell those shoes to someone else because that was store policy. I felt bad for those people who bought the shoes that someone else returned. (You better believe I check and double chek the shoes I buy and even make them bring out multiple pairs of the same size obnoxious I know). Reason two, my step momma worked for Wal-Mart for 15 years, as a pharmacist. They treated her very well. I know that her situation was different because she was salaried and in what they considered to be management. But I still think that if people abuse the returns system the big corporations will try and recoup the money by taking it out on the employees less likely to stick up for themselves or unable to stick up for themselves. Seriously the first post was supposed to be light hearted, dang not having inflection in type.

annie gray said...

craig, i think using return policies to your advantage is smarmy, but i think using walmart's return policy to their disadvantage is brilliant.

last summer i was driving solo to north carolina and needed to drink and pee badly. walmart was the only source to fill either need. so i peed (using their facilities, eating their resources), flushed twice just because, and waited 10 miles to buy a bottle of war.

walmart is evil.

david, bravo on being mr.fixit. impressive.

david said...

flushed twice just because,

best part.

Chris Cherry said...

I know this story mirrors yours david but i wanted to recount my original triumph over the rulers of computerdom. So, about 1 1/2 years ago my hard drive went out on my laptop. I took it to the IT guys here at work because I could get the labor done for free and just pay for the hard drive. So, they put in the new hard drive and when they gave me my computer back they said the the on/off button was kinda finicky. OK I thought, a small price to pay for an operational computer. So, we moved to a new residence a few weeks later and in the process I turned my computer off - and I could not get it to turn on. I brought it back to the IT guys and they told me that the processor was now dead and it would cost $700 for a new one - what the? Might as well buy a new laptop. Well, before I caved I thought that I might as well take this thing apart to see what I could do. So using the website David mentioned I took my laptop apart and as I was looking at it I decided to try a MacGyver move - i used a pocket knife and a mini screw driver and I stuck them on the processor where the on/off switch hooks in and touched them together and unbelievably it tripped the circuit and my computer fired up - i was ecstatic, i ran around the room pumping my fist, it was like a dream, a miracle. i couldn't believe it worked. they only draw back is that i can't turn my computer off but that is a small price to pay for sticking it to the man. Oh yeah, in case you are wondering - i was sure to let the IT guys know what i had done and i warned them that their job was not as secure as they had thought now that i was on the prowl.

david said...


that's what i call doin' it hunterian style!