Joanne who is Chinese and works at Aryoshi on Lee, called around lunch time to ask for help. I’m certain Joanne is her Anglicized name, at least her nom du chef. Her daughter’s laptop was under the omnipotent rule of an infection masquerading as an anti-virus tool. It had taken over the machine, and under no circumstances was it about to give ground. Joanne had asked for my help before when a similar thing had happened to the laptop in use by the restaurant. She sees me frequently as a customer, knows I have expertise in this, often joins me at my table for a quick hello, and so was not afraid to reach out.
I live close, so that night came in, had something off the menu, and we sat together and went over the issue. I know she has two young daughters, and few connections for getting something like this done, so I said (with some internal bravado), “Just leave it to me.” A little later at home I spent an hour following the anti-virus cookbook step by step, rebooted the machine, and was dismayed when it fell straight under the evil rule of the malicious tool.
Not what I wanted. She did not have the AC adapter and I was afraid to go any further on battery power alone. The next day I called her and arranged for my wife to stop in and pick it up. A second round of fixes did the trick, thankfully, and when I returned that evening, I was greeted with a hug, given a spot in front of the large screen TV by the sushi bar, a glass of wine, and something spicy and crunchy from the sushi bar. I never looked at a menu. They know me and just asked if I wanted something spicy, something crunchy.
I had cleaned her daughter’s computer, which was grimed over like a kid’s computer should be. I cleaned it like auto dealers clean cars when you have your car repaired, and it looked shiny. Joanne noticed it and her eyes smiled. She allowed me to find a hockey game on the TV, and bartered my meal for the computer work. I left trading a few more hugs and feeling great about the connections between people in this city.