Hospital Snack Box

A few weeks ago I spent the first half of the day at Bangkok Hospital taking care of a few odds and ends. I had an eye appointment in the early part of the morning because my right eye was inflamed (thankfully, not infected – doctor said just too much time working on the computer). An hour later, I had an appointment with another doctor about my back, which had a bad muscle spasm that had lasted a week. He proscribed some physical therapy, which was available elsewhere in the hospital complex.


When I arrived at the physical thearapy center, though, they were quite busy and the service manager told me I’d have to wait an hour. Since I had my iPod with me, I didn’t mind waiting. Nonetheless, she came over a few minutes later and apologized for the wait and gave me this snack box. I guess they prepare these for patients who have long waits.


While I wasn’t hungry (I brought the box home to photograph!), the gesture was appreciated. Service in Thailand is generally very good, especially at the hospitals. What do you think of the contents of the snack box, though? Juice and cookies – seems more appropriate for someone who has just donated blood.


Dell Laptop Repair

I’m having the strangest experience.  I’m sitting in my living room here in Krungthep, Thailand and across the dining table from me, a Dell computer technician is taking apart my Latitude 610 laptop, replacing the LCD and the mother board.  All under warranty at no cost to me.

I know that Dell hasn’t had the best customer service reputation but, except for the fact that the conversations have had to be entirely in Thai (you’d laugh if you heard the translation of how I explain the problems my laptop is having), their service has been pretty amazing.

Of course, the repairs are still underway.  We’ll see what happens when he’s done!

This is my work laptop, provided by my employer back in the US.  Hopefully my IT department doesn’t read this as their suggestion was to ship the laptop back to them.  Last time I sent a laptop FedEx between continents the cost was ultimately north of $400, thanks to various “customs charges” and “convenience fees” that get charged here on the Thai side.

The problem (most of you may not want the technical details, so you can skip down a paragraph or two) is that the external video signal cuts out intermittently.  To spare my eyes, I use a 17″ LCD monitor resting on a small altar table that straddles the laptop keyboard.  In essence, a homemade docking station.  But the image cuts in and out and some tests suggest that the problem is the computer, not the monitor.

Also, when using the built-in LCD, sometimes the image jumps for a second and I’ve had a few stop errors in the past week, leading me to believe that bad things are coming

My in-house IT guy’s response: if it isn’t a company external monitor, it isn’t my problem.  Thanks.

So I called Dell’s local service number Friday and explained in a rudimentary way what the problem was.  The agent took my information and said he’d have a technician call on Monday.  Monday morning I received a call, which I had to forward to Tawn once it became a little complicated.  But by the late afternoon the technician arrived with two boxes in hand: a replacement LCD and a replacement motherboard.

Since the computer was still under warranty, they figured the safest thing to do was just switch all the potential trouble parts out.  Makes sense, right?