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First, let me begin by saying it is by no means the fault of the gift giver that the item (which was still under its warranty), but there exists the possibility that gifts can be defective. It is an inherent risk that in the world of manufacturing that high demand, technological items such as iPads, a few scragglers escape into the herd.

It started out fine, I guess, the home button took more force than I had expected, sometimes not responding at all. The first app that locked up was in the camera mode, trying to figure out the device is much harder when you’re holding a giant screen projecting a particularly unflattering up nostril shot. I figured out how to do the hard reset. Then new apps would suddenly quit. Then the old ones. Soon, the machine would have to be restarted each time I wanted to switch apps.

I finally lose hope at 11:34 on Monday when the screen freezes, ne’er to be moved again. After a very uncomfortable solo trip to the grocery store, I was in the mood for neither tech support nor the customer service desk at Best Buy. I made my husband contend with the phone support semi-sentient triage machine until he had about reached a white hot moment of unbridled rage, then he was placed on hold in a 7 minute holiday music loop.

When we finally get through to a human being, we go through an elaborate series of permutations of the same two buttons being pressed in various combinations and duration. The result is for naught. The device just lays there like a mule, dying but not dead. The frozen lifeless screen will not be jolted from its hiccup. And, the worst part of all, I have to return it and soon.

It is ludicrously cold, somewhere around 30 degrees when I leave for work, but by the time I leave for my lunch break, the wind had kicked up something fierce. With the wind chill, it must have been in the 20’s.

I make it inside the store, where they tag the device for return and I queue up first in line for customer service. There’s only one associate and he is waiting on a man wearing the skimpiest sandals and sweats, considering the weather, an outfit that would normally be a poor selection becomes the fashion equivalent of a punch in the mouth. He keeps looking in my direction and creeping me out.

I feel bad for the poor folks who have to work at the return desk at any retail outlet. I bet the cross section of humanity experienced in that line of work would be quite grating after a while. So, when the associate grudgingly surfaces to contend with the growing line behind me, I cut a fair amount of slack.

Still, the pleasant, yet exhausted young man sends me from the desk to retrieve the replacement, I am confused. I get turned around by at least two idly roaming duos of associates before I find the right area, but require a manager’s assistance to actually retrieve the device. Could this not have been phoned in somehow?

At this point, I have already lost a huge portion of my lunch hour, and am hoping to at least at one point eat something. I rush to grab a bagel, box still crammed into my purse. The deed is done.