DEAR HARRIETTE: I accidentally spilled water all over my work laptop two days ago. I am so upset with myself. I let the laptop air out upside down, but there are still glitches with the processing system (screens will close or zoom in on their own). The computer functions poorly, but still turns on and connects to the Internet. I do not have the money to replace it now, and I doubt repairs will be much cheaper. I do not want to have to crawl to my parents asking them for money, but I know I will not be able to work to my full potential until I have a functioning laptop. If my boss walked over and saw the state of this computer, I would be so embarrassed. It will not even let me select certain text or click where I want to type! Should I stick it out with this computer for financial reasons? I do not want to have to deal with a loan or debt of any sort, especially for a laptop. -- Tech Trouble, Cincinnati
DEAR TECH TROUBLE: Move past your embarrassment and confide in your boss immediately. It is likely that your company has insurance that covers all of the equipment -- including laptops. While it is not ideal to have to repair or replace equipment, your company should be prepared to handle such hiccups. Apologize to your boss. Explain what happened and ask if the company can have it repaired or replaced. Assure your boss that you are not normally careless. Express your desire to do your best, and ask for support in getting your computer fixed.