Monday, February 14, 2005

And Now, in the Hakarat ha-tov Department ...

(Hakarat ha-tov, literally “acknowledging the good,” is the Jewish principle of expressing gratitude and appreciation where due.)

Last Friday afternoon I got another reason to love my Panda.

(My friends who work at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo can relax. I promise I am not raising pandas illegally in my apartment.)

I am referring to my antivirus program, Titanium Antivirus 2005, made by Panda Software. It was recommended to me by our wonderful computer technician at work, Dani, whom I like to call our cyber-knight in shining armor. I bought it several years ago when I was still using Windows 95 (remember that?), which was by then so out of date that I couldn’t update the antivirus program I was using without spending way too much money. In desperation, I called Dani for advice and he recommended Panda, noting that it would be less expensive to buy the entire program than to update the one I already had. I bought it and have never looked back since.

Last Friday afternoon, I had a major computer crisis that somehow involved my antivirus program. (It wasn’t actually the program’s fault, but I needed the company’s help to fix it.) When I called the office of Panda Software in Netanya for help, the technician stayed on the phone with me for forty minutes until the problem was solved.

Forty minutes. In Israel. On a Friday afternoon.

I should explain that Israel had no weekend until recently. The work week lasted from Sunday until Friday afternoon, when employees went home a bit earlier than usual in order to get ready for Shabbat. Long ago I worked for an office that was open until 1:30 on Friday afternoons, which was a relief at the time since I no longer had to bargain for permission to leave work earlier on Friday afternoons in the wintertime, as I did when I lived in the United States.

Today Israel has a sof shavua, a weekend, which consists of Friday and Shabbat. Among religious people, Friday is always a short day; there never seems to be enough time to prepare for Shabbat even when it comes in at 7:00 p.m. and you don’t have to spend the morning at work. (Well, sometimes I do, but that’s another story.) In order to dispel the tension between those who feel that Shabbat should remain a day of rest and those who feel that stores should be open and public transportation available then, some activists are trying to institute Sunday as an additional day off while reinstating work on Friday mornings. But that’s all beside the point of this post.

So what is the point? my (few) readers may ask.

It’s this: The Panda technician spent forty minutes helping me out on a Friday afternoon when he could have just told me what to do and left it at that. In fact, I offered him that option since I’m pretty decent with computers and good at following instructions. But he went the extra mile, staying with me until the problem was solved, and for that I’m grateful.

So now I’m telling the world: Panda rocks!

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