As if those stories aren't bad enough, sometimes it just seems like the gods conspire against us. Who would expect their laptop to simply burst into flames? But that's exactly what happened to Jeff, from Massachusetts. "I was conducting an interview," he says. "While reading the first question, my laptop suddenly went dead as the power supply caught on fire!" The interviewee was apparently pretty quick on his feet, says Jeff -- he extinguished the laptop. That didn't help the data therein, which was a total loss. Also, no word on whether the guy got the job.
It isn't always the hand of God -- sometimes the culprit is much closer to home. My favorite dead-gadget story comes from Melody in Texas. She tells me that her toddler, a vivacious little girl by the name of Sadie, destroyed two cell phones in a single week.
Episode one: the toddler seized the handset and dumped it into a watering can. Melody knew just what to do. She immediately ordered a replacement phone, which arrived the next day. The next evening, Melody took a call during Sadie's bath time. That was a mistake, since Sadie decided to see what happens when you flush a phone. The week cost $495--$320 in cell replacements, and another $175 in plumber's fees.