I get home at 5:00 PM thinking I have enough time to do my Act Sci homework, I set out the books, calculator 1 (financial calculator), notepad for good copy of homework, notepad for bad copy of homework and a chilled 2 liter bottle of Diet Mountain Dew, the official non-alcoholic beverage of the Society of Actuaries.  But alas, calculator 2 is gone!  Normally, I wouldn’t fret as calculator 1 can do everything but requires Reverse Polish Notation to enter data.  So instead of AOS where cos (6pi)^2 would be entered from right to left, this calculator would require 6*pi Cos squared.  Fine for simple stuff, but evaluating  (1-(1-e^-.05t)(1-e^.03t)) can get annoying.  So, I go to OfficeMax and and find they’ve been evacuated of the TI 30xIIS calculator.  I ask, they say why not the 34XIIB which is a better calculator, I say it’s not an approved calculator for my class exams or actuarial exams and can’t use it.  I leave.I try to resume work but immediately encounter a mathematical clusterfuck that’s beyond my puny handwrought calculatory powers and think, that I could return the extra motherboard I got from CompUSA and try to pick up a calculator at a store near there.  Aha!  I grab the motherboard and depart for Mt. Laurel.  I stop at Staples.  No calculator, 34XIIB recommended and refused.  I stop at OfficeDepot. No calculator, 34XIIB recommended and refused.  Looking at the clock I realize I have 20 minutes to return the motherboard and make it to the OfficeMax across the way.  I walk into CompUSA and think providence is on my side as I approach what appears to be a clogged customer service line, a new lane is opened, I throw ethics to the wind and dive in front of the infirmed man trying to return Victory at Sea.  I present the board, it is immaculate.  But am rebuffed as the receipt hasn’t been reviewed by their tech folks to make sure I wasn’t trying to pull a fast one.  I go to the tech people and they take 12 minutes looking at it after I tell them it’s a return.
Tech Lady: Sir, we’ve reviewed the product, and there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with it.  How is it defective?
Me: It’s not.  I fact, it’s better than fine, it improves my socioeconomic status just by holding it, but in any case, I need to return it and I need you to sign off.
Tech Lady: Oh.   Okay.
Then she puts an “X” next to the item on the receipt.  A FUCKING X, I waited 12 minutes for a fucking X.  On top of that, they gave me the motherboard back.  I wanted to fish all the software out and keep it as karmic justice but chose not to.
I book out of CompUSA and run/turbostumble into OfficeMax where I see the calculator display completely empty except for one Casio.  A Casio, that’s like someone running out Cadillacs and offering a Kia as a substitute.  I take the Casio, ask if the calculator of choice is in, nope.  They offer the 34XIIB, and after having done this four times already today yell “It is forbidden!” and run the store.  Realizing I have no calculator, I emit a gutteral scream, scaring the trailer tornado bait white trash mulling around the sidewalk bargain bins and dart back in, steal the Casio from the approaching clutches of a smallish child (how could she possibly have needed trig function?) and windmill slap the calculator on the register counter, I pay, I leave, I get gas, I cry.  I crush my homework.  Yeah, I got it done, but I did it with a Casio.  Professionally, it’s proven to be a bit of pyrrhic victory.