Well, it’s finally done. My old hard drive is dead and I will shortly be giving it a funeral service. But, as they say, it’s an ill wind that blows no one any good.

Let me bring you up to speed.

As you may have followed, I had a bit of a meltdown last week, when my hard drive crashed. Having (stupidly) not backed up my data recently and being between laptops, I was ready to do anything – anything – to get my data back.

When the Geek Squad didn’t come up to snuff, I turned in desperation to Arthur Zilberman of LaptopMD, who was referred to me on Twitter by Janet Falk. Even though Arthur and I are not in the same physical location, I felt comfortable enough with him to ship my drive off to NYC, to see if he could retrieve what I needed.

I heard from him last night.

The bad news: my drive was in the 30-odd-percent of drives he receives that he can’t do anything for.

The good news: he works with a company in Canada that could probably – but no promises – retrieve my stuff.

The bad news: It would probably cost me $1k+ (factoring in customs, etc.).

The good news: This is less than what it would usually cost me, because of the connection we made through aforesaid Twitter.

(This is starting to sound like one of those bad news/good news jokes, isn’t it?).

Anyhoo, I told Arthur I’d think about it and get back to him today. Then I came home (I was teaching my summer class at Johns Hopkins when he called yesterday) and talked to my husband about it.

“What should I do?” I asked.

He sagely said, “If you can’t live without it, that’s a good price.”

Thanks, hun.

Having had a few days to calm down (and working on my beautiful shiny new MacBook Pro 15″, take that, Mr. PC), I realized that what I was freaking out most about was a particular document on the drive. Almost everything else could be retrieved since, at one point or another, I’d emailed it to someone… and all those emails are captured in my Gmail account.

And this morning, I found I had that document in my email.

Hallelujah!

(You gotta watch that video, btw, it’s hilarious.)

So I called Arthur this evening and told him I was going to pass. He was delighted for me, and I heaved a sigh of relief.

So, the good news: I’m (almost) back on track.

(I promise, there’s no bad news … at least, not now).

All this got me thinking, though.

I had such a bad experience with an organization that I have physically had dealings with, that I sent one of my most valuable possessions to someone I’ve never met, simply because he was referred to me by someone whom, again, I’ve never met, but whom I trust, because of her online reputation and dealings with me, limited as they have been.

In turn, I transferred that trust to Arthur, and his consistently reassuring and down-to-earth communication with me did nothing but bolster my trust in him.

And when I decided to go another way, he didn’t try to stop me; he was happy for me.

I’ve never met Arthur Zilberman. But I entrusted my digital life to him. And if ever I need someone to dig me out of a digital hole, Arthur will be the first person I call.

Can you say that for your company, brand, or PR agency?

In other words…

Got Trust?

Image: Tony Mann, Creative Commons

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps smart businesses make bank by taking their communications from corporate codswallop to community cool™. She is also the founder of The Social PR Virtuoso®, which provides online, on-demand training that helps you unleash your inner Social PR superhero. Shonali is mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke