Wednesday, June 22, 2011

You want to know why I'm a smoker? THIS is why I'm a smoker.

I work on the IT help desk at a company. People call me when they have problems with their computers. Some of them are...difficult. Here's a conversation I had a few minutes ago:

*Ring ring*
ME: Help desk. This is John
CALLER: Is something wrong with the computers?
ME: Um..excuse me, what?
CALLER: Is something wrong with the computers?
ME: Which computers?
CALLER: All of them. Is something wrong?
ME: All right...what seems to be the problem, ma'am?
CALLER: Everything freezes up. I can't do anything.
ME: Okay, I think there's a problem with just your-
CALLER: It's still frozen up! Did you do something?
ME: No. Now do you have a laptop, or a desktop?
ME: Okay. Which one are you using?
CALLER: Neither.
ME: *gritting teeth* All right. You are using a computer right now, correct?
CALLER: No! I can't! It's frozen!
ME: .....
ME: Can you describe what your computer looks like?
CALLER: It's a boxy thing. It's sitting on my desk.
ME: Great. That would be your desktop.
CALLER: But nothing's wrong with my desktop! It's the box on the desktop. And it's still frozen.
ME: Okay, let's just call that boxy thing your "desktop," okay? Now-
CALLER: I have to get this out to a client!
ME: I understand. Now, I can't remote into your desktop, so-
ME: Sorry. I can't connect to thing. I'll have to walk over there. Okay?
CALLER: Should I stay on the phone? 
(a few minutes later, I arrive on the scene)
ME: Okay, let's take a look.
CALLER: It's still frozen!
ME: Let me take a look...okay, here's the problem. Microsoft Word's frozen and using up 95% of your CPU.
CALLER: Can you unfreeze it?
ME: Let me, probably not. We'll need to just shut down Word and restart it.
CALLER: Can you save my words?
ME: Which words?
CALLER: The words on the screen!
ME: But Autorecovery should get them...when's the last time you've saved your document?
ME: Your words. The words on the screen. When's the last time you-
CALLER: Can you print them out?
ME: No. I can't do anything. It's frozen.
CALLER: Can't you unfreeze them?
ME: ....
ME: Tell you what. Let me try.
(I terminate the Word process. MS Word restarts, and autorecovery works. Document comes back up unscathed.)
CALLER: They're back! Save them! Quick.
ME: Okay. There you go.
CALLER: Thank you! You're a genius.
ME: No problem. Next time save your words, okay?
CALLER: Thank you!
CALLER: Can I get a new box? This one is slow. And it freezes.
ME: Well, you'll need to request one from your supervisor.
CALLER: Can't you just give it to me?
ME: No, we need permission to-
CALLER: My supervisor keeps asking me to get a new computer.
ME: Well, she can ask for one by entering a ticket.
CALLER: She doesn't need a new computer! I do! Her computer is fine!
ME: Ah. But she needs to ask for you to get a new computer.
CALLER: For me?
ME: Yes. She asks for you.
CALLER: That doesn't make sense.
ME: I don't make the rules, ma'am.
CALLER: If I get a new computer, will it freeze too?
ME: *crossing myself* I hope not.

I'm not making any of this up. (By the way, the caller is actually a very nice person in real life.)