Typical Day In I.T.

OK, Bill wants to know what a typical day in tech support is like. Here’s a little exchange I took the time to write down today, so I wouldn’t forget it. The “her” in this story is someone whose name I can’t reveal for professional reasons, but I will say that she uses a PowerBook 3400, and, in fact, has gone through several of them. We don’t know what she does to the machines, but they die in her presence. She has been a constant source of funny, but heartbreaking, tech support stories.

Here’s the text of the work order we received yesterday:

Her laptop is shutting itself off and not coming back on.

She received a new power brick for her 3400 just last week, and we were wondering if she had killed this one (she has killed several power bricks by plugging them into dimmers; yes, I’m serious). So I pay her a visit, and this is our conversation.

Her: Can you put in a request for me to get a new laptop? This one is older than everyone else’s.

Me: Well, it’s not up to me; it all depends on the budget.

Her: Yes, but you can put in a request for me to get a new one?

Me: It’s not up to me.

Her: Then who determines-

Me: Dave.

Her: Can you put in a request with Dave for me to get a new laptop?

Me: I’ll say something to him.

Her: And he’ll make sure I get one.

Me: Just contact Dave.

Her: Because this computer is older than everyone else’s.

Me: Yes.

Her: You can see by looking at it that it’s much older than everyone else’s. I’ve had this for three years, which is before everyone else got theirs. They got new ones after that.

Me: Yes, but they started out with even older ones. We’re on a five year replacement plan.

Her: I’ve had this computer for five years, at least.

[pause]

Her: I’ve had this computer for six years.

Me: Well, at any rate, it’s fine now.

Her: What was wrong with it?

Me: I couldn’t find anything wrong with it. I plugged the power cable in tightly, since it wasn’t plugged in all the way. Then it fired right up.

Her: No, that couldn’t have been it. I’ve had that in and out several times trying to get it to work. But it just shut down on me. On Tuesday. And the screen was dark in the morning.

Me: Well, it’s OK now.

Her: It couldn’t have been the power charge. And that’s a new power charge. Was the screen bright when you turned it on?

Me: It still is. It’s on now. It’s working fine.

Her: Thank you.

Me: Sure thing. [mumbles and leaves]

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