Shark Tank: New Year, Same Old Users

User calls help desk to complain that her password just stopped working. Do you have a hint entered in the system? fish asks. User does -- her daughter's age. Fish: How old is she? User: "Seven." Fish: How old was she when you entered the password? User: "Six. But she just had her birthday!"

Aha!

"Are you controlling my computer?" user asks help desk pilot fish. No, says fish. He checks with other techs; no one else is using remote-control software to work on her PC, either. "Well, someone is," she says. "They're searching my files. They just found one! They opened it!" Fish tells her to turn off the PC, calms her down and asks what she was doing before the computer was apparently taken over. "I just installed this demo of Lotus Notes," user says, then stops. "Never mind."

This One's Going To Be Trouble

When irate user calls help desk to demand the manuals for his newly issued laptop, pilot fish patiently explains that they're in the zippered compartment on the outside back of the carrying case. "Dead silence on the phone," fish reports. "Then I hear the user frantically examining the bag. He finally comes back on and says, 'I can't find the outside zippered compartment.' "

Gratitude

The PC in this crowded cubicle freezes as it's booting, so support pilot fish unplugs everything and carts it to his bench for testing. Once there, it works. Back in the cube, it freezes again. On investigation, fish finds the PC boots with the keyboard disconnected. That's when fish notices the keyboard has been pushed slightly under the monitor -- just enough to push down the Pause key. He adjusts the keyboard. The PC boots fine. "Well, I could have done that," user grumbles. "And a lot quicker, too."

Just Move It

This user's carpal tunnel syndrome is acting up, so she asks help desk pilot fish to change her mouse from right- to left-handed. "She watched while I went into the Control Panel to switch the buttons from right-handed to left-handed," says fish. " 'No, no,' she said, 'don't change the buttons, just make it a left-handed mouse.' I moved the mouse to the left side of her keyboard, and closed the ticket. She thought there was some sort of additional magic required."

I Hope Not

Pilot fish checks into a hotel and asks if it has wireless Internet access. Clerk: "Yes. Will you be needing to borrow a cable for that?"

Loan Sharky your story. Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it. And check out the daily feed, browse the Sharkives and sign up for Shark Tank home delivery at computerworld.com/sharky.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
Shop Tech Products at Amazon