Friday, April 27, 2012

You Need a License

The other day, the desktop computer died. So Cal and I took it to a repair shop. Thankfully, it was a quick, fairly cheap fix. But while we were there, the manager got a phone call from an unhappy customer. By the end of the conversation, I was glad I didn’t have his job. Here’s how it went:

Tech store manager: Uh huh. I see. So you can’t get online. Have you checked the Ethernet cable?

Pause. (During which non-tech savvy person talks and the tech store manager takes our computer apart.)

TM: It’s the cable that looks like a phone cord, but a little bigger. Make sure it’s plugged into the computer.

Pause. (Tech guy works on our computer while murmuring helpful “Uh huhs” to the non-tech person.)

TM: So what’s on the computer screen?

Pause. (Tech guy removes our power converter and points out capacitor problem.)

TM: Um, yeah, so that’s the Microsoft home page. You’re actually online.

Pause. (TM continues to murmur “uh huhs” as he installs a new power converter.)

TM: When your computer was repaired the software lost your homepage. Can you tell me what your homepage was? (Brief pause.) You can’t. Okay. Well, it’s probably still under your favorites. Can you find your “Favorites?”

Short Pause. (TM begins plugging in the wires of our new power converter.)

TM: The favorites button should be a star on the bar near the top of your screen.

Pause. (TM, having now fixed our computer, attaches the case while murmuring “Keep looking along the bar at the top.”)

TM: Really, it’s there. Keep looking.

Pause. (TM runs our credit card.)

TM, his voice so even that you know frustration is seeping out of his pores: Okay. Well, why don’t you bring the computer back in and I’ll find your homepage for you.

Pause. (TM hands us our receipt.)

TM: Okay, I’ll see you then. (Hangs up the phone.)

Me: Uh, do you get a lot of calls like that?

TM: All day long.

Me: Wow. I’m really sorry.

TM: (His eyes wild.) I think before someone can buy a laptop or a desktop, they ought to be required to get a license—a computer operator’s license. 

Me: Oh, yes. (I nod, agreeing and wondering if I would pass such a test. Probably not.)


  1. I joked with my tech guy that I shouldn't be allowed near a laptop either. He laughed but told me not to beat myself up. :-)

    (thank goodness they really don't make you take a test to get one!) LOL

  2. Reminds me of the joke about the gal calling the company after she bought her new computer because she couldn't see anything on her monitor. After a multitude of back-and-forth basic questions, it turns out the power is out at her house. The tech guy (who obviously wasn't as cool-headed as YOUR tech guy) told her to put everything in the box and ship it back, because she was too bleeping stupid to own a computer.

  3. I admire his patience. I'd explode (probably at someone) after a day of those kinds of conversations . . .

    The Eagle's Aerial Perspective

  4. Did you know that the units of capacitance are Farads?

  5. haha
    thats then another test we got to bunk :P

  6. Oh man, that's hard! Haha. That guy deserves an award. Another good bit of tech advice: Have you tried turning it off and on?