Here’s a story based on, uh oh, real life! Actually, it’s 100% true. This really happened. Glad I don’t work on a help desk anymore….
Not too long ago, I worked on a help desk for a large corporation. I worked the early morning shift and had a lot of calls where workstations wouldn’t start up, people couldn’t log in, etc. One day I got a call from “Sue.”
“Hello,” Sue says. “My screen is just black.”
“Is the light on the monitor on?” I ask, thinking it is probably turned off.
“The light on the monitor?”
“The what on the what?”
“The monitor. There should be a light on the bottom right if the monitor is powered on.”
“It’s…the screen, there should be a light.”
“No,” Sue says before I can finish. “I told you, the screen is black. Oh, wait, you mean that little light that’s on the computer on my desk?”
Workstations are placed under the desk. I try as best as I can to take a deep breath without it being heard over the phone. “Yes…”
“Yes, it’s a little orange light.”
“Okay, so the monitor is powered on.” Before she can argue about what a monitor is, I rush forward, starting at level: four years old, “Have you tried tapping the keys on the keyboard or clicking the mouse?”
“Of course I have, and the screen won’t come on. That’s why I know my computer is broke. I need someone to come here and fix it.”
Ignoring the fact that the screen is indeed powered on, I say, “Ma’am, will you please check the workstation under the desk? If there isn’t a light next to the power button, try pressing the power button.”
“I don’t have time for this. Just send someone out there. I need someone to come fix my computer.”
“It could take a couple hours for someone to get there, but I’m with you right now. Please just press the power button on the workstation. It may work.”
I hear Sue mutter curses under her breath and about how she wants a hardware tech to come out and how she shouldn’t have to do this. A minute later, I hear Windows starting in the background.
“Ma’am?” I say. “Is it coming on now?”
“Have a good–”
And that was how I helped Sue find the power button. Bonus points: boss was randomly auditing my call and bought me a cup of coffee.