Because what's a summer holiday without PICNICs?

It's late in the day just before a major holiday when this pilot fish gets a call from a telecommuter, who reports that the touchpad on his new laptop is totally dead and the computer is running slow.

"I asked if he had rebooted the computer that day," fish says. "He replied that he had. I asked if he had a mouse. User said he'd look for one."

A few minutes later, user calls back and announces that he doesn't have a mouse and he'll bring his laptop to the office for fish to fix.

Fish e-mails his family saying he might be late.

User and laptop arrive, and the first thing fish notices when he turns on the machine is that it's resuming from suspend mode. Fish confirms the touchpad issue and attaches a mouse, which works correctly. A little more troubleshooting reveals that the touch pad is not even being seen by the OS.

On a hunch, fish shuts down the laptop, making sure it powers off instead of going into suspend mode.

He turns it back on, and the touch pad works fine.

Fish asks the stunned user, who has been watching all this, if he had rebooted. Again the answer is yes. Then the user mentions that he's been using the power button to turn off the laptop, just like he did with his previous machine.

"But turning off this new laptop that way actually puts it into suspend mode," says fish. "It had never been rebooted in the two weeks the user had been using it.

"He and I had a good laugh together about this PICNIC -- Problem In Chair, Not In Computer -- and the user left with his 'repaired' laptop and a wireless mouse for good measure.

"And I got to leave for the holiday on time."

Help keep Sharky running on time. Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

Get your daily dose of out-takes from the IT Theater of the Absurd delivered directly to your Inbox. Subscribe now to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

FREE Computerworld Insider Guide: Five IT certifications that won’t break you
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies