No extra credit for extra typing

It's back in the days before remote-control support is widely used, and this help-desk pilot fish gets a call that's going to require some long-distance diagnostics.

Fish: "Let's start at the beginning and see where the breakdown is. I need for you to enter exactly what I tell you."

User: "OK."

Fish: "Go to the main menu." Silence. "Are you at the main menu?"

User: "Uh-huh."

Fish: "Select option A and press Enter."

User: Click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click...

Fish: "Wait! Stop! Where are you now?"

User: "I don't know."

Fish: "What's on the screen?"

User: "Well, it doesn't look like it usually does, and if I go to--" Click, click, click, click, click, click...

Fish: "Stop! Let's start from the beginning. Main menu...option A...Enter."

User: Click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click...

Fish: "Wait! I need you to only select the options I indicate."

User: "But I did!"

Fish: "Then why do I keep hearing 30 keystrokes when there should be three?" Silence. "Are you there?"

User: "Yes."

Fish: "Let's try again. Main menu...option A...Enter."

User: Click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click...

Fish: "Waitwaitwait please wait." Silence. "OK. I'm sorry, but I will be unable to help you if anything is selected other than what I indicate. Perhaps someone else in your office might walk through this for you?"

User: "OK...I'll do it right..."

Type all you want if you're telling Sharky a story. 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.

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