We'll take all the awesome we can get

IT support pilot fish gets a call from a frustrated user who complains, "I can't log in to the port hole."

Have you used this portal before? fish asks.

"Yes," user says, "I logged in last week just fine, but now it doesn't work."

Are you getting an error when you try to log in? "No. There is no way to log in now. When I click to enter my user name, it disappears and just leaves the password to enter. When I click on the password then it comes back. I hate it when they change things and it doesn't work anymore."

Wait, says confused fish, the screen comes up and there's a place to enter your user name and password, but when you click to enter your user name it disappears? "Yes. That's what happens."

By now fish has opened the portal and realizes some cosmetic changes have been made. Now the user name field is just a box containing the word 'username' in gray letters. The password field is similar. When a user clicks on the field, it clears so the user can enter information.

OK, fish says, click on the place it says "username."

"I did, and now there's nothing there."

That's OK. Now type your user name.

"But there's no place to type it."

Just type, OK? It should show up on the screen.

"Yeah, I see it now."

And after you're done typing your user name, then click on the password field.

"OK, I did but now the password's not there anymore."

That's fine. Just type your password and you should see stars on the screen when you do. Then click on the login button.

"Wow, that worked. You are awesome!"

Sighs fish, "Now I know that awesome is a relative term."

Sharky wants your awesome-est story. Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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