Help desk pilot fish gets a call from a user whose support calls are way too familiar to everyone there.
"I knew this was going to be a frustrating call," says fish. "But first, I needed some information about the computer by having him type in 'ipconfig /all'.
"I said, OK, I need you to open up a command prompt by clicking the Start button and typing 'cmd' on the search line.
"He said, 'What?'
"I took it step by step. Slowly. I phonetically spelled out 'cmd' -- Charlie, Mike, Delta. He said he got it. I told him to press Enter. 'A black screen came up,' he said.
"Good, I said, now type 'ipconfig /all'. Again, I phonetically spelled out everything. And since 95 percent of our users don't know the difference between a forward slash and a backslash, I told him to use the slash that is with the question mark key and not the slash above the Enter key. I made it very clear that he was to type the slash and not the question mark.
"He said, 'OK, I got it typed in.'
"Press Enter, I said. He said, 'Nothing happened. It says unrecognized command.'
"At this point I gave up and asked him to find someone else for me to talk to. He found someone else. I asked the new user to verify what the previous user typed in for a command.
"He read it off: 'I-P-C-O-N-F-I-G-space-question-mark-A-L-L...'"
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