Isn't that a job requirement for that position?

This pilot fish is a former systems consultant in the banking industry, so he knows the "I hate computers" syndrome very well indeed -- as well as the experience of having to walk users through procedures that should be easy but never are.

"But when friends and relatives ask for help, their attitude is even more impatient and short-tempered," fish sighs.

"Case in point: My sister. She has a Ph.D. in social sciences and anthropology -- and high-level technophobia.

"I once visited her while she was on the phone to a call center. This was after she had fired me as her consultant, because I was 'rude and superior and wouldn’t tell her what she needed to know.'

"This is how her end of the conversation went:

Hi, yes, I'm having a computer problem. Yes, I'll wait.

Yeah, OK. My computer was working fine yesterday, now it's stopped.

There’s a beeping noise.

No, it’s stopped. No, not the beeping, the computer.

Well, the USPS is on, but the ICBM is plugged into it as usual. I pressed the monitor and a PCB came out, so I put it right back in again.

Hello? Hello? Oh, there you are. What? What do you mean?

No, like I said, the ICBM is plugged in. I had a UBST in the slot, but I removed it.

What? OK...

OK, it's booting up now. Thank you so much!

"I have no idea what the guy on the other end said to her," says fish, "but I was very deeply impressed by a call center operator who was clearly both telepathic and omniscient."

Sharky isn't telepathic or omniscient, so I depend on you to send me your true tale of IT life at 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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