Is it the appendix? The spleen? The intestine?

Application analyst pilot fish at this hospital is responsible for clinical support systems -- but he's also in the weekly rotation for handling remote support calls.

"In the calls and voice mails we get, the user's description doesn't always -- or even usually -- state the actual issue," says fish.

"In this case, the 2 a.m. voice mail that had been left was that a nurse was having problems with patient orders. The tech had passed it to me without further triage."

Fish: Hello, I am responding to a voice mail regarding a computer issue. Is this Ms. Slaghoople?

User: "The thing on my computer stopped working."

Fish: Which thing, ma'am?

User: "The thing attached to the computer."

Fish: Yes?

User: "So I can see the patient orders."

Fish: You mean the monitor?

User: "What?"

Fish: The TV?

User: "No, so I can put my password in."

Fish: The keyboard?

User: "No. I am busy. I don't have time to play these games. I can't move the arrow so I can get the line into the box for the password."

Fish: You are saying the mouse is not working?

User: "What?"

Fish: The oval-shaped thing with the buttons?

User: "Yes."

Fish: I'll have tech support bring a new one as soon as possible.

User: "What do I do in the meantime? I am busy."

Fish: I'm sorry, but is there another computer available in the area?

User: "The one next to me is not being used. I will move over."

Reports fish, "I called tech support to relay the message. The tech ran to the floor with the replacement.

"Turns out she is left-handed, and was using the mouse for the computer to her left."

Sharky knows exactly what's wrong: not enough stories. So send me your true tales of IT life right now at sharky@computerworld.com? You'll get a stylish Shark shirt every time I use one. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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