Why we still do deskside tech support

IT tech for a midsize school district gets a trouble ticket from a high school teacher: She can't get a DVD out of her classroom's DVD/VCR combo player.

"This combo unit is about seven years old and due for replacement, along with the other 150-odd units, so I was sort of expecting these calls," says fish.

"I called and told her I'd be right down. I was thinking maybe the motor for the disc tray quit, or maybe it was simply stuck. Most of our high school teachers are tech savvy, but there are enough technophobes that I couldn't risk an over-the-phone service call.

"Upon arriving at the classroom, I started by explaining that I need to cover all my diagnostic bases. Just for the sake of completeness, I said, can you try and eject the disc, please?

"She said, 'What?'

"I rephrased my question: Pointing at the eject button on the front, I said, have you tried pressing the eject button?

"Her response was, 'Oh...that button?'

"She teaches cooking, which means she's in charge of sharp knives, stoves and 25 students. I didn't know whether to laugh, cry or cringe -- and I did all those things, but in my office, not in front of her."

Laughing, crying or cringing? You've probably got a story for Sharky. Send it to me at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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