Yeah, what took so long?

Support pilot fish arrives at the office, and for the moment he's running solo. "Two of our four-man team are out on disability, and the other had personal business to take care of before coming in," he says.

"An e-mail arrives at the help desk marked 'urgent.' Since I'm feeling like going the extra mile and putting out all the fires before my supervisor gets in, I check it out, ready to address it."

And it looks simple enough: "I need access to the color printer, please provide immediately."

Fish knows that the printers are mapped automatically and everyone should have access to print to this printer. It must be that this user wants to use the scanner on it. He sets the user up for that, and then double checks to make sure that's what she needed.

Return message: "No, I need to print to that printer, and it's not there!"

Fish quickly makes a hyperlink to a script that will clear and then remap the printer, and then gives the user step-by-step instructions with bullet points telling her how to make it work. Then he sends off the message, closes the ticket and goes to work on several other problems.

"Everyone else I've done this for never had a problem following my directions, so I think nothing of it," says fish. "After all, this user has been with the company for 15 years, and she should know her way around the computer she's had for three years."

But a few minutes later, fish gets an e-mail from the user: "It didn't work, the printer doesn't show up!"

Figuring the user didn't perform the key step of closing out all windows of the program she's using, fish simplifies it to three steps: "click here" and wait a minute, reboot, and try again.

Two minutes later, the reply: "Listen, it's not working!"

Fish knows that that what this user is doing will most likely make the company more money than his projects. Annoyed and feeling defeated, he heads to her desk.

"Upon arrival, I find that she sent the e-mail before she rebooted and the system has just come back up," fish says. "Everything is working as it should. I even show her that it's working by printing the document she was failing to print.

"Going back to my desk, I forward the e-mail exchange to my supervisors with only a sigh as my comment, expecting a review from her for horrible customer service."

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