Top secret

When you said, ‘Door,’ you could have been more specific.

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Computerworld / IDG

It’s back when 5-inch floppy disks roamed the Earth, and a customer service tech sends a software update to a customer known to be a bit more than a little computer-challenged, says a pilot fish in the know. This involves physically mailing a stack of disks to the customer, along with a note saying to call the tech when she’s ready to install the update.

When the call comes, the tech is prepared to walk her through the installation step by step. After getting the computer booted up and verifying that the user has located disk No. 1, the tech says, “Insert the floppy disk into the disk drive, with the label facing up.”

Customer: “Done.”

Tech: “Type ‘A,’ and press the Enter key.”

Customer: “It says that the drive isn’t ready.”

Tech: “Is the door closed?”

Customer: “Not yet; hold on a sec.” And over the phone, the tech can hear the sounds of an office chair squeaking, footsteps, a thump, then more footsteps. “OK, the door is closed now.”

Tech: “Did you just close your office door?”

Customer: “Yes. That’s what you wanted me to do, isn’t it?”

Tech: “I meant close the little door that holds the floppy disk in the disk drive.”

Customer: “Oh! I thought you were about to have me type something confidential, like a password.” 

In relating the story to the rest of the office later that day, the tech had to admit: “Really, it made perfect sense from her point of view.”

Shut the door, close the blinds and type up your confidential true tales of IT life. Then send them to Sharky at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

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