Broken computer or operator error?

25242_3732A friend of mine’s elderly mother experienced “car trouble”.  She backed up out of her drive accross the street and into the ditch.  Finding herself in the ditch she thought “The steering must have gone out!”  Leaving the car in the ditch she went into the house to call her son for help.  Upon his arrival she explained that something in the car had broken. So like a good son he crossed the street to inspect.  He got in turned the key and it started.  He turned the steering wheel and the wheels turned.  He put it in drive and pulled the car across the street and back into the drive.  His mother of course asked “What was wrong?”  My friend replied, “Nothing much, just a short between the seat and the steering wheel.”  True story.

The tech application?  How many customer service type calls do you field from friends and family about “broken computers” that turn out to be a short between “the seat and the keyboard”?  Here is what usually replays for about 80% of my contacts.

  1. Your computer isn’t working?  “Yes . . .yada yada yada . . . MAYBE I JUST NEED A NEW COMPUTER.”
  2. Well I don’t think it is that severe. “Well I’ve tried everything.  It’s never worked right from the beginning.”  (Two problems here is that they tried to fix it and made it worse, and the mentality that suddenly it has NEVER worked correctly.)
  3. I’m pretty sure we can get it straightened out. “I knew you could you are a computer whiz.  Why I was just telling. . . .”  (Used to give me good feelings now my eyes just roll.)
  4. Ok what happened is that you did this and this and this. “No I didn’t!  You mean that I caused this?  I hate these things.  Why don’t they make them . . . .”
  5. So click on the “X” in the upper right hand corner of that window.  “What is a window?”

So my thesis of offering computer support?  Most of the time it is a short between the seat and the steering wheel.