Sunday, March 04, 2007

Honesty best policy

Probably because I have spent so much time tapping away on keyboards and pressing buttons on computer screens "Just to see what happens", I tend to have a bit more confidence when it comes to fixing problems found on PCs in the office. This has translated into the dreaded "Computer Whizz" title, which is not deserved. I try to tell people they can do the same if they just use the Force. But they still come looking for help.

"Can you fix our projector?" I am asked.
"I'll take a look. What's its problem?"
"I can't get the remote to advance the pages in my presentation."

So I end up in an office with a 1,000,000 watt projector lamp shining on a wall where the paint is beginning to peel in the heat, poking at buttons on a remote control not unlike the one I use every night to watch my digital TV channels.

"Do you have the manual?" I ask.

A single printed page with labels pointing at a photo of the remote is produced. The labels say much the same thing as the labels already physically printed on the buttons of the remote control. The "OK" button is labelled "OK button", and so on.

"I haven't got a clue what's wrong," I say.

There is an audible intake of breath. Someone drops a teacup heavily onto the floor. I'm asked:

"You mean to tell me you don't know how to fix it...?"

"Absolutely not. Goodbye and good luck."

Yesterday I was asked how to remove Comments from a Word document. You know the type that the boss likes to add to a report that needs editing.

"Haven't got a baldy clue. Never used them before. Try the View menu, or something."

Then, to complete the hattrick of woe, someone asked me:

"I've lost the controls on the bottom of my spreadsheet. Can you get it back?"

I pressed the Maxmise button on the window and the controls re-appeared.

My reputation for perfection restored, I scurried back to my own office and basked in the beautiful music of the renewed songs of praise that echoed around the building in wonderful harmonies.

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