Part of the problem with resisting the lure of management is that I still find myself chained to a phone from time to time.
Take last Friday for example…
Me: I.T. Support, this is Clem.
User: Hi Ken. My printer isn’t working.
Me: Ok. When did it stop working?
User: Yesterday sometime.
Me: Ok. Is this an escalation? Did you call it in then?
User: Well, I saw Frank at a restaurant while I was out for lunch and I told him. He should have taken care of it!
Me: Uh… Ok. Nevermind. Lets talk about that printer. Whats wrong?
User: Its my receipt printer. It only prints on one line and wont pull the paper.
Me: Ok. Is it doing anything else strange?
User: Sometimes it does kind of pull the paper, but then it isn’t lined up and gets jammed.
Me: Great. Its one of the dot matrix printers, right?
User: Can you give me a newer one?
Me: I guess that means yes. Can you tell me if there is a lever on top of the printer?
User: Oh. I’m not next to the printer right now. Should I be next to the printer?
Me: Yes please.
User: I’ll have to put you on hold.
Me: That’s fine. I’ll be here.
*five minutes of hold music*
User: Hello? Who is this?
Me: Its Clem with I.T. Are you near the printer?
User: Oh! I was just talking to Ken! Sorry. I checked email and I saw I had an email from my husband and another from my boss that were really important so I…
*I expire her account while she’s explaining what she is doing*
User: …and I’ll just be a minute my husband emailed me back. Hey! Email just stopped working!
Me: Boy. That’s strange. We’ll have to make sure we look at that as soon as we finish with the printer.
User: Uh… Ok. Please hold.
*one minute of hold music*
User: I’m at the printer now.
Me: Great! Can you take a look at the lever on top of the printer for me?
User: Its in the middle.
Me: What does that position say?
User: Uh, it has a picture of the printer and paper on it. There are two other pictures too at the front and back, and they have words underneath the pictures.
User: I don’t know how to describe those pictures.
Me: That’s Ok. Can you describe the words underneath the pictures please?
User: Sure! Its on bottom right now, and the other two say top and rear.
Me: Great. Change it to rear.
*I hear the printer start printing*
User: But now it isn’t lined up!
Me: That’s fine. We didn’t need to try printing yet. Our next step is to take the paper out and reload it.
*I hear the printer start printing again!*
Me: Did it line up?
User: How did you know I printed?
Me: I have a fifth sense.
User: Can you see what I’m doing on the screen right now?
Me: We’ll fix your email in a minute.
User: I knew it!
Me: I’m just guessing. Did it print?
User: Yes! Its fixed!
Me: Ok. Just remember that the printer prefers rear entry.
*I turn her account back on*
User: Hey! Email is working again. Thanks bye!
*she hangs up the phone without waiting for a response*
*I dial up another I.T. guy*
Me: Hey, why did you transfer that call to me?
IT Guy: Sorry man, I just couldn’t deal with her again.
Me: Oh? Why not?
IT Guy: She keeps fucking with her printer and wants me to go down there and fix it when she messes up the alignment or moves the levers around.
Me: Huh. I guess she really doesn’t like rear entry.
*I hear a crashing sound as the phone is dropped*
Me: Hello? Are you ok?
IT Guy: Dude.
Me: The thing I cant figure out is if she doesn’t like rear entry, why does she put it on bottom instead?
IT Guy: I got to go.
*he hangs up the phone*
So few people truly appreciate a good pun.