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    Doing Right(click) By The Aged

    | Montreal, QC, Canada | Technology, Top

    (I work for a company that produces a word processing software, which I am supporting.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling technical support. Can I have your case number?”

    (The customer provides the information. Just by the voice, I know the customer is an older lady. Usually, this means a 45+ minutes call, just because of the technology challenges.)

    Me: “Could you right-click on the start button?”

    Customer: “Okay, I have programs, documents, settings—”

    Me: “That’s left-clicking. Could you please right-click on the start button?”

    Customer: “Okay, but I still get programs, documents, settings.”

    Me: “Could you describe to me, visually and step by step, what you are doing?”

    Customer: “I’m putting the mouse cursor over the right part of the word ‘start’, and I click.”

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry; I was not clear. Is it possible for you to click using the right mouse button?”

    Customer: “What do you mean?”

    Me: “Okay, please pick up your mouse by the wire, and hold it up in the air.”

    Customer: “I feel stupid.”

    Me: “No, ma’am, you’re not. We’re all starting from different points. I’m a geek, so it’s normal if I’m a bit ahead of the curve, as far as this stuff goes. I just need to make sure that we’re on a level field, here.”

    Customer: “Okay, it’s in the air.”

    Me: “Great! Between your wire and your palm-resting are—”

    Customer: “What do you mean?”

    Me: “Okay, put it flat again, and put your hand on your mouse, as if to use it.”

    Customer: “Oh, I get it, the place where my palm is resting.”

    Me: “Exactly. Pick it up again. Between the wire and the palm-resting area, there is an area that is divided vertically. How many sections are there?”

    Customer: “Two”

    Me: “Great! Ma’am, I would like to formally introduce you to your left mouse button and your right mouse button. So when I ask you to right-click—”

    Customer: “You want me to use the right mouse button!”

    Me: “You’re a smart one!”

    (It turns out that the older lady is 96 years old. She was doing her shuffleboard association’s newsletter, and her software had become thoroughly corrupted and needed to be reinstalled. We spend over an hour and a half. This lady had seen the advent of movies, TV, color TV, had seen the Model T, saw the first planes, radio and all. When I will be 96 years old, I just hope I am as technologically savvy as she is!)