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    How To Make Them As Silent As A Mouse

    , | Allentown, PA, USA | Technology, Top

    (I work engineering support late in the evening.)

    Me: “Pennsylvania Support Center. How may I help you?”

    Caller: “The cleaning crew just came through my office, and now my mouse doesn’t work. The cursor just jumps all over the screen randomly when I move it. They broke my mouse. I need a new one.”

    Me: “You have a SPARCstation with an optical mouse, correct?”

    Caller: “Yes, with the cool glass mouse-pad.”

    (Old-school optical mice used to require special reflective mouse-pads with grids etched into their surfaces. To increase tracking resolution, the vertical and horizontal grids had slightly different spacing.)

    Me: “Did the cleaning crew wipe down your desk?”

    Caller: “Yes.”

    Me: “Did they move your mouse-pad?”

    Caller: “What does that have to do with anything?”

    Me: “Did your mouse-pad get rotated? Is the long edge of the mouse-pad now parallel to the edge of your desk?”

    Caller: “I really don’t see why that’s relevant. I just want a new mouse!”

    Me: “The orientation of the mouse-pad matters. The–”

    (The caller cuts me off and starts to yell. I realize that I can actually hear his voice coming from down the hall.)

    Caller: “Listen! Just open a ticket and have someone bring me a new mouse. I don’t have time for this. I design chips, so I know what I’m talking about. I probably designed the chip in the phone you’re stuck answering all day!”

    (I take off my headset, walk down the hall, and walk into his office up to his desk.)

    Caller: “…so don’t try to bulls*** me with, oh. Hold on, someone is in my office.”

    (I reach down, and rotate his mouse-pad 90 degrees. I move the mouse, and the cursor happily moves around the screen as expected. I walk out of his office, back down the hall, sit down at my desk, and put my headset back on.)

    Caller: *silence*

    Me: “Thank you for calling Pennsylvania Support Center. I trust I have resolved your case.”

    Caller: *silence*

    Me: “You will be receiving your ticket number via email. Thank you.”

    Caller: *click*