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    That’s (Not) One Smart Cookie

    , | Colorado Springs, CO, USA | Technology, Top

    (I work at a university library and we sometimes get calls about our online databases not working. 90% of the time, it’s due to cookies not being enabled.)

    Me: “[Library], this is [name], how can I help you?”

    Patron: “Yeah, hi, I can’t get [database] to work.”

    Me: “All right, do you know if you have cookies enabled?”

    Patron: “I don’t know.”

    Me: “Okay, ma’am, open the internet and click on—”

    (I proceed to walk her through enabling cookies. After each step, I wait for the confirming “okay” from her.)

    Me: “…and that’s it! Does the page work now?”

    Patron: “No.”

    Me: “Did you enable the cookies?”

    Patron: “No, but I did close the internet! It should work when I open it again, right?”

    Me: “No, ma’am. We need to apply a setting.”

    (I proceed to explain the process a second time, this time asking if she completed the step after each one.)

    Me: “Okay, try to open the page again. Does it work?”

    Patron: “No.”

    Me: “Did you allow the cookies?”

    Patron: “No. I closed everything.”

    Me: “Okay, ma’am, please click—”

    Patron: “This is frustrating! It should work if I restart the internet. I need [database] for class. Why won’t it work?”

    Me: “As I’ve already said, you need to enable cookies.”

    (We go through this process a third time.)

    Patron: “I can’t do this. I need to speak to someone else. I don’t want to talk to you anymore!”

    Me: “All right, ma’am, the librarian is right here. I hope she can help. Have a nice day.”

    (I happily give the phone over to my boss, who at this point is giving me the “I will kill you for making me talk to this person” glare.)