A Real Browser Wowser

, , , , , | Right | December 27, 2019

(I work in a library.)

Customer: “Can you help me send an email through my IM?”

(“Here we go,” I think.)

Me:  “Let me take a look at your screen.”

(The customer has Yahoo IM up.)

Me: “You can’t send an email through an IM; you can do instant messaging and chat back and forth instantaneously on IM. Do you have an email address through the yahoo website?”

Customer: “I think so. I don’t know. I just want to send an email through my IM!”

Me: “Well, let’s open up a web browser and take a look. If you want to send a detailed message, an email through an email client is the best option.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “You can choose the icon that looks like an E, the swirling fox, or the colorful circle.”

(The customer clicks on Internet Explorer.)

Me: “Oh, you’ll need to double-click.”

Customer: “Double-click?”

(How did he open the IM?)

Me: “Oh, yes, you have to click twice, very quickly.”

(The customer gets it open after a couple of tries. To speed things along, I start pointing to where he needs to click.)

Me: “Okay, now you need to type in your username.”

Customer: “I think it’s [First Name][Last Name]@yahoo-dot-com.

Me: “Are you sure your password is right?”

Customer: “Yes. Maybe that’s not my name?”

(I hope he means username.)

Me: “Okay, a trick I like to try is to use nicknames, periods and underscores to figure out if your username is a different combination. People have so many usernames these days it’s hard to keep them apart.”

(We try several combinations. The customer starts to squirm.)

Me: “Let’s try to retrieve your username from Yahoo. What’s your alternate email address?”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t have another email address. Hey, maybe it’s with Google! I had a Google email a while ago.”

(So, we try accessing a Google account with various combinations of his name. Nothing works.)

Me: “I think your best option is to create a new email address and write it down right away.”

Customer: “I have to send my email! I am being hired at [Company] and I have to get into the email they sent me at the Yahoo address they set up for me.”

Me: “I see. The only thing you can do now is to call your employer or call Yahoo’s customer service. I’m sorry about that.”

(He wandered away with the number from Yahoo and I decided to avoid doing business with [Company].)

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