PEBCAK, Episode VI

| MO, USA | Learning | March 11, 2013

(I am a student worker at a college IT department. Most of our calls come from older professors who often have trouble with their machines. This call comes from a student.)

Me: “Hello, this is [school] IT department. What can I do for you today?”

Student: “Hello, yes, I’m trying to give a presentation in [classroom] but the projector won’t connect! It won’t show any image, you have to come right now!”

Me: “Thank you for calling, I’ll be right over.”

(I go to the classroom, and indeed, the projector says it can’t find any source. I check all the wiring, double check the projector, all while the class is waiting and the student is ranting.)

Student: “I can’t believe this! IT never gets anything right! I’m going to send out an email to the whole school about this! Why can’t you get it to work? I have to give this presentation!”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry, but everything is hooked up correctly, it should be working.”

Professor: “Well, I guess we’ll just have to push all the presentations back.”

(I suddenly realized I just assumed that someone my own age would know how to operate a computer, so I fall back on what I would do if this were a professor problem and go to open the cabinet where the computer tower is. I start to laugh as I realize the computer isn’t even turned on! I press the power button, and sure enough, the projector shows the start-up screen.)

Student: “You got it to work! What did you do? What was wrong with it?”

Me: “You didn’t turn on the computer.”

(The rest of the class laughs and the student sheepishly thanks me and logs on to the computer as I leave.)


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