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, , , , | Working | November 15, 2018

(I work as a network specialist for a large manufacturing company. One day my supervisor receives a call from a very irate secretary saying that a certain VIP’s computer is not turning on and he is furious. He is in his office that he uses once a year; he is an overseas executive for the company. My supervisor sees that I am the only person in the office at the moment and asks me to take care of it. Naturally, I want to know exactly what the problem is before I drive across the manufacturing plant, so I call the secretary back.)

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name] from the IT department. I was told that [VIP]’s computer is not working; what exactly seems to be the problem?”

Secretary: “Yes, he is furious. He came in and the computer would not turn on. He wants his computer working by the time he comes back. You’d better come out here immediately; he has the power to fire everyone in your entire department.”

Me: “Um, okay. Well, before I come out there, I need to know exactly what is not working. Are you in front of the computer right now?”

Secretary: “Just come fix it, right now!”

Me: “Ma’am, I will gladly come out there to work on it, but I need to know exactly what the problem is, so I know what I might need to bring with me. Are you in front of the computer right now?”

(She sighs, and I can hear her get up and walk around.)

Secretary: “Fine. Now what?”

Me: “What happens when you press the power button on the computer?”

Secretary: “Nothing!”

Me: “Can you please press it now for me?”

Secretary: “Nothing happened. Just come fix it.”

Me: “Nothing? Did any lights come on? Did the button flash amber, or white, or blue, or anything?”

Secretary: “No, nothing.”

Me: “Will you press it again and watch the button for me?”

Secretary: “Okay, it flashed yellow and turned off.”

Me: “Okay, keep watching.”

Secretary: “Okay, it flashed white… Now it’s steady white.”

Me: “Okay, please look at the monitor.”

Secretary: “Oh, it’s on. What did you do?”

Me: “Don’t worry, ma’am; it was just a PEBCAK error. It should be fine now.”

(My supervisor literally face-palmed when I told him. He laughed when he read my report, in which I actually used “PEBCAK error.”)

PEBCAK, Episode VI
PEBCAK, Episode V

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