You Couldn’t Print This Up

, , , , , | Working | October 16, 2017

(I am working retail while going through school for computer science. Coming into work one day, however, I notice that the printer isn’t working, which means that I can’t print off the signs I need to print. Keep in mind I’m about 16 at the time.)

Me: “What happened?”

Boss: “The printer stopped working overnight. We phoned IT in earlier today. They took a look and said the parts are completely fried and it’ll need a full replacement.”

Me: “Really? It was working fine yesterday. Give me five minutes with it. I’ll see if I can fix it, and if I can’t I’ll leave it be.”

Boss: “Are you sure? You’re still learning, while IT has their certification.”

Me: “Of course, but it’s very easy to overlook something. Five minutes is all I ask.”

(She gives me the green light and I get to work. After some short troubleshooting, I find out that somebody has unplugged the cord connecting it to the computer. I plug it in, test, and sure enough, the printer is working just fine again, with no sign of damage.)

Me: “I found the problem. Somebody unplugged it.”

(My boss comes to the printer and looks. Sure enough, nothing matches how IT described it.)

Boss: *laughing* “All right, I’m going to have to phone IT and let them know that our printer is fine, and that our un-certified 16-year-old part-time employee fixed what they couldn’t.”

Not Speaking The Same Programming Language

, , , , | Working | October 13, 2017

(It is the mid 80s, and I have a coworker come to me with two full pages of computer programming source code.)

Coworker: “Hey, can you help me with this? This function is not working right.”

Me: “Sure. What’s it do?”

Coworker: “Well, on the first line I copy…” *drones on for a few seconds about stuff I can clearly read*

Me: “Wait! Let me interrupt for a moment. I can read the code. In 20 words or less, what does this do?

Coworker: *long pause that tells me he’s having trouble seeing the forest for the trees* “It, um, converts a date that’s a string to three integers: month, day, and year.”

Me: “Ah! Excellent. And by the time you get the string, has it been sanitized? You know, guaranteed to be pairs of digits with a slash in-between, not blanks or words or other garbage?”

Coworker: “Oh, yeah, all the user input is cleaned up.”

Me: “Okay, good.”

(I scribble “sscanf(text, “%02d/%02d/%02d”, &month, &day, &year);” in a blank spot on the page.)

Me: “Throw out everything and replace it with that.”

Coworker: “You’re kidding.”

Me: “Not at all. Use that. It’ll work. Trust me.”

Coworker: *not sure* “Well, okay.”

(Half an hour later he’s back and looking a bit sheepish.)

Coworker: “That worked. Thanks.”

Me: “No problem.”

(It’s been 30 years. Unfortunately, the new generation of programmers is in the same spot.)

An Apple A Day Keeps The Scammer Away

, , , | Working | October 11, 2017

Scammer: *on the phone* “Hello, I am [Name] from Microsoft Support. Unfortunately, we have received a report of your computer being infected and will need to fix it right away. Are you close to your computer?”

Me: “I am now.”

Scammer: *on the phone* “Is it on?”

Me: “Hold on. I’ll start it up.”

(I put the phone close to my iMac computer and turn it on. It makes the famous Apple start-up noise.)

Scammer: *click*

A Hurricane Of Email Fails

, , , , , | Right | October 6, 2017

(It is just days after Hurricane Irma, and while our store has power again, we unfortunately don’t have phone or Internet because our provider is experiencing huge outages across the state. We have signs up on both doors stating that the Internet is down, and signs on both rental computers stating the same thing. A girl who looks to be in her early 20s comes in and sits down at one of the rental computers.)

Me: “I can get you logged on, but just so you’re aware, we don’t have any Internet right now.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s fine; I just need to print something off real quick.”

Me: “Do you have it on a flash drive?”

Customer: “No, it’s in my email. Why?”

Me: “Our Internet isn’t working right now.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s okay. I don’t need the Internet; I just need my email.”

My Partner Is Not So Smart (Phone)

, , , , , , | Romantic | October 3, 2017

(I have just gotten a new cellphone, and am entering numbers into it.)

Girlfriend: “You should put your number in there, in case you lose it!”

Me: “Good idea!” *I start to add a new number, then stop.* “Wait… how would that help me?”

Girlfriend: “Well, if you left your phone here, I could call you!”

Me: “But if I put the number into my phone… and you have my phone… how will you call me?”

Girlfriend: “By calling your number!”

Me: “But if you’re calling my phone, and you HAVE MY PHONE…”

(We went back and forth a couple more times before she realized that putting my cell number in my cell wouldn’t be as useful as she first thought.)

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