Tech Support

Hi Dave,

Peter Dawson told me you were the best person in the company to sort out a problem I have. My son’s Wii is acting up. I’m in town this afternoon for a board meeting, so if you can give me your ideas by three, that would be great.

Arthur Patrick
Director of Finance

Hi Arthur,

I’m flattered Peter Dawson recommended me. Flattered and a little surprised. I wasn’t aware that the I.T. director knew who I was. In fact I’ve built my career on management not being able to identify me. It makes scapegoating me so much harder.

Peter is correct. As I have a B Sc in Computing Science and Microsoft Certifications in database development, I am ideally suited to diagnosing and repairing your son’s games machine. It will make a pleasant change from keeping the corporation’s mission-critical database applications working. What seems to be the problem?

David Smith
(Dave to friends and directors)
Senior Database Developer and Games Machine Fixer

Hi Dave,

I didn’t mean for you to drop any urgent duties. If you could just ping me with how to fix the problem when you have a spare minute, that would be great. By three would be perfect.

Arthur Patrick
Director of Finance

Hi Arthur,

May I call you Art? Art and Dave. We sound like a team, don’t we? I’ve rescheduled my day to ensure the three o’clock deadline can be met. My team leader was a little short with me, but I reassured him you had authorised it. Having cleared my desk, I am poised now to concentrate on your problem. Your son must be going frantic by now. I hear Donkey Kong cold turkey can be excruciating. If you can let me know exactly what the problem is, I’ll turn my brain the size of a planet towards solving it.

Dave Smith
Senior Database Developer and Friend to the Stars

Dave,

I am not authorising any rescheduling of mission-critical operations. I am merely asking you, if you have some free time, if you can help me out.

My son tells me that the Internet keeps dropping out. It’s fine for ten minutes, but then he has to reboot? Does that sound right? He has to reboot to get it working again. If you know what this is, or can offer a solution, I’d appreciate it.

Arthur Patrick
Director of Finance

Art,

Okay, that sounds serious. It could well be Chlamydia. There’s a lot of it going about at the moment. It’s a computer virus that is most often picked up from porn sites. You say it’s your son’s Wii? That’s confusing, as it normally only infects pay sites. Surely your son hasn’t got a credit card, has he? Has anyone else been using the Wii?

Of course, it might not be Chlamydia at all, as I’ve only ever heard of it infecting PCs. It’s possible it could have been cross-infected, of course. Do you use your company laptop on your home network? If so, please feel free to forward it to me, along with any passwords you might use, and I’ll gladly disinfect it.

Dave
Senior Database Developer and Master of the Web

David,

Neither I nor my son surf porn sites. The Wii is set up in the living room, so there is no opportunity for any illicit browsing, and I resent the implication of your reply. In any case, my laptop has the company virus checker installed. If you can’t help me, fine. I just wanted to know as a favour.

Arthur Patrick
Director of Finance

Arthur

I see we are on a less informal footing now. I have regressed from Dave to David. As you can see, I’m a professional and am addressing you in like manner. Actually, you seem more of an Arthur than an Art to me anyway.

I didn’t mean to imply that you surfed porn sites. I merely posited the most likely diagnose following the symptoms that you described. Sometimes it’s easy to browse to the wrong site. I shan’t tell you what I discovered when I mistyped Hotmail, but it opened my eyes, I can tell you. Then I closed them again. Tight, but the after-image still remains.

If it’s not a virus, then it’s probably a hardware problem. If the KF70 is improperly seated, then the primary overflow buffer can be corrupted by the secondary indexes, and you know what that can mean. Fortunately it’s easy remedied using a Murphy clip.

There, problem solved. And it’s not even three. I do hope this ‘favour’ will be remembered at staff appraisal time, as my team leader is very unsympathetic about your son’s problem.

Regards

Mr David Smith, B.Sc.
Senior Database Developer and Miracle Worker

David,

Thanks. Again, I never authorised any rescheduling of company business.

What is a Murphy clip? Does it come with the Wii?

Arthur Patrick
Director of Finance

Arthur

I understand. No rescheduling. Plausible deniability.

Murphy clips aren’t supplied with the Wii. I wasn’t sure, so I phoned around various outlets. Eventually I got through to their lab in Japan, and they not only confirmed that Murphy clips were not supplied, but since the latest remods, were ineffective anyway. I’m glad I wasn’t using my own phone.

Oh no, I hear you cry. Back to square one. Not so, I utter in rebuttal. All you need to do is take the casing off the Wii. You’ll need a Philips screwdriver for that. One of the screws is hidden behind a ‘do not remove’ sticker. Don’t take any notice of that.

The KF70 is situated on the motherboard. It can be easily identified because it’s next to the R2D2 unit. Simply pull it free of the motherboard. You might need two of you, because it’s normally so secure it might almost be soldered there. Then reseat it in the socket. You might need a little hammer to seat it firmly enough.

There. Simple.

David Smith
Senior Database Developer and Hardware Guru

David,

Won’t that invalidate the guarantee? I am reluctant to interfere with the electronics.

Arthur Patrick
Director of Finance

Arthur,

Yes, it will invalidate the guarantee, but don’t you want to live on the edge, sometimes? Have you ever thought that there might be something exciting out there, even more exciting than the wonderful world of finance? Throw off your shackles, Arthur. Take a risk once in a while. Life is so much more exciting if you do.

Alternatively, as the Wii is still in guarantee, why don’t you consider reporting this problem to the retail outlet that supplied you with the thing in the first place, and stop bothering me with your son’s lack of a social life?

David Smith
Senior Database Designer and dangerous to know

David,

All I asked was a favour. If you didn’t want to help, you could have said no. Instead, you chose to be as obstructive and rude as possible. You might well get away with this arrogance with end users, but you must be aware that I am a company director. I strongly feel your attitude is incompatible with the company ethic. I shall be addressing this issue with the I.T. director this afternoon. I suggest you ensure that all your personal belongings are gathered together before you leave.

Arthur Patrick
Director of Finance

Arthur

I could question whether using company time and resources to resolve personal issues is in line with the company ethic, but I won’t. I could ask whether rules that apply to us underlings apply to directors as well, but I won’t. I have been questioning, however, how it was that Peter Dawson knew my name. I think I have the answer. He probably saw my letter of resignation a few weeks ago.

My personal belongings are indeed gathered together. I start work in my new employ on Monday. Good luck with the Wii.

Fondest Regards
David Smith
Ex Senior Database Developer and Free Spirit

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About snodlander
Snodlander is the nom de plume of Bob Simms. He is an IT trainer, but it's not as glamourous as it sounds. When he's not enthralling classes with adventures through SQL Server, he writes, draws and drinks his own home-brew. Buy his novel on Amazon Kindle at The Young Demon Keeper, It's 74p, for crying out loud!

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