'Please label things so I can tell the difference between a mouse and a microphone'

Can we suggest the label 'idiot' for this uppity user? And share a classic Trek vid?

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On-Call Thank the Valar it's Friday, because that means it is time to share another of your peers' tales of stupid things happening at work in our weekly On-Call feature.

This week, reader DC brings us a tale from his time on the service desk at a large publishing company.

“One afternoon the personal assistant for one of the directors came storming into the IT department very irate that the mouse for the computer in the boardroom wasn't working,” DC recalls. “The directors had a very important meeting starting in five minutes,” said the assistant, who then offered some mutterings about “typical that IT not working 'as usual', IT should just work” and other highly-motivating stuff you'd expect when a team pulls together in moments of crisis.

DC says “I took myself over to the boardroom and asked the assistant to show me the problem.” The assistant “proceeded to walk over to the desk microphone for the teleconference unit, which which was also on the desk, and wiggle it about.

"See,” the assistant huffed, “it doesn't work - it needs to be fixed NOW."

DC did so immediately by finding the conference room PC, locating its mouse and giving it a twitch.

“Lo and behold the mouse cursor on the conference room projector moved accordingly,” DC tells us.

But the assistant “still tried to put the blame on IT.”

“How am I meant to know the difference between a mouse and a microphone?”You should put labels on these things so we know what they are."

"You want me to label a mouse?" was DC's disdainful reply.

Next, he says, came “one of those awkward moments that could have come straight out of an episode of The Office.”

The whole incident reminds On-Call of a segment in Star Trek IV: The Journey Home. Let's roll tape.

Youtube Video

But back to DC's story, which he says eventually got even weirder because “my next support ticket was asking IT to reboot the internet.”

We'll get to that one another day. For now, if Trek has come to life in your office, or you have tales of users asking for really dumb stuff, write and tell us your story. Who knows, you could end up in a future On-Call! ®


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