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User spent 20 minutes trying to move mouse cursor, without success

Citizen sysadmin saved the day after kids got lost without lasers

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, in which The Register brings you readers’ tales of tech support traumas.

This week, meet “Wanda”, who found herself called upon to some citizen sysadminnery when shopping.

Wanda’s story started with a broken mobile phone and a desire to replace it.

Said desire took her into a retail outlet where a clerk started to type in her details and set the transaction in motion.

For the first few minutes of the transaction Wanda assumed her request was just one of those things that took a while.

“I waited patiently, making small talk,” Wanda told On-Call. But after 20 minutes she figured something was awry and “asked about the computer and what type of problem she was having.”

Automatic teller machine

Don’t talk to the ATM, young man, it’s just a machine and there’s nobody inside


“She was very nice and apologetic, but told me the cursor wouldn't go where she wanted.”

Despite this incident taking place a good few years into the 2000s, Wanda suspected mouse ball fuzz.

So she “worked across the counter, and had her dismantle the mouse. One of her co-workers came over to see what's up and they made various ‘eeeww - gross’ comments and fetched the Windex.”

“In a short time the mouse was working properly, and two millennials now had a history lesson in mouse balls.”

Have you had to do some citizen sysadminnery out in the real world? If so, click here to write to On-Call with your story and we’ll try to give it a run on a future Friday. ®

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