Oh god, this call...
So this caller was having a problem with the <client> mail program. The client has started rolling out a new version of the program, and the luser had recently got the upgrade. Now he had a problem. His workspace-- with all of the various links to databases and whatnot that he uses for his job-- was missing.
Not a problem, I thought. This is a fairly common issue for the upgraded users, and we have a workaround in place while the problem is being addressed. This shouldn't take me long, I thought.
I thought wrong.
This was pretty much a call I could have gotten done in five minutes, factoring in time for the user to follow my verbal instructions to verify some information before sending him the fix.
Unfortunately, this luser could not comprehend my instructions.
J2K: "All right, click on the Open button on the left side of the tab bar."
L: "Open button?
J2K: "It's up at the top, on the far left side, opens a drop-down menu. Does 'Workspace' appear in that menu?"
L: "Uh..." (pause) "Um..." (pause)
Then Luser starts reading off some kind of new-user information screen, leaving me utterly confused for about half a minute before I realize he's not pressing the button I'm asking him to press, instead looking at the 'welcome to <new version>' screen that upgraded users see when opening the mail program for the first time.
So I manage to get him to press the Open button. And he confirms that he does not have 'Workspace' in the menu that opens up. Right. That confirms what I needed to know, so I send him the fix, a link in an email that, when pressed, will take him to his Workspace.
I ask him to open up his mailbox and open the email.
L: "Uh... I don't see it."
J2K: "It should be at the top of your mail box. Titled 'Workspace link.'"
L: "Yeah... uh... I don't see it."
J2K: "Right there at the top of your mail box. From Jay Winger. Titled 'Workspace link'?"
L: "It's not there."
We go around in circles for a minute or so, even allowing for the extra time it might take for it to show up in his inbox. Finally, I decide enough is enough. I asked him if I could remote assist so I could help him out. He agrees.
J2K: "All right. If you could read me your workstation ID..."
L: "Where's that?"
J2K: "It should be in a <color> banner on the top or side of your desktop. The banner reads <blah blah>..."
L: "I don't see it."
J2K: "<color> banner. Top or side of your desktop screen?"
L: "I don't see it."
J2K: "All right, check the front of your CPU. There should be a sticker on the front that has <blah blah> on it..."
L: "...okay, I see it."
J2K: (Thank god.) "Read it off to me?"
L: "It says <blah blah blah>."
J2K: "All right. I'm remoting into your workstation now..."
So I remote in. First thing I see when I remote in? Right there on the side of his desktop screen, the <color> banner I was talking about. I hover the mouse cursor over it and explain to him that's what I had been asking for, for future reference.
Then I go into the mail program. Double-check the Open menu, and sure enough, Workspace is missing. So then I click on the Home tab, which should allow me to open his mailbox. What do I see when I click the Home tab?
But all right. I have to give this guy a fix, and I'm gonna do it. So I open his mailbox (the button on the Workspace showed '0' new mails), and badda bing, there's the mail I sent him. I open it up, click the link, and it takes me right back to his 'Home' tab. I create a bookmark to it so he can find it in the Open menu-- and show him as well how to find it again.
The luser thanks me and we hang up.
What should have been a five minute call, tops, took me fifteen minutes to resolve.
Baka Soku Zan!