NPR Is Reading My Email (from Tom)
I was on a teleconference one day and saw another call coming through. It was Heather Jenkins, a fairly common caller to tech support, so I decided to send the call to voicemail. Whatever it was, it could wait.

As soon as my new voicemail indicator lit up, the phone rang again. It was Heather, so I sent the call to voicemail.

Moments later, the phone rang yet again. Guess who was calling. Since I was in the middle of the teleconference, I ignored it for the third time.

And then a new email popped up. "Tom, it's Heather, I need to talk to you pronto!!"

After my call ended, I dialed up Heather. In a frightened whisper, she explained that she had been listening to NPR while working and then noticed that, all of a sudden, NPR was reading aloud her email.

I was a little confused and asked her to elaborate.

"I know this sounds crazy," she said, "but one of the NPR newscasters is reading my email… live on the air… as I type it!"

I dropped everything and raced to her desk.

Wide-eyed and fearful, Heather opened up a new email and demonstrated this phenomenon.

I pointed out to her that she had Windows Narrator running. After explaining to her what Narrator is and how it works, she was momentarily relieved that the nefarious security agents of the NPR were not looking over her shoulder and broadcasting her Deep Thoughts.

And then she accusingly challenged me to explain how Narrator could have started itself.

 

Just Fix It! (from John Murphy)
I used to work as a night shift support agent for a web hosting company. We rarely saw our daytime counterparts, but we always sent a "sign off" email if anything needed to be addressed in the next shift. For fun, I sent the following message to the day tech before I left:

Subject: Issues

Just fix whatever the hell has broken!!

Except, instead of sending it to the day tech, I accidently emailed it H-Sphere Support, the vendor we use for our hosting automation software. Of course, the only way I realized this mistake was because I received an email about two hours later.

Subject: RE: Issues

I'm sorry we didn't catch it earlier, but 
we fixed the config on the java proxy service 
and everything is working now!

I have to say I was impressed. Sure, everyone has bugs in their software... but to fixed one we didn't even know we had based on a vague, somewhat rude email... now that's support.

 

The Engineer's Log (from Gabriel Luci)
Following is the log entry of a ticket that was submitted for a highly-paid Sr. Engineer:

**April 29, 2009 2:06:25 PM Marc**
Client has a gel pad type device that he requires 
assistance in setting up.  Please provide onsite 
assistance for the client.

Client has requested to have an email sent to him to 
schedule a time to resolve the request.

**May 1, 2009 8:05:21 AM Sally**
on my way to 2sc, I will see if he is at his desk.

**May 1, 2009 9:31:12 AM Sally**
device was a gell mouse pad. I took it out of the 
package and placed it on the desk.

### Ticket Closed May 1, 2009 9:31:12

 

Weekend Support (from Leif Davisson)
 

No matter how many pages of guides and manuals we write, our users always manage to find an area that we didn't cover. This is especially the case when someone takes a laptop home for remote work.

"My password isn't working," a recent weekend call I took started, "I think it's this keyboard."

"Without telling me your password," I responded, "why do you think it's the keyboard?"

"Well my password is sunshine1911," she said, "and I always type it in s-u-n-s-h-i-n-e then 1-9-1-1."

"Okay?" I questioned.

"There's no way for me to type 1-9-1-1 on this thing!"

After several minutes of back-and-forth, she swore up-and-down that the keyboard didn't have a 1, 2, 3, 4, or any of the other number keys. Only a F1, F2, F3, and so on.

All of our laptops are standard Dells, so it seemed a bit strange that hers had no number keys. She insisted hers had none, which we'd have to wait until Monday to resolve the issue.

First thing Monday morning, she brought her laptop over and pointed past the right of the keyboard. "See," she said, "this one doesn't have any numbers!"

She was a bit embarrassed when I pointed out the rows of numbers in between the letters and F-keys. At least we had something more to add to our manuals.