But it won’t turn on!

Welcome to Tuesday!

Tonight I will tell a story of a user and technician who got so confused.

Remote support is challenging sometimes.  Especially when a computer is out of commission.  If you can turn a computer on, likely, I can remote control it to fix any issue very easily and efficiently.  But if that first step doesn’t work so well, that is when things get interesting.

The dead battery

This story comes from when I worked for that parts distributer.  One of the most aggressive and foul mouthed individual was calling in because his laptop would not turn on.  And guess who got this lucky call?  You got it.  Me.

The conversation began with him saying something along the lines of “my f* computer won’t turn on!”  This was my first time supporting this user and so you can imagine my surprise.  I immediately jump into triage mode as trained by Comptia A+ certification.

First I ask him what message (if any) he is seeing on his screen.  Now, I can’t see him through the phone, but I imagine he scowled when saying “the message says ‘Battery0 is dead!'”  He proceeds to curse about how crappy the laptop is as I wait patiently for him to finish.

The question

Now imagine trying to triage with someone cursing at you, my mind immediately jumps to the conclusion that he needs a new battery for his laptop.   I take a step back, a deep breath, and ask him if the laptop is plugged in.  For those of you who have taken A+ training, you know that you need to rule out the easiest solution first.

However, questions like these are ones that bug the crap out of most end users.  You can imagine how irritated this gentlemen got when I asked him if it was plugged in.  I hear the phone hit the desk, and for a second I thought he hung up.  Nope, some grunting and shuffling and about a minute later, he’s back on the phone, “Yes, it’s plugged into the wall.”  And before I could ask, he says “It’s also plugged into the laptop, in case you were wondering.”

It was at that point in which I said we will likely need to ship the laptop to corporate to investigate further and possible replace the battery.  He was not having any of that.  He threw a fit over the phone because he “needed” his laptop to sell his product and that I needed to get this resolved.

I calmly take a moment on hold to think about what else I could try.  When I got back on the phone with him, I asked him if he could try plugging the cord into a power strip, then into the wall.  He said that it was already in a power strip that had a lamp that was working plugged into it.  Shoot.  There goes that theory.

The solution

Then I ask him if he could trace the power cord from the wall up to the laptop, to see if there were any nicks in the cable.  He slammed the phone down, I am stuck hearing shuffling, grunting and some grumbling before two minutes later he picks up the phone and said “I fixed it!”

What did he do?  Turns out the cable was plugged into the wall, and the other end into the laptop, but the distributer box was unplugged in between the connections.

Lesson to those dealing with these kinds of users: They are people too.  Sometimes they are just having a bad day and this adds to their stress.  We tech support individuals hold the key to making someone’s day, or leaving it in shambles.  Let’s make their day!