Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The New New Winner

Today, I had a fellow, both hard of hearing and somewhat belligerent, call in for service. He had paid for the online services because of problems with his keyboard. Apparently, it would not make the special symbols at the top of the keyboard (! @ # $ % ^ & * and so forth). Fully expecting this to be a problem with stickykeys, I walked him through the excruciatingly long process of linking his system to mine through screen sharing.

Sure enough, my input goes through fine to his notepad. Though he did have trouble finding the number 2 when he typed it into notepad, and when I highlighted it and waved the cursor around it to show him where it was. Then he tried to type an @ symbol. It came up a two.

"Ok, press the shift key and hit the two."
"That's the one that says caps lock, right?"
"No, its the one that says shift."
Another two crops up.
"Sir, are you holding it down?"
"No, should I be?"

Yes, friends, I have found a human being who both owns a computer and claims to have used it for stock trading online, who was unaware of how to use the shift key. For reference, the shift key was invented as an innovation to the mechanical typewriter by 1910, which predates ENIAC, generally considered the first general-purpose electronic computer, by 37 years. Being unapologetically 'not an expert' and having 'no intention of becoming one' is not an excuse here.

So we have a new winner. I can only imagine that he is a retiree, most likely from the upper class, who dictated his letters to some hapless, brow-beaten secretary for his entire career and is likely to kill himself through comical incompetence the moment he has to, say, do his laundry or cook a meal.

Well, he did pay $50 to have someone tell him what a shift key is, so maybe there is some justice in the world.

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