His stomach rumblings registering on the Richter scale, Brent prepared to dart out into the hot July day, eager to trade the telephone in his hand for a Quarterpounder with cheese. But as luck would have it, the phone came to life as soon as he placed it back in its cradle -- another troubled soul waiting for Brent's help on the other end.
Sigh. His lunch breaks having been interrupted and shortened all week, Brent longed only for a lunch of leisure. "Helpdesk. How can I assist you?" he chimed, just like he had 37 times already that day. Loose translation: "Helpdesk. How can I get you off the phone, and me sitting in front of a slice of double pepperoni Chicago-style deep dish as quickly as possible?"
Luckily, the user in question was ready with a detailed and well thought out description of the problem at hand: "My computer is frozen and I can't do anything." Frozen...frozen like a rocket Popsicle or an ice cream sundae, perhaps? Brent shook his hungry head, determined to focus instead on the problem.
A reboot seemed a likely remedy, but the voice on the phone said she'd already tried that. What was more puzzling is that after the supposed reboot, the user claimed that nothing on the screen changed -- the error message
"Have you actually restarted the computer?" Brent inquired. The user asked how she was supposed to do that. "Press the power button to turn it off, and then once more to turn it back on again." Brent waited on the phone amid a series of grunts, clicks and sighs, confident that the source of his starvation would at least be able to handle that much.
"The error is still there," came the reply, and an exasperated Brent assured her he'd come down and have a look at the machine. The vending machine, that is. After quickly jamming a Kit-Kat into his face, he continued down to the cubicle in question.
Brent located the lady in waiting and introduced himself. "Now, show me what you've been doing," he requested.
She leaned forward and pressed the power button on her monitor, switching it off. Brent forced a smile as she turned it back on, looked up at him triumphantly and said, "I told you, the error is still there!"
After Brent showed his noontime nemesis how to locate and restart the computer under her desk, and explained the difference between it and the monitor, he looked at his watch and headed quickly for the street. The day had been saved, but his leisurely lunch possibilities were once again reduced to mediocre Thai take-out back at his desk.
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