Friday, September 10, 2004


I received a call from a User that said she could not access her Office applications. That they were not found. Many times, Office applications are run from a netword drive rather than being installed locally so should the user loose their network connection or their server connection, they will loose Office.

I asked the user if she had any other problems and she said that she had problems signing on but she had gotten past that. Ahh! Theory #1: She had a problem signing on to the server and selected "Workstation Only" to signon. She had thus skipped signing onto the server and thus didn't have the connection to the network drive from which the Office application would run.

I tried to explain that he first error she had when trying to sign on would be the one that tells us what her problem was but she said she didn't have any errors signing on.


"You said you had a problem signing on, what was that problem?"

At which point she puts me on hold. I know that when user's do that, they have become confused with something and have gone to get help. What confused her? I asked "what happened?"

So, her manager comes on and I explain to him that the user's problems was probably network or server related and that I had asked what her first error was because that is the one that tells us what's going on. Everything else are just symptoms. He told me that they had logged on again and didn't have any errors. I didn't believe that so I asked him to click on the My Computer icon.

Once there I asked if any network drives were listed there.


"Ahh," I said, "Without the network drives, the user isn't going to be able to access the Office applications running from those drives."

He then proceeded to read off a list of drives, A: floppy, C: windows, D: CD rom, M. . . .

"M:? That's a network drive"

He wanted my full name and asked why I was so rude.


If I asked you the question, "Do you have a thingswoggle on your desktop," you shouldn't answer either "yes" or "no" if you have no idea what the hell a thingswoggle is. Why is it that users insist on answering these questions and then call me rude for pointing it out? If I ask what the problem is, you shouldn't have to get a manager to help. Just tell me what happened. You were there at the time, right? Users often claim "computer illiteracy" but it has nothing to do with computers. It's simple literacy and observation. What does the error message say? What is on your screen? What happened next?

Finally I asked him to have the user log off and log back. Miraculously, they were able to sign on, the network drives connected and the Office applications worked.

No comments: