Like you, I have been IT support for my parents for as long as they have owned computers. I recalled a rather trying incident today from several years ago with my dad. This story will make you scream out in frustration.
It was a cold, grey January evening like tonight was. My phone rang and my dad was on the other end. He was distraught. The dialogue went something like this.
“Oh hey, dad.”
“I can’t get the computer to print.”
It seemed like a simple request. My dad couldn’t get his printer to print. This can happen to all of us. It could have been a paper jam, or a loose cable, or a driver that needed updating (damn you, Windows). No, the trouble was more confusing and infuriating than you can imagine.
I asked my dad if the power was on. He told me that the light was on. I asked if it had paper in it. He answered that it did, but that wasn't causing the problem.
Thirty minutes passed, soon after it was sixty minutes. I went through every step to rectify his technological issue, but it still would not print. My dad shared every swear word he knew - multiple times. Even Jesus was likely disappointed with him due to his numerous exclamations of blasphemy.
The answer will surprise you!
I was exhausted. I was perplexed. What the hell did I miss through this? Why couldn’t I get his printer working? The answer will surprise you.
“Dad, the printer has paper?”
“Does it have the power on?”
“Yes. The thing under the desk?”
“I’m not talking about the goddamned thing that prints on paper!”
“The screen. When I type the words don’t print on the screen! What's wrong with you, David?”
That’s right, it was the monitor all along. My dad meant the words on the screen weren’t printing when he typed on the keyboard. Yep, he never turned on the monitor. THE MONITOR.
My dad has infuriated me before, he has delighted and disappointed me too. He’s a good man, a solid guy, but not always easy to deal with. This was one of those times. I was proud to have helped him find his solution, but I felt completely exhausted and defeated. I was also on the cusp of going postal had we continued the call much longer after the solution was discovered.
How about you?
The problem you are facing could have a clear solution. Test your communication before you begin troubleshooting. And don't ever answer your phone if my dad calls for tech support.