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Monday, April 18, 2011

Etch-A-Sketch Tech Support

I work in tech support, and sometimes we get so frustrated with customer that we wish we could just give them an Etch-A-Sketch. However, I'm not sure that would help most of them. I suspect it would go a little like this:

Representative: Thank you for calling , how can I help you?

Customer: My thing is broken.

R: OK, let's see what we can do. How is it broken?

C: It doesn't work.

R: How so?

C: Well, the line... it... doesn't go... One second. (quiet) Darlene! What's this thing doing again? (pause) Uh-huh? (pause) Uh-huh? (pause) OK. It doesn't go left or right, only up and down. Now, you should know I'm not "Etch-A-Sketch literate," so none of your technical talk, okay?

R: We'll do what we can. Let's see if we can help. Have you tried moving the left dial?

C: Left dial?

R: Yes, the left dial.

C: I don't see that. I don't think I have one.

R: It should be there.

C: I don't have one.

R: It's on every one of these. I want you to put your finger at the upper-left corner of the device.

C: I'm telling you, it's not there.

R: Just put your finger there and move it straight down and you should find it.

C: It's not there. I don't see it. I don't have one. It's not there. It's- Oh, there it is.

R: OK, now twist the dial back and forth.

C: OK, one second. (pause) I can't.

R: How are you twisting it?

C: I didn't twist it, I pulled it.

R: Pulling it won't do anything, and you might break the dial instead, so don't pull on the dial.

C: Pull on the dial? That's what I'm doing and it doesn't work.

R: No, no, DON'T pull on the dial. Twist it from left to right.

C: OK. (pause) Nothing happened.

R: Walk me through what you just did.

C: I took the Etch-A-Sketch and turned it from left to right.

R: The whole thing?

C: Yeah, you told me to twist it from left to right.

R: No, leave the Etch-A-Sketch where it is and just twist the dial left to right.

C: Now, my son works at the Etch-A-Sketch place and he says you shouldn't have to do this.

R: What does he do there?

C: He works in the lunch room. He's very smart, and he says I shouldn't have to do this. He says that I only need one dial and I don't have to twist it at all.

R: Well, that's not exactly correct. You need both dials to do anything.

C: I don't see how twisting it will work! My son says-

R: Just give it a try.

C: (grumbling) Oh! It worked! (yelling) Hey Darlene! It works! (back on phone) OK, good. Now, one more question: How do I make it go... not left, or right, or up or down, but like... a mix of those?

R: Like, diagonal?

C: Now, I said I don't know about these things, so I don't want any of that mumbo-jumbo.

R: No, that's the name of that kind of line. It's a diagonal line.

C: Well, how do I make it go di-gagnal?

R: This is a lot less complicated than you think. Move both dials at the same time gently.

C: You can do that?

R: Yep.

C: Geez, these things are so complicated now. I'm going to give it a try. (pause) Ohhhh. Ohhhh! That's really neat! I can make it- Oops.

R: What happened?

C: I made a long up-and-down line on accident just now. Can I erase it?

R: No.

C: Why not?

R: They're just not built that way. You can shake it upside-down though and start over.

C: (shaking) Wow, what will they think of next?