Maybe It’s You – #1LinerWeds

Sometimes, I stumble onto a one-liner during the course of the week. Sometimes, something sparks a memory. This week, my blog buddies are ganging up on me. First, the amazing Ally Bean had to be pulled away from beating her printer to death. At least that’s what she insinuated in her comment on my post on Saturday – and you guys thought I wasn’t paying attention. Then on Monday, West Coast Dan wrote about his computer censoring the photos he’s trying to share.

You might be wondering how on earth these two trains of thought ended up on the same track, or even heading to the same city in New England. Well, to fully understand the connection, you’d have to read Ally’s comment and Dan’s post. In case you’re inclined to do that, those links will open in a new window.

OK, off to my one-liner.

For a period of time in the late 1990s, when the company I worked for thought they might not make it into the new millennium, my last employee left, and I wasn’t allowed to replace her. For two years, I was the only employee in Information Services. In addition to developing systems, maintaining a network and preparing existing systems for Y2K – remember that? – I was also responsible for providing tech-support to my 35 coworkers. While I was generally able to solve the problems people were having, I failed to always exhibit a respectful demeanor, at least I think that’s what my boss told me. I would sometimes point out that the thing the person couldn’t do was covered in the training class we had recently had. I was also prone to pointing out that I had solved a particular problem before.

Once, one of our engineers was particularly mean in the way he told me the printer failed to print. He met me at the printer to show me that there was in fact, nothing in the output tray. He demanded that I fix the printer, and he demanded I fix it immediately. Then he began to spout off about how important the project he was working on was to the company. 

I told him,

“This is actually the result of a recently installed new feature. The printer scans what you send it and only prints things that make sense. It’s trying to save you from being embarrassed.”

Later that day the head of Human Resources called me. He wanted to talk to me about something called bedside manner.

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. If you would like to join in on the fun, you can follow this link to participate and to see the one-liners from the other participants.

88 comments

  1. As the head of HR and Facilities, I thought Y2K was going to do me in, but there I stood at midnight and nada. Big nada. Oh well, on we went to the next crisis which did not include hiring IT folks, because there was a flood of them. :-) I also have a printer that starts with an E, and some days it prints immediately and some days it takes it up to 45 minutes to print a single page. I’ve never thought about a hammer only opening a window and dropping it while I wish it a fond adieu. I guess my photos aren’t all that interesting, and I’m still using the Classic editor. With regard to your photos, you guys have a virtual wildlife community going on there. I’m not sure how the Editor does any gardening with that crew. :-) Take care, stay well, and may neither of us have to clear snow for a few days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For a minute I thought you took you cat out for a walk… then I noticed it was your squirrel. Your photos are relaxing stop your words toward the end there.. I have to get my IT guy, my daughter, to tell me why. Maybe it’s just my phone. That bit about bedside manner had me laughing🙂. That Y2K scare was something. I thought we would all crash and have to go back to blackboard and chalk.
      Have a great day Dan. And thanks for the early morning giggles.

      Pat

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dropping a printer off the balcony at work was something a lot of people fantasized about. The squirrels don’t usually bother The Editor’s plants. Last year was weird, because it was so dry, I think everybody was eating anything they could for moisture. We ended up with a birdbath top on the ground for them. She usually plants flowers and things the bunny likes on the outside of the garden and then protects, as best we can, the beans and cucumbers, It’s the chipmunks that do the most damage, and there’s hardly any way to stop them. It looks like we have a nice week ahead. Hopefully, the snow can melt without flooding and we can get ready for spring. Right now, we’re still walking on ice every morning and muck every night.

      Take care, and you have my apology on behalf of any IT folks that gave you headaches.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very clever response to the angry employee, Dan. HR’s mention of beside manner adds to the humor. Gosh, isn’t it refreshing being away from those environments? Your photo collage is wonderful as always, and the squirrel behind the fencing – precious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really don’t miss those moments, Gwen. I know computers and networks can be frustrating at times. I never minded fixing anything, but I had a hard time with what we called, self-appointed important people.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I worked for corporate America doing GIS and graphics. IT and I got along well because I understand computers. Used to build my own. I love your retort to that pompous a… I witnessed plenty of IT abuse. Clients can be a riot. One of them wanted me to show the back of a machine on a photo. As if I could flip it over and see the back of it. 🤪

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was always easy when we were dealing with someone who knew what they were doing, Even if something was wrong, they knew we could fix it and generally accepted a work-around if necessary. I remember one person who was frantic about a print job that was supposed to print on Ledger paper. She had tried both printers that were capable of printing on that size paper, but she was ignored the fact that neither printer had that paper loaded.

      Like

  4. Hey – HR doesn’t know what they’re talking about – your answer to that guy was perfect.
    It reminded me of a question Home Depot sent to us one day, “In reference to your new purchase…” The question was, “How far is the reach of the cordless vacuum?” We sent the answer back, “As far as your arm.” (believe it or not, Home Depot accepted that!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Every department acts as if they are the center of the universe, Frank. We were all under a lot of stress, but some people didn’t understand the whole “we’re in this together” thing. I thought laughing about it would help.

      Like

  5. Some stories are better told with philosophy fluid in hand. Rumor has it pictures will soon turn from white and grey to green. Or it is at least marginally closer. I like that the printer was his friend. And a sensitive and caring one at that.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lol, it’s hard to imagine you being such a smart aleck, but I get it. People wanting answers or a fix NOW. I seem to remember being on both sides in my capacity, but I was never mean to anyone or the IT Help Desk guy (I only cursed one or two after hanging up the phone) when I needed help. We had a traveling on-site IT guy (he’s still there) that’s been marvelous and good at fixing.
    As for Y2K, I still laugh at all the preparation and useless items purchased for what was a big nothing. Oh well, better to be prepared than end up with a disaster like in Texas.

    Hapoy Wednesday, Dan! Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Smart aleck? Mary, I could be a real jerk at times. Someday I’ll share the story that ended up with me receiving a comment on my performance review (under things to work on) of “cause no more tears.” In my defense, I hired a great tech-support guy once they let me spend some money.

      Y2K was such a drill. We had a few systems that did have to be fixed, but nothing was dangerous. However, given that we insured nuclear power plants, tensions were high. One VP wanted us to be in the office to “follow the sun” over all the places in the world where we had policies. We all agreed to remain on-call and mostly sober.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ohhhh…you we’re THAT guy, Dan. I can understand, though, when you were the entire IT department and everybody wanted everything done and fixed right away. Never mind Y2K, I wonder how sober you were after your days were done.

        There used to be a guy at our Help Desk that was pretty useless, so when I would call with an issue and he would answer, I’d hang up and call again, hoping someone else would answer. Sounds mean, but this guy really did not have a clue. Not sure how he got a job in IT.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I used to do that with tech-support from vendors. If I got a clueless one, I hung up. If I got him again, I’d apologize and say, “I’m on a cell phone and the service is really bad (so I could hang up again).

          In general, I was very easy to get along with, and I was nice to people in need. But when the person in need was a jerk, I was capable of sinking to his/her level.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Dan, your one-liner was perfect. Sometimes tactful is just not the way to get the message across.

    I love that one shot of Smokey going up the fence with a mouthful of peanut! Mission accomplished. Maddie looks baffled surveying her park. I hope you told her that she will recognize it again very soon.
    Your winter scenes are great, but I can’t wait to see the first crocus that pops up in your yard.

    Enjoy the warmer temperatures these next few days!
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. The snow in the park has melted down to a tromp-through level, so I let Maddie drag me around today. She wants so badly to “go over there and sniff that thing” that it’s hard to hold her.

      I’m sure Smokey felt like he deserved that peanut when he was finally able to sit and eat it. They bounce along the top of the snow, but every now and then they fall in. II feel bad, but they end up looking cute with faces full of snow.

      I’m keeping an eye out for that crocus.
      Take care.

      Like

  8. Love the leaf/snow shots, and the scene only seen in Winter. Poor Maddie still looks cold; I think she needs snow boots. Your one-liner is brilliant! It also inspires me to share some workplace one-liners. Hmmmm….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Workplace one-liners are always worth sharing. I had so many that I couldn’t share while working. Irish Setter feet don’t lend themselves to boots. We just avoid walking when it below 20. As for outside for business purposes, I like to think it should be an incentive to “wrap it up girl.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • The hand rails (firewood log racks repurposed) were the Editor’s idea. They work so well because you can grab anywhere along the upright. Shes a foot shorter than I am, so it’s hard getting something that works for us both. The mats were my idea, after we both were struggling to deal with the spikes outside while tied to a crazy dog. At first we thought it wouldn’t work, then we thought it was worth a shot. They work really well, and it’s so good to be able to walk out ready for anything.

      As for the line at work, I don’t deal well with entitled or self-important people.

      I hope your week is downhill from here. Teagan.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Love the one-line, Dan. I never to be amazed at the extent to which some people are clueless when it comes to tech gear. I had a reputation in my old office as the go-to guy for clearing printer jams. I was amazed how often people would jam the printer and never tell anyone as jobs backed up in the queue. It turns out that the “paperless office” was a myth–printers were as busy as ever. I love your snow photos, Dan, now that we seem headed to spring. No, I am not yet nostalgic for the bitter cold of deep winter–I will save that for August when I am suffering in the heat and humidity of a Washington DC summer. At least in the winter I can put on more clothes, while in the summer there is only so far that I am willing to go in removing clothes. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha – good idea with the clothing, Mike. I had the “pleasure” of visiting DC many times in the summer. I don’t know how the same temperature can feel so much worst there than it does here.

      I was convinced that the same guy who left teabags in the kitchen sink was the one who left the printer jammed, or out of paper. In all the years I managed the Admin budget, we never seemed to spend less on paper. I wonder how many small printers they bought for employees working remote.

      Like

      • Hopefully the companies compensated employees for having a home office set-up. I just finished my taxes and noted that employees cannot deduct expenses for a home office like independent contractors can. (Fortunately I only did a small amount of “consulting” last year as a part-time employee, so it’s not at all an issue for me.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Same here, Mike. I did one job for my old company. They recently mentioned my doing another, but it was for a system I didn’t write, and I wasn’t interested in going to school first.

          Like

  10. Bedside manner indeed! Grrrr! Enter common sense, please. This is just like listening to my husband talk about things at work. I sometimes wonder how many companies manage to stay in business because they seem to be completely, or at least partially, incompetent with no desire to do what it take to improve. Guarding information rather than sharing, not doing what’s supposed to or needs to be done on time, even having ridiculous passwords when you’re an IT company. Sigh.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I can only imagine the things you’ve experienced and it seems the more technology improves the people are able to function, the more impatient they become. I can still remember when WalMart was a new company and the first one opened up in El Paso, Texas. Aside from the ridiculously low prices and grand opening bargains they offered (me, with three small children, most thankful) they initiated the ‘You’re always next in line’ vision for customer service checkout. Can you even imagine a large retail company trying to go back to single checkout lines. It brings new meaning to the phrase, “ If you build it, they will come.” More like, “If you create it, they will want more.” 😏

    Liked by 1 person

    • The local Target has 18 checkout lanes and usually one cashier. I use the self checkout but I usually have to wait in line for that. Our local grocery just added self checkout lanes, but they are so badly implemented that they are a pain in the butt to use.

      Like

  12. The truth hurts , I suppose . I once had a car mechanic expound to me about the ” idiot light ” in my car . I wasn’t a fast enough thinker to come up with an appropriately nasty reply to his implication about me . This happened about 50 years ago , but it still irritates me from time to time .

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I loved the story, Dan. I thought your comeback to the engineer was perfect. By the way, I have found engineers to be quite thick-skinned. I wonder why this one was such a wuss. I liked the shot of Smoky going up the fence. He sure knows how to get around. Glad your days are getting longer too. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh my! Did he stamp his foot with clenched fists while he demanded you fix it immediately?!! I loved your response. I wish I was that quick-witted.

    The days are getting longer…yeah!! You have a lot of snow still. We have a tiny corner with a wee bit left everywhere else in the yard has melted. I do like Maddie’s Buffalo Check coat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, after my remark, he went and told the HR guy what I said. 7th grade all over again.

      Our snow is melting slow. That’s good, no flooding but the ground is still frozen so we get puddles during the day and ice at night. Another week or so of 40° days should do it.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Very funny! I’d like to think that there was a second.. or two, when that guy actually thought you were serious and questioned what he was trying to print.

    I was in charge of the marketing department of a credit union during Y2K. My task was to develop all of the member communications in case the world as we knew it came to a halt. Fortunately, since I wasn’t a vital team member who could actually do anything if that happened at the stroke of midnight, I got to see the new century with all the other celebrants. Lots of plans went into the trash the next day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fortunately, none of those plans were needed. I wonder if anyone ever did an analysis of how much money was spent in preparation. We spent the night waiting for our insureds to confirm that nothing had gone wrong..

      I do enjoy the thought that for a brief moment, he thought I was telling the truth. Maybe that’s why he turned me in for being unprofessional.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Dan – how funny … I’ll go along with people if they name things … loved reading the post and comments. Smokey looks like he doesn’t much like his ‘footsies’ getting cold … I have to say I amazed that Maddie is so unruly once she’s outside – but she knows her master and mistress! and gets her walks.
    Sometimes I’m completely stupid … but also desperately try and work my way round so I don’t need others to help … eg with my recent drop off the net – if the shop had been open I’d have been down there – thankfully I worked it out.
    Glad that white stuff is melting – trouble is that brown stuff is sticky and messy … Good luck! Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Hilary. Please do take care. The snow melting is probably when it’s the most tricky to walk around here. We need spikes to navigate on the ice, but they stick in the softening ground, and try to pull your boots off. That’s happened to both my wife and I. Of course, you want something easy to slip on and off when just taking the dog out. We have to remember to be careful.

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  17. Hah! I realize this is a serious problem for some, but I’m not sensitive to truth and much prefer straight talk, myself.
    I no longer have a printer at home. I do believe after all the time we left it taking up space in the closet, it got sad and became obsolete. We sometimes talk about a new printer, but we just don’t buy one. We seldom need one and there’s a place we can send stuff around the way, so we do that a handful of times a year.
    At work, I like to click Print and then find out I had to click another Print, you know, to be sure. It only asks me once about saving or deleting, but with printing, it must be certain of my intent.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Ha! Love it. 😅 And yep, Y2K was a real thing that actually had people spooked, kids! Funny to look back on it 21 years later. Of course, we seem to have found new ways to make civilization almost grind to a halt …

    Liked by 1 person

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