We have one particular user who is pretty high up in our company (ok, the highest) and as such, we are often tasked with supporting the home computer because he needs to get access to work resources often from the house.
First-off the family is very well-off. Next, this user’s wife is…umm…hard to deal with – to the point where she has a reputation amongst many, many people in the community. Let’s just say if you are over there working on the PC, don’t be surprised if you are asked to move 70Gb of JPGs from one drive to another (not related to work), move the desk from one room to another (not related to anything you do) or pick up the kids from swim practice (not related to you). Seriously, it’s like that. Also, you may be told numerous times “do you know who I am?!” to somehow defy the laws of physics and/or the laws of…the state?…to get things done her way.
In any case, since every visit is usually a cringe-worthy event, whenever she calls with any kind of issue, there is a collective moan; as you may have guessed, none of us really want to go over there. Especially not for something which isn’t affecting her husband’s work…since he actually at work in the same building as us.
This particular case was an issue of the Internet connection not working.
We all did the usual Rock-Paper-Scissors-Spock, and unfortunately, I lost out and was the responsible tech for this problem.
I did have one ace in the hole, there was a hired intern (we’ll call him “Dan”) working at the house who could be our eyes and ears for the situation at hand. Not only that, but I had some real pressing issues at work that were occurring simultaneously – our mail server had been wonky during the day and needed to be addressed…priorities, priorities.
Knowing that there has not been any major changes in the network equipment at the house and also knowing that the equipment was new, there really should be no logical reason for why the Internet connection was down. Additionally, there had been a recent spat of strange issues with Comcast and home connections dropping for no apparent reason (well, more so than usual), and I told “Dan” that he should get a Comcast bill from the wife, call Comcast, and have them perform some diagnostics against the cable modem. I told Dan to call me back as soon as he knew anything as I was packing up things to head out to the house. Various scenarios were racing through my mind, trying to have an answer before I get there.
5 minutes pass. Dan calls back – “Yeah, uh…you can cancel that emergency. They forgot to pay their Internet bill.”