Posted by: GeekHiker | April 5, 2007

One for the geeks

After all this hiking stuff, I figure it’s time to do a post for the geeks.  Thankfully, today provided just such an event.

Like always, I was juggling about three things at once today, all of them, of course, “critical”.  I get a call from a fairly new employee: his keyboard isn’t working right.

“The space puts in a lot of spaces and the shift doesn’t work.”

“Try replacing the batteries.”  It’s a wireless keyboard.

“Where do I get batteries?”

“They’re with the office supplies, by the receptionist.”

“How do I put them in?”

“Flip the keyboard over, open the cover, install the batteries.  It’s just like a kids toy.”  God help us all if this guy spawns.

“Uh, Okay.”

He hangs up, I continue juggling.  A few minutes later, another phone call.

“It still doesn’t work.”

I walk him through the troubleshooting steps, instruct him how to press the “connect” buttons on the keyboard and the receiver, tell him what the receiver looks like so he can find the “connect” button, etc.  Suddenly, I have to go to the server room, so I suggest he move the receiver away from the monitor since it can sometimes cause interference, and to call me back if that doesn’t work.  Sorry, got to go, very busy.

Ten minutes later, I’m back from the server room.  There’s a voice mail.  It’s Mr. Keyboard.  I won’t transcribe the message here because it was two and a half minutes long, but it was basically this: space bar puts in too many spaces, shift key doesn’t work, some of the individual characters don’t work, I really need to type this memo and I can’t do it without my keyboard, yada, yada, ‘freakin yada.

I head back upstairs to the employee’s desk.  He’s not there.  I sit down to start troubleshooting.

Wow, that coffee he’s got on his desk sure smells strong.

Wait a minute…

I bend over and smell the keyboard.

“Say,” I think, “That’s quite a rich Colombian blend there.”

I pick up the keyboard and turn it over.  Coffee starts dribbling out from the keyboard onto the desk.  The keys are sticky too.

At this point, the employee, poor hapless soul, returns.

“Did you forget to mention something?” I ask, motioning in the direction of the coffee on the desk.

“Well, you said you were busy.”

“You left a two and a half minute message detailing explicitly all of the symptoms that your keyboard was having, but somehow neglected to mention the fact that it’s filled with coffee?”

“Well, you said you were really busy and I didn’t want to waste your time.”

My teeth were beginning to hurt.  Most likely caused by the fact that I was clenching my jaw with all the power of the jaws of life to prevent the urge to reach out and put this poor man out of his misery.

“Dude, it’s okay.  Accidents happen.  That’s why I have spare keyboards in storage.  But when I ask what’s wrong with they keyboard, you need to tell me if you’ve, you know, done something like spill coffee on it.”

“Uh, okay.  I didn’t think it was important.

I practically ripped the connections out of the back of the machine and headed to storage.  I resisted the urge to whack him upside the head with the keyboard, but I gotta tell ya, it was close.

For just such occasions, I keep this eminently practical sign in my office.  Just behind my door.  The wall behind the sign is now quite indented, but the sign covers it well.

And that dent got juuuuuust a little bit deeper today…



  1. Ok, this was the funniest thing I have read all day. Thank you!

  2. gatorade is just as bad for keyboards, in case you were wondering. not that i’d know from experience… just theorizing of course.

  3. Becki – glad I cheered your day
    Copasetic Fish – just a theory, eh? 😉 It’s not worth a post, but water on a printer doesn’t do so well either…

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