After tracing the wires, I found that she had followed the rules: The space heater was plugged into the outlet. But to do so, she had unplugged the power strip from the outlet and plugged it back into itself, so neither the computer nor the power strip were attached to a power source. Of course the computer wouldn't work.
I stepped away from the desk and explained to her what I'd found. She admitted that she'd unplugged the power strip to plug in the space heater, but then offered this gem: "I don't understand what the problem is. I did plug the power strip back in. I swear the computer was working after I did that, so that is not the problem."
If that bald-faced lie weren't bad enough, she then continued her rant, saying how we, the IT techs, always try to blame problems on the users instead of the computers and that we never listen when users do have a problem.
I responded by unplugging her space heater. Then I unplugged the power strip from itself and attached it to the wall.
A miracle happened: The computer started working! I told her, "You're right, that wasn't the problem," and walked away.
As they say, the customer/end-user is always right, right? Right!
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This story, "No, the user is not always right," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more crazy-but-true stories in the anonymous Off the Record blog at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.